Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dance as Empowerment:Choreographing Change in the Dance Community with Jennifer Edwards


Jennifer Edwards. Photo by Ajit Jagdale. 

To Jennifer Edwards, empowerment begins with truth, the hard kinds that force individuals to reexamine what, why, and how they do what they do. Empowerment involves taking stock of what is, not what was or what should be, and crafting a thoughtful plan to achieve success in the contemporary marketplace.

Like many young children, Edwards’ baby steps soon turned into expressive, cadenced movement. Her aunt saw potential and gave her parents money for Edwards to enroll in dance classes. Through her youth, she danced, gaining introduction to a variety of styles from ballet and modern to Tahitian and vaudeville. At 18, Edwards discovered she was pregnant. For several years, she attended community college and raised her son, dance situated on the back burner. She enjoyed biology and considered a career as a doctor or a geneticist, but ultimately decided the dance community would nourish her more as a mother. “I could bring my son to the studio or the theater, but I couldn’t bring him to the lab.”

Edwards refocused and...

To read the balance of my article, please visit The Dance Enthusiast.