Celeta Hickman

Resident Artist
Dance - Ethnic / Folk / Jazz

The imagination and spontaneity of masquerade artistry fills spaces and places with rhythm, color, joy, and social cohesion and they are the foundation of my artistic process. I dance to celebrate energy forces in nature and to honor the importance of civility in the public sphere. My inspirations are children, family, community, and expressive singing and dancing.

“Cultivating natural ability is what interests me most about being a teaching artist. I primarily teach dance associated with masquerade culture in the Africana Atlantic World (Gulf states, Caribbean and Latin/Francophone Americas).

In my residencies, children design their costumes from sketch to wearble masquerades. They compose short songs and make handheld instruments. My primary focus as a teaching artist in these spaces is to provide context, choreography, musical accompaniment, and materials for the students to put their imaginations to work. There are so many opportunities for child directed learning. There are multiple times during art experiences where I serve only as a side coach and that excites me.

Children’s masquerade troupes in Louisiana, Trinidad and Tobago and Brazil are competitive and essential rights of passage in those communities, offering youth the chance to show they can work collectively to create a public and engaging work of art that honors social cohesion and merrymaking. Handing over these global approaches to art making for children to create their own memorable experiences motivates me in each residency experiece.”

“Child directed learning, problem based instruction and connecting the student’s work to their homes and communities are hallmarks of my work. Children are art ambassadors and their work inspires joy and well-being in familes, homes and communties of all shapes and sizes. When I set my choreography on students it travels further and deeper and is more functional than me performing on a stage. Lasting memories and long-term critical thinking skills are what I am to inspire in youth I am privileged to teach.”

Celeta Hickman
Resident Artist Celeta Hickman