Black History Month honors the courage and accomplishments of icons like the late Martin Luther King Jr., but the month is also a time to celebrate the present and future.

The dance world has long had legendary black influencers — from popular celebrities, like the ultimate singer-dancer James Brown, to choreographers like Katherine Dunham, whose technique helped shape modern dance in America. As opportunity and inclusiveness has expanded, diversity in dance has grown and had a significant impact on the art form.

Click through to see some current dancers of color, like Dance Theater of Harlem's Ingrid Silva above, who are shaping the future.

9. Lil Buck


Charles 'Lil Buck' Riley is a 28-year-old performer known for "jookin," a style also called "Memphis jookin" that he perfected living in Tennessee. His virtuoso ability won him the attention of the dance establishment and landed him gigs with Madonna, Ellen DeGeneres and on Apple's AirPods commercial. Follow him @lilbuckdalegend.

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