Oakland California native Traci Bartlow is a multifaceted visual and performance artist, consultant, and entrepreneur. She is proficient in many styles using African, Jazz and Hip Hop dance as a base for her choreography. Her early dance influences were funk and hip-hop social dances, styles that were partially innovated in California in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. As a teenager, she won a scholarship to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and moved to New York City where she trained with world-renowned teachers and choreographers by day, by night she kept her Hip-Hop skills intact by dancing in legendary New York City Hip-Hop and House dance clubs. Ms. Bartlow has been a principal dancer for Nanette Bearden Contemporary Dance Theater and, Forces of Nature Dance Company both in New York City.
Ms. Bartlow has been mentoring and teaching for more than 20 years developing the curriculum for many youth and after-school programs throughout the Bay Area. She has also performed extensive research of black social dance and is a member of the B.R.S. (Boogaloo, Robot, Strutting) an organization that preserves and documents Hip-Hop dance innovations that have come out of the Bay Area. With these experiences Ms.Bartlow is a sought-after teacher and lecturer and has taught Hip-Hop dance at Jacob’s Pillow, been a consultant and guest teacher for CalShakes in the Bay Area, Illadelph Legends Hip Hop dance festival in Philadelphia, Lorraine Hansberry Theater in San Francisco, Herrang Dance Camp in Sweden, B-Boy Summit in Los Angeles, as well as an guest faculty in the dance department at UC Davis.
he was a youth dancer, a faculty member and then on the board of trustees at Citicenter Dance Theater at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts in Oakland. Ms. Bartlow is a founding and core member of Eastside Arts Alliance and Eastside Cultural Center in Oakland. At Eastside she has programmed many dance events including youth after-school programs, the Oakland Hip Hop Dance Institute dance conference, The Courts Hip Hop Dance Stage at the Malcolm X Jazz Arts Festival and, the Katherine Dunham Dance Stage also at the Malcolm X Jazz Arts Festival.
Photography came as a natural expression of documenting the world around her. With a 35mm camera on her hip and a ‘good eye’, Ms. Bartlow parlayed her experience in the entertainment industry to a career and a Hip-hop photojournalist in the 1990’s. She has shot for local and national music magazine, local and national record labels, and a host of portraiture and live concerts in the Bay Area.
Currently, she is developing an exhibition of her Hip-Hop industry photos and writings from 1993-2000. The show is called, “Oakland Picture Lady: Tales of a 90’s Girl”, and will have fine art photographs, collages, an accompanying augmented reality app and podcast. Stay tuned for a location TBA for this show in the fall of 2018.