A TRIBUTE TO SYDNEY GIBSON KING; Congressional Record Vol. 161, No. 24
(Extensions of Remarks - February 12, 2015)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E204]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                    A TRIBUTE TO SYDNEY GIBSON KING

                                 ______
                                 

                          HON. ROBERT A. BRADY

                            of pennsylvania

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, February 12, 2015

  Mr. BRADY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, as the nation celebrates 
Black History Month, I rise to celebrate a Philadelphia treasure, Mrs. 
Sydney G. King. Because of her love and dedication to dance and her 
desire to train Black ballerinas, Mrs. King opened the Sydney School of 
Dance in the 1940s for aspiring African American dancers who were not 
allowed to attend white dance studios in post war segregated 
Philadelphia.
  Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1919, King came to Philadelphia with her 
family when she was just two years old and at an early age began 
studying ballet under the tutelage of dance pioneer Essie Marie Dorsey.
  For more than six decades the Sydney School of Dance trained hundreds 
of Black children and many went on to receive national and 
international recognition in the dance world.
  Those students include dance professionals such as: Joan Meyers 
Brown, the founder and director of the much acclaimed Philadanco; Billy 
Wilson, famed director/choreographer and soloist with the National 
Ballet of Holland; Broadway performer Betsy Ann Dickerson; singer/
actress Lola Falana; Carol Johnson, a former principal dancer with the 
Eleo Pomare Dance Company and founder of an aboriginal dance company in 
Australia; and Arthur Hall, founder of the Afro American Dance 
Ensemble.
  These dance greats in no way diminish the accomplishments of hundreds 
of her other students who did not choose careers in dance but because 
of the empowering and esteem building training at the Sydney School of 
Dance they are today proud and successful professionals in a variety of 
fields.
  Mrs. King, the mother of three children, is a widow and now at the 
age of 95 sums her life's dedication to dance by saying simply she 
wanted to, ``train and create Black ballerinas.''

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