Throughout his career, Richmond Barthé was interested in the movement and stance of the body. He studied the Martha Graham technique of dance in an effort to more fully understand the impact of gestures and pose while creating his sculptures. After completing his studies at the Art Institute of Chicago, Barthé moved to Harlem where he initially began his career as a painter. He soon transitioned into sculpture with the hope of transforming the three-dimensional aspects of his painted works. Inspired by a long-standing interest in Greek and Roman art and mythology and living in Harlem as the Harlem Renaissnace unfolded, Barthé created sculpture that engaged and celebrated the beauty of the black male body. Head of a Dancer encapsulates this focus, presenting an elegant, grounded form.