I Am, I Believe, I See


I AM, I BELIEVE, I SEE is an hour-long creative movement workshop and mini-performance based on our company’s original work, H E A P.

The workshop is designed for people with no dance experience and was piloted through Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s HOT educational outreach series.

The workshop uses H E A P’s themes of self identity and inclusion to connect participants to themselves and each other by encouraging self-awareness, self-confidence, creative expression and collaboration.


New Dialect is a collective of twelve artists, who gather together daily to exchange ideas and create dances. We are black, white, latino, Filipino, Jewish, gay, straight, men, women, Christians, atheists, agnostics, yogis, buddhists, and believers in science. And, we have each experienced the benefits of privilege and the pain of discrimination due to the color of our skin, our gender, our sexual orientation, our culture, and our beliefs.

To create H E A P, we challenged ourselves to emotionally delve into the characteristics that define us, particularly our experiences with privilege and discrimination, and to share what we found with one another. This creative process took courage.


H E A P is about bringing people together who believe differently, look differently, speak differently, and experience life differently to celebrate our diversity and grow in deep appreciation and respect for one another."   - Banning Bouldin


During the creation process for H E A P, we wrote personal statements about who we are, what we hope, and what we fear. We researched news headlines, social media, scientific articles, religious texts, and other forms of literature for words that we believed were true, for editorials that were hyperbolic and manipulative, for commentary that attacked us, and for posts that we identified with and that gave us comfort. 

We compiled these source materials and our own writings and used them as inspiration to compose a dance that abstractly tells each artist’s story of self-defined and socially-assigned identity.

The creation of H E A P has allowed us to engage in meaningful conversations as a collective, and as we perform the work, we hope to communicate to audiences what we experience together in the studio everyday—respect for each other and appreciation of our differences. 



To begin the workshop, our professional company guides participants through a simple creative writing game focused on the prompts: I AM, I BELIEVE, I SEE.  Participants then use their written responses and translate them into movement phrases that describe who they are, culminating in their very own “I AM” solos. 

These solos become the launching pad for conversational duets with other participants and a large group dance orchestrated by New Dialect Artistic Director Banning Bouldin that explores recognition and appreciation of our many differences and similarities through movement.

This movement exploration will culminate in a performance by the dancers of New Dialect.