When I reflect on some of my most transformative performances, I think about Biba Bell's Arch (2016). During my college training at Wayne State University, it was my first experience with modern dance. When reflecting on my journey, emotions about my foot condition comes up.
I was born with club feet. I have extremely tight Achilles and deformity in my right foot (collapsed arch, etc) that has limited my physical abilities, and is beyond my control. I have never been able to go into a full releve in my right foot, I may not ever be able to. Dance is my life calling, and couldn't imagine doing anything else. So this has been an ongoing obstacle that I am constantly running into. I have been training/dancing over 5 years, and my biggest fear when entering dance formally / officially at the age of 18 is being accused of being lazy. I also didn't want to use my foot as an excuse. So I never voiced my disability to my instructors fully, I instead bottled up my frustration. I have been continuously balancing when I need to "push" and when I need to be pragmatic in the way I handle my setbacks, that is healthy and not harmful. It was (and sometimes still is), a continuous feeding into my insecurities, but I am finally learning to say: "This is the body I have, and this is what I can offer. Not everyone is going to like it or appreciate me or my dance. No, I won't be perfect at everything. But I am an accomplished performer & teaching artist with something to give."
I was hired as a faculty member of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Thank you, Rachel Miller, for your expertise, awesomeness, and offering this opportunity.
I am going to be a third-year candidate and can potentially receive my certification in the Dunham Technique in the near future. (Wow that went by so fast). Deep thank you to Institute for Dunham Technique Certification for giving me a deep understanding of my pedagogy and artistry. Thank you Penelope Godboldo for your ongoing mentorship and showing love in the most powerful way: holding me accountable & continuously holding high expectations for me, this has allowed me to advance quickly & holistically.
Deep thank you to Uncle Alton & Aunt Nikki for hosting me during both of the years at this seminar. Thank you Nona for gifting me my first-year tuition at the seminar as my graduation gift. (I wanted more schooling as a gift for graduating haha)
I have received a fellowship to participate in ImPulsTanz - Vienna International Dance Festival. This is the FIRST time this black boy has EVER been to Europe. It seems like it was just yesterday I was exposed to classical and postmodern dance. NOW IM GOING TO DANCE IN VIENNA YALL!!!! Thank you so much Biba Bell. Your advice, guidance, and mentorship has been beyond helpful in my journey. Two weeks are covered in my fellowship, the last week will be covered by me. If you wish to help in any way you can, here is my
cash app: $sani166
I usually feel weird about asking for money, but my mission is to be of service within whatever dance community I'm engaging with: this will not be possible without financial backing and investment in my professional development. I have enjoyed hosting performances, teaching students of all ages, and giving what I have to offer to the community. For me to continue my work, I'm gonna need some help with this next stage in my self development. If you are in the mood to support an artist tryna make some moves, know that $20 will go a long way! I will send my donors vids and pics of my trip! (If you can't donate please share <3 ) ?(
I submitted "Living without a Red Cape" for this opportunity: Allison Ford, Joy Elizabeth Morris, Kenneth Johnson, Kayla Cummins, Hannah Marie Block, Samara Woolfolk, and Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. Thank you for bringing my work to life. (Will send the video of it soon)
Thank you Education for the Arts, Wellspring/Cori Terry & Dancers and Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo for your ongoing support in my journey.