Fred Benjamin


Dancer ~ Choreographer

September 8, 1944  –  December 14, 2013 }

By Dale Ricardo Shields

Fred Benjamin was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1944. He began dancing at age four at the Elma Lewis’ School of Fine Arts in Roxbury, Massachusetts.  

When the MacArthur Foundation initiated its “Genius” grants, Ms. Lewis was among the first recipients, singled out as one of the foremost dance educators in a Black community.


When Mr. Benjamin moved to New York in 1962, she financed his ballet lessons. She also introduced him to Mr. Beatty, who became another important mentor and to whom he paid tribute in his choreography. Benjamin danced with dancer and choreographer Talley Beatty from 1963 until 1966 when the company closed.

Two years later, he started his own New York-based Fred Benjamin Dance Company, which existed, largely without funding, for twenty years. 



Dancer ~ Choreographer ~ Instructor 

Fred Benjamin Dance Company  

Mark P. Rubin, Fred Benjamin, Alfred Gallman, Cheryl Bell, Geneva Vivino, Thea Nerissa Barnes, Damon Pierce, Gregory Hinton, Linda James, Marilyn Banks, and Bruce Hawkins.

Established in 1968 

Marilyn Banks and Fred Benjamin



Fred Benjamin and Geneva Vivino “Double Solitude”