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Seattle dancer David Rue won't let small-minded thinkers affect his joy

David Rue is the public programs director at Seattle Art Museum, and a contemporary dancer.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer
David Rue is the public programs coordinator at Seattle Art Museum, and a contemporary dancer.

Dancer David Rue performs in "Black Bois" this weekend at On the Boards. Rue and his family moved to the U.S. more than two decades ago as refugees from the Liberian civil war. 

When I first moved to the United States it was the early 90s, the Fugees had just come out and I was in New York, so I grew up thinking being a refugee was the coolest thing in the world. They made it so dope.

I had such a sense of pride in being a West African person, a Liberian person. And I think that strength lies in wearing that as a shield of armor, never wavering, with that kind of strength because it empowers me, it’s made me who I am, it’s made me who I’m going to be.

My older brother was in a production of "Into the Woods." He was in 6th grade or something like that, but it was the first time I saw the curtain rise to expose this world of the imagination and I was like, "Oh my god! This is what I should be doing! This is it!'

Being here right now is a really exciting time because I think there’s a lot of hunger for young artists of color to present work, to create work, to have their voices be heard. And it really just feels like its own little kind of renaissance.

I’m not going to let somebody else’s small-minded method of thinking affect my joy, or affect my happiness or affect my smile. Because they don’t have that kind of power over me. And that’s bad for the skin and you know I love to moisturize! 

[asset-images[{"caption": "David Rue poses for a portrait at the Seattle Art Museum on Monday, April 9, 2018, in Seattle.", "fid": "144171", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201804/MF_DavidRue01.jpg", "attribution": "Credit KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer "}]]David Rue appears in the cast of "Black Bois," April 26-29 at On the Boards.