Ron Parker (alt)
I am born, raised and educated in Los Angeles. I danced in high school musicals. After graduating from LA High School, I joined a community youth group that performed vintage Swing routines at senior citizen facilities around the city. After graduating from UCLA, I started a computer software business which I ran successfully for 20 years. Around 2000, because of the changing demographics in the city, I decided to take up Salsa. I went on to learn and master Ballroom, Argentine Tango and most of the partner social dances. Around 2003, I joined Chester Whitmore, who was looking to form an all-black Lindy Hop dance group. We named it the Central Ave Dance Ensemble. Here I gained both an interest in studying dance history as well as experience performing for and educating the public on dance. I went on to dance at several events around the city as well in a couple of TV shows and movies. I joined the Beverly Hills Cotillion Dance Ensemble and have performed with them for 4 years. Between 2008 and 2009 I was vice-president of the LA Chapter of USA Dance where I was quite active in promoting Ballroom dancing in the community. In 2010 I initiated a series of dance workshops designed to introduce South Central residents to dances they aren't normally exposed to: The Diversify Your Dance series. And, in 2011 and 2012, I produced, directed and co-choreographed "The History of Black Dance In America", a retrospective of 200 years of African-inspired dance in America. It premiered to a sold-out crowd in 2011, and closed to a sold-out crowds in 2012. In 2014 I served as assistant director to Chester Whitmore for the Frankie Manning Centennial Show at the Apollo Theater in New York, hailed as one of the best shows at the Apollo in 25 years. Also in 2014, I initiated a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to do HBDA in 2015. As a result of this successful campaign, I was nominated, along with Chester Whitmore, as a "Local Hero" by our local PBS station. Recently I've been tapped by the El Camino College Center for the Performing Arts to present HBDA for Black History Month 2016.