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Art & Life with Daryl L. Foster

Today we’d like to introduce you to Daryl L. Foster.

Daryl, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
My artistic journey began in Tuscaloosa, Alabama as a frustrated dancer with little access to dance training. I would eventually audition for a newly formed company at the University of Alabama that was headed to the Lyon Dance Biannual Festival in Lyon, France. This would be an opportunity of a lifetime that not only was my open door to dance training, but the beginning of my career in dance. After scholarships took me to Duke University to the American Dance Festival, Harvard Summer Dance, and the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble I would eventually leave Alabama behind, and join the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company in Dayton, Ohio. I would perform as a dancer in musicals, and special projects until I moved to NYC. I moved to NYC to struggle like most, but specifically during the worst time that a dancer could live in NYC…2001 the year of 9/11. I was able to work a lot that year…with pick up companies, and other gigs, but most importantly I was able to gain experience in arts admin working as assistant to company management, and financial management for Urban Bush Women. UBW introduced me to new skills, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. Through JZ I was presented with the opportunity to pursue my MFA at Florida State University. I moved to ATL in 2006 where I would work on the dance faculties of Kennesaw State University, Spelman College, Agnes Scott College, and 4 years at the University of Georgia. During my time here in ATL I was also one of the managers at Gotta Dance Atlanta, where I started LIFT Men. Dance. Life. in 2010.Through LIFT I have been able to present the choreography of over 40 men, provide free training for 3 amazing young men, and provide nearly 100 dancers their first professional stage experience. I also created, and directed a scholarship program that has trained so many of today’s professional working dancers. In 2011 I created EMERGING; a showcase for new choreographers that allowed them to create work that was fully produced, and mentored. LIFT is now my dance company, and I am looking forward to what the future holds.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Dance! Dance is the simple answer for what my art is. I have performed, choreographed, and instructed dance for 25 years. However, now it feels more like my art/ purpose is more seated in producing, developing talent, and using dance as a social justice tool.

Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
The best advice that I can give is to continue to work at the level that you can afford to work. You can do an amazing one man show until you can afford to do a full company production. Another option would be to produce your own work, and put it on the web!

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
LIFT recently premiered at the Out Front Theater. There will be another performance in the fall. Please visit for updates, and while you are there click the donate tab to support 🙂

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Tara Lynn Pixley, Jonathan Scott, and Darius Jackson

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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