This past week, C.O.R.E Dance Academy was launch at Steve Sanders Academy in Cleveland, OH. A program that not only teaches young ladies dance techniques but also teaches them life lessons such as self-esteem and empowerment! Now since we introduced the program last week, we have to debut our wonderful and talented instructors as well. Mirica Stevens and LaQuatre Rhodes are the two talented instructors who not only have been dancing since birth but share a strong passion for helping our youth. These two amazing young women are not only the teachers in class but role models to the young ladies on a day to day basis!
TIme for you to meet LaQuatre Rhodes and Mricia Stevens!
How long have you been dancing?
LR:I have been dancing pretty much my entire life. I started when I was 5 years old.
MS:I first started dancing at the age of 10. I begged my mom to allow me to attend an after school program that offered ballet classes. There I met life long friends and discovered many of my unleashed and hidden talents. It came natural. From that age and on, I was always involved in dance classes- before school, in a performing arts school, and after school dance programs.
What first inspired you to express yourself through dance?
LR:I’m not really sure what first inspired me, it was as if I woke up one day and said “mommy I want to be a ballerina.” Since my mom was so supportive of any and every interest I expressed she signed me up immediately, and I’ve been in love with dance ever since. I guess it was just the gracefulness, poise, beauty, and giving emotions seen with every movement that made me fall in love with dancing.
MS:It was seeing a group of girls performing a tap routine on a sidewalk. It was three young girls dressed in shiny costumes tapping their hearts out. They appeared to be SO EXCITED to just perform and showcase all they had learn months prior in their dance class. It was then I knew I had to start class. It wanted to perform.
What are 3 life skills that you’ve learned through dance?
LR: Through dance I have learned discipline, endurance, and passion which are all essential qualities to being successful.
MS: Delayed gratification, creativity, and teamwork. I say delayed gratification because you have to keep reminding yourself to stay discipline to get to that end goal. That end goal could be a dance recital, college, or a doctorate. Dance teaches this skill. Secondly, Dance and creativity at times can be synonymous. Discovering new dance moves, incorporating ballet positions to fit that particular part of a song, or even sewing your own dance costumes all call for creativity. And thirdly, of course, it is teamwork. My opinion is that the best dance performances are not solos. Its a group effort that allows me to see the beauty of dancing.
Why is it important for young girls to tap into performing arts at a young age?
LR:Being involved with performing arts at a young age allows the development of expressiveness, creativity, and freedom to get caught up in the emotions of the heart which may not be feasible in other settings. It is the liberty of the performance arts that allows expression without limits and an avenue to channel any emotion or thoughts positively.
MS: Many young girls today are longing to be apart of something. It is important that whatever they get involved in is POSITIVE and meaningful. If children get involved in the performing arts at a young age it will truly bless the rest of their lives. I believe self- worth, self- discipline, and self-esteem can be cultivated through dance, drama, music, and visionary arts.
How has dance empowered you?
LR:Dance empowered me to be myself and to be confident in my abilities which inspired me to be focused, passionate, and steadfast in going after my life aspirations regardless of any obstacles along the way.
MS:I feel dance has equipped me with many life skills- creativity, discipline, tenacity, social, and communicative skills. Not to mention, dance has allowed me to have developed life long friendships with fellow dancers. Overall, dance has equipped me to open future doors that, before dance, I would have allowed to remain shut. Dance created a opportunity for me to reach empowerment.