Hi everyone! I wanted to do something for social justice in a way that aligned with my passions for dance/fitness and food, so I’m excited to share that I’ve made a donation-based virtual dance class! This video is my choreography that I teach in the class.
I recorded myself teaching a musical theatre dance class to “Another Day of Sun” from La La Land. In the class, I break down all my choreo; no dance experience needed!
Donations go to either STEM From Dance or The Okra Project (see descriptions at the end of this post or check out their pages). Together they encompass my interests in making dance, science, and healthy food accessible.
Movement and joy are crucial for mental health, especially now. You can take this class with friends/family, or outside with social distancing for a true day of sun and fun! The class is pre-recorded, so take it on your own time. The video is 70 minutes long, because I wanted to make it accessible to all levels so I made sure to go through each movement in detail; feel free to replay or skip sections as needed.
How it works: Donate a $5 minimum (please consider donating more if you’re able) to either STEM From Dance or The Okra Project. Send me a screenshot of your receipt and your Google email - you can message me on Instagram or send me an email. I’ll share the video and song with you. If you are Black and want to take class, contact me and I’ll send you the link for free. I hope this provides a space for your emotional health and to find some healing through art.
Please don’t share the class video with others; the goal is to raise money for these causes. But, please share this post with others and encourage them to donate and take the class! I’d love to see a video of you doing the dance, so please tag me on social media or send it to me! I hope you have fun!
Although this song is written about pursuing the Hollywood dream, the message can apply more broadly to pursuing our goals. And I hope that one of everyone’s goals is building an inclusive society! One step you can do is taking this dance class; you will be helping empower marginalized communities in need of academic, career, and healthy eating opportunities.
Note: I choreographed this dance much earlier in quarantine and chose a fun and upbeat song. I know La La Land is not a diverse movie, but if you like this dance class and are interested in a future donation dance class by me to a song by a BIPOC artist, I would love suggestions.
SFD works to increase diversity in the STEM field through by using community dance programs to empower, educate, and encourage girls of color to pursue access to a STEM education. I think this is so innovative and is really an organization that aligns with my interests, as a dancer, Chemistry major, and future doctor. Both science and dance/arts education can be so empowering and shape one’s character, skills, and opportunities.
SFD was founded in 2012 by Yamilée Toussaint Beach, a dancer who studied engineering in college (she also went to college in the Boston area, at MIT!). I was very excited to discover this organization, as I know have grown and learned a great deal from studying both dance and science throughout my life. Dance and science can have unexpected parallels and teach similar lessons in strength and perseverance, being flexible and open-minded, and approaching problems from new perspectives.
The Okra Project provides home-cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals to Black Trans people experiencing food insecurity. This community has a very high rate of poverty and unemployment, so it is challenging for them to access healthy and consistent meals. Meals are either delivered in community spaces or cooked in their homes by Black Trans chefs. The Okra Project also builds community and connection by providing free opportunities for Black Trans people to attend art and theatre shows, including a chef-prepared meal with the ticket.