Angela Bowen, an influential dancer, dance teacher and activist, passed away last week at the age of 82 from Alzheimer’s disease.
Early in her career, Bowen toured with the Jazz Train, a musical revue about black American popular music and dance. Bowen later co-founded the Bowen/Peters School of Dance in New Haven with her then-husband Ken Peters, where she taught primarily poor children—including Tony-winning performer LaChanze—and often for free.
In the 1980s Bowen came out as a lesbian, and became a powerful advocate for the LGBTQ community as well as against racism and sexism, speaking at rallies and writing articles for various publications.
She eventually earned master’s and doctoral degrees at Clark University and taught English and women’s studies at California State University, Long Beach.
We send our condolences to Bowen’s family and friends.