“The knowing that as a Black woman, I am god is paramount to me. Also the knowing that my body is a channel, and experiencing the strength of my own heart reinforces my own ferocity.” – Sienna Black
We’re kicking of National Women’s History Month with a Queen See Queen feature on dancer, artist, and creative Sienna Black. We recently had a chance to pick her brain at talk her spiritual connection to Oakland, why dance is so close to her heart, and the women in her life that uplift and bring her strength.
Rochester native Sienna Black has been in Oakland for about 2 years and has found a home for her spirit here. “[I love how Oakland merges] art and politics in community spaces. Here, I feel like I found a tribe. I’ve always been quirky, a tad emo, and spiritually centered, so finding community that welcomes my energy has been a pursuit of mine for a minute.”
In Oakland, she is able to find the courage and inspiration to release her magic. In the Bay, she has so many talented friends in various artistic mediums, that it is easy for her to want to share what she does, and how she creates. “On the east coast, I feel a pressure to just dance, because I am a “dancer”. So I have felt really timid about giving my energy to my lesser known talents.”
What is her magic you ask? Black is an all around creator, and uses this artistic magic to express herself politically to advocate social change. Both her parents are performance and visual artists, so art has always been around. Creativity is second nature for her. “I have been dancing for 25 years, choreographing for 13, photographing for 6, and crafting and singing my whole life.”
She has chosen dance as one of her artistic mediums because of the importance that dance has played in her life. Her mother was her first dance teacher and she has been alongside her mom on stage since she can remember. “There’s nothing like tearing through the air, getting low-low, and letting vibration move me.”
It’s hard for her to pick just one genre because she tends to merge them together whenever she can. “My dance philosophy is Afro-Contemporary dance. I mesh the technique of ballet, the flow of contemporary, the discipline of modern dance, and the soul of Black diasporic dance (Jazz, Hip Hop, Afro-Brazilian, Voguing, Afro-Caribbean) into everything I do.”
She hopes that her content as a multi-medium creator allows her to challenge certain social phenomena and will take her to places her family has dreamed of. She has already started to use her creative abilities to travel. This year, she will be traveling with Ceremony by Regina’s Door to perform at the UN Peace Messenger Organization Pathway to Peace Panel at the 61st Commission on The Status of Women. She is also crowdfunding to participate in the Barcelona International Dance Exchange this spring which she is super excited for. “I am [also] shaping choreography for an original work to be performed this summer in collaboration with a few of artists in the area. I have a baby called Erotica Black, and you can follow her on Instagram and at eroticablack.tumblr.com“
This queen is truly inspired by knowing that as a Black woman, she is God. She is also inspired by knowing that her body is a channel, and being able to experience the strength of her own heart, it helps to reinforce her ferocity. “I am coming to the place of respect for the image I was created in, this is giving me the permission I have always looked to the world to give me. Women are the real force behind any revolution, and seeing myself in the many great women that came before me inspires me so much!”
Which women in your life inspire you the most and way?
My momma! She is a warrior of light. She is one of those people that are hood rich. She leads on the level of the people. She is humble, extremely creative, and her energy is striking. The fact that her legacy lives in so many people, in their work and their hearts—that is true success to me. Great people make great people.
Mama Regina! She is fluid with her power. She imparts power to all of her babies in this community. What she expresses to me is dedication to the possibilities granted by divine will. Her artistry is grounded in her spirituality, it is a thread for all of her work. Her persona is round, she’s real and very passionate about what she does!
To the little girl out there, who is looking in the mirror and judging her self, Sienna dares them to look nat themselves with a different set of eyes. “A pair of eyes that have not experienced the disappointments your have seen, a pair of eyes that have not observed someone else’s disapproval of you, a pair of eyes that has not looked into the eyes of someone that does not love you. The lens that you often look at yourself with is sometimes out of focus or just plain tainted. Give yourself new eyes!”
We want to thank this beautiful Queen for sharing her story. Please show her some love by following her on Instagram and helping her get to Barcelona for the 2017 Barcelona International Dance Exchange. Also, be sure to stay tuned for the other Queens that will be featured in our Queen See Queen features.