Have you guys ever been to a performance by the Dance Theatre Harlem? If not, find their tour and book tickets now because they are breathtaking. Their choreography is unparalleled in its soul and passion. I had the opportunity to see them perform and take a couple master classes with them while attending Tulane, and they are memories I will never forget.
Dance Theatre Harlem is unique in that is truly a community organization, providing opportunities and dance training. A vital part of their mission statement is to provide a company of multicultural performers which I think makes their dynamic that much more powerful.
If you need any more convincing about what an incredible company they are, watch this beautiful video put together by DTH.
A couple weeks ago I received an e-mail through my involvement with The Mission List from a fellow member. She reached out to share that Dance Theatre Harlem is up for an Aetna Health grant which would provide funds to strengthen their life-changing programs. She had the following to share:
I don’t know if I ever shared with you how ballet education has shaped my life. Even though I never became a professional dancer, the discipline and ability to focus that I developed over those many years continue to benefit me every day.”
These brief words resonated so strongly with me. I started dancing at age 3 and continued pretty much until I graduated college at age 23. I was never good enough to be a professional, but I was a serious part of the Newcomb dance company and it was always the thing I was most passionate about. Looking back, I would have ditched soccer, volleyball, and girl scouts to really throw myself 110% into my dance community.
Everyone has their emotional and creative outlet, and for me dance really provided that during my childhood. There is almost a cathartic power to conveying your expression through movement. Also, importantly, it gave me a defined sense of self and awareness which I think made those awful teenage years much better. Although I still struggled with self esteem issues, I think I had a unique body awareness that has carried with me to this day.
Dance is such a powerful way for young people to explore their passion and strength. It made a difference in my life and I would love to see it make a difference in many others. If you have a moment to share your support, please head over and do so. The Aetna grant competition ends on October 14.