I am an artist. It is my responsibility to create space and experience. I am an educator, I have a role to inform and teach. Words and actions require the utmost care and consideration. We need to create room for voices that are continually overshadowed and to create experiences that inspire hope for the future.

As a 27-year-old woman, I fall into a spectrum of voices that need to be heard, alongside many others who have been quieted.  Some voices are given a platform beyond mine, but many more have fewer opportunities.

I have an audience as a choreographer. As an educator, I have students. As a citizen, I am a part of the many voices that are striving for equality. I am opening my eyes and heart to what I cannot see, educating myself, striving to be a part of change. I acknowledge my responsibility as a community leader, educator and artist to help join those who are trying to make our country a place we can be proud of.

I do not fully know my family’s American story, but I do know my personal story. I know my relationship to the whole, how it’s evolving and how I can play a part in my country. My work is my contribution. I am purposeful with my work and recognize how it is contextualized. I want to positively influence my community and I want to help people.

The lineage of American artists before me, whom I admire greatly, pioneered a cultural landscape and had an incredible impact on shaping this country. Artists define how people see this place. As an American female choreographer, I too am defining and influencing those perceptions. I have a say and what I create has weight. Understanding this power holds me accountable to my community, my country, and my art.