In celebration of Black History Month, Dance Spirit is saluting young Black artists who don’t just represent a bright future for the dance industry—they’re already making history of their own. Third in our series: Dexter Carr. Be sure to check dancespirit.com throughout February to meet more dancers who embody Black excellence in dance and in life. #BlackDanceHistoryIsHappeningNow
You may not know Dexter Carr’s name yet, but that’s just a matter of time. We’re willing to bet that this dancer/choreographer/entrepreneur will one day be a one-name cultural icon à la Beyoncé or Pharrell.
Take, for instance, Carr’s online training platform, Outlet by Dexter. Of course, countless dance artists have pivoted to online instruction in this coronavirus era. But perhaps none have done so with Carr’s creative and forward-thinking approach. Via Outlet, Carr and curated guest artists offer technique master-classes, deep dives into different styles, and monthly dance battles (with real-life prizes for dancers who step up to the challenge).
A seriously enviable resumé backs up Carr’s expertise. He’s danced with Katy Perry, Aloe Blacc, Demi Lovato, Missy Elliott, Joss Stone and Queen Bey herself. He originated an ensemble track in Bring It On: The Musical, on Broadway and on the national tour. He’s choreographed for Tinashe, Iggy Azalea, Lil Baby and The Late Late Show with James Corden. And in his role as an official Nike Athlete, Carr is creating and leading the first-ever dance classes on the Nike Training app.
But what really makes Carr a standout is the grounded philosophy that supports everything he teaches. Unlike many dance pros, Carr enthusiastically shares his knowledge with people new to dance or just looking to enjoy movement. A regular in his weekly beginner-beginner hip-hop class at Playground LA calls the class “life-changing” and Carr “truly inspiring.”
Carr also speaks out against the constant comparison that can take all the joy out of dance. As he says about Outlet by Dexter, “It comes from all the times in life where I’ve looked into the mirror and had to remind myself that I am the only one that I should be trying to one up—nobody else. ‘Do you, Dexter!’ I would always say. It’s my message to everyone that it’s OK to be who you are, that it’s cool, timeless and fun to be the best version of yourself.”