I create dance experiences about the human condition for young audiences by listening to their perspective on those conditions. I engage youth in the dance making process in such a way that they feel “heard.” I’m involved in raising the dance literacy rate of youth via teaching, creating, and performing with and for them. Using the acts of creating, performing, evaluating and making connections helps to develop the next generation by opening new possibilities for them; mentoring youth involved in those activities instills skills that may become career paths. I’ve witnessed adults’ perceptions of what youth is capable of change via these activities.
As a younger African American, I realized the importance of seeing people in performance who looked like me doing something at a high level (Savion Glover, Ronald K Brown, Garth Fagan, etc.) and getting the opportunity for them to share with me the passion they had themselves as youth that they took into adulthood. They laid a foundation (track) for me to follow showing me how to pursue dance as a legitimate career for a male in society. As a professional performer and creator now, I am aware of my unique vantage point and opportunity. Therefore, it is particularly important to me to share my work at a high skill level for youth of color.