As we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month, CLEO TV is recognizing change-makers!
We shine a light on Black women who have broken down barriers to excel against the odds in their fields, and whose actions have made profound and lasting impacts on American culture.
Join us for the entire month of March as we reveal some of our own favorite Black women, who are making change!
This spotlight is on: Angela Blocker-Loyd.
Detroit native, Angela Blocker-Loyd is a national award-winning performer and owner of Studio Detroit Dance Centerand co-owner of Dream Detroit Skating Academy.
Blocker-Loyd began dancing at the tender age of four and began her career as a respected dance instructor at the age of 15, after attending Wendy’s School of Dance, Freedom Dance Expressions, and Fem Fatale Dance Studio in Detroit.
As her resume grew, Blocker-Loyd went on tour with Broadway plays, such as Pride & Joy the Marvin Gaye Story. And has worked alongside Ginuwine, Savion Glover, Debbie Allen and the late Aretha Franklin.
What led her to give back to her community?
At the age of 9, Blocker-Loyd was one of the youngest skaters at the time at the Berkley Ice Arena and Recreation Center, so another young skater named Candice Tamakloe volunteered to mentor her.
Tamakloe and Blocker-Loyd were the only few African-American figure skaters at Berkley Ice Arena, and years later, they decided to create Detroit’s first affordable all-female-figure skating academy called Dream Detroit Skating Academy.
The Dream Detroit Skating Academy is Michigan’s only Black-owned figure skating club. DDSA seeks to make figure skating accessible to those who have never done it before but are interested.
The Detroit Figure Skating Academy was founded to provide affordable and accessible figure skating lessons to low-income youths in the city. The academy offers group and private figure skating lessons to children ages four and up, with skill-building opportunities ranging from “Learn to Skate” classes to competitive and ice show performances.
What motivates Angela to inspire the youth?
Despite working with notable celebrities, Angela finds time to give back to the communities she visits by effectively organizing a variety of local performing arts initiatives.
Her award-winning dancing studio, Studio Detroit Dance Center, in Hazel Park, MI, is, however, her greatest source of pride. Angela teaches and performs in Atlanta when she is not in Detroit. She provides her pupils with possibilities for travel, competition, philanthropy, scholarship, and employment through these endeavors, while also encouraging them to explore the arts and achieve their ambitions.
She lives by the motto “either find a way or make one,” which she instills in all her students.
Angela keeps this slogan dear to her heart as she embarks on new ventures to uplift Black and Brown children. As well as making sure that she brings the representation of Black women into the world.
“I support Black women. I’m proud to be a Black woman. And if I die, and came back into another life I would still want to be a Black woman, and still want to be a change-maker,” she exclaimed.
Check out Angela’s story, and let us know how you are making change!