Becoming a lighthouse: co-choreographing our movements | Shamell Bell | TEDxUCLA

How does dance reveal truth to power? Shamell Bell shows us how we honor our communities and ourselves by moving through life with a sense of radical joy. By telling stories with our bodies, we become beacons of light that can guide others to calmer waters. Shamell Bell is a mother, community organizer, and choreographer. An original member of the #blacklivesmatter movement, beginning as a core organizer with Justice 4 Trayvon Martin Los Angeles (J4TMLA)/Black Lives Matter Los Angeles to what she now describes as an Arts & Culture liaison between several organizations such as the BLM network and Blackout For Human Rights among others. Her work on “street dance activism” situates dance as grassroots political action from her perspectives as a scholar, dancer, and choreographer. Shamell’s street dance experience includes featured roles in music videos, award shows, and tours with artists such as Will Smith, Christina Aguilera and Ludacris, and in David LaChapelle’s acclaimed documentary “Rize” which features Miss Prissy, “The Queen of Krump”. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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Written by lena

Foodie, Performer, Water Protector, Avid Baker, Syndicate Aggregator. I probably still live in my mom's basement.


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  1. I love the idea of forming dance crews as metaphor movement building. Also, I hope the endorphins released help us all cope with the violence we experience and witness on a daily basis. Thank you for doing this work.

  2. “I made a decision to raise a critically conscious child in a social movement”. Getting free is intentional, love this!

  3. Thank you for all your work!!! You are a lighthouse, helping people bring their talents and energy and joy and love to social movements. 💗

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