Blanche Brown first began dancing as a 10 year old girl in Berkeley, California. She attended San Francisco State as a business major, and took dance classes there, but her true calling came to her at age 35, when Blanche returned to her first love of dance. She returned to SF State, studied all styles of dance she could, including ballet, tap, jazz, and folklore, while also dancing with the Wajumbe ethnic dance troupe. Blanche received her Bachelor’s degree in physical education, with a focus in dance, from San Francisco State in 1974. In 1988, Blanche formed the dance troupe Group Petit La Croix. Blanche created the troupe to fully express and visually explain the Haitian culture by combining western choreography and techniques with traditional Haitian dance and drumming. Blanche has since taught ethnic dance in the California University system from UCLA to Hayward, Sonoma, to Santa Cruz. Blanche has taught classes at Mills College, Santa Clara University, The Modern Dance Center, The Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, and at Third Wave Dance House in San Francisco for many years.
Over the years Blanche has been widely recognized for her contribution to the dance community. In 1977 she was the first dancer to be appointed to the San Francisco Arts Commission, and served from 1977-1981. In 1996 Blanche received the Artist Educator Award from the California Dance Educators Association. In 2003 she was President of the Board of World Arts West. And in 2008 Blanche received the Malonga Casquelourd Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Ethnic Dance and Music. Today, Blanche still teaches and challenges people from all walks of life at ODC in San Francisco, and is beyond pleased to be rejoining the World Arts West board. Blanche now lives in Oakland among her children, grandchildren, and a great grandson.