Ballet is not an African American art form but thanks to Misty Copeland, Alvin Ailey and Debbie Allen just to name a few, African American boys and girls has been killing the ballet scene; just like Aesha Ash.
Aesha Ash pictures of her in her tutu in urban neighborhoods took the internet by a storm. It is very unlikely to see an African American ballet dancer in her whole ballet uniform walking around urban areas talking to young girls and people in the community. Here is the message behind the beautiful photos…
Aesha launched the Swans Dreams Project in 2011 who’s mission is to convey the message that beauty and talent are not constrained by race or socio-economic status. Aesha wants our youth to know that they are not limited by stereotypes nor by their environment but only by their dreams.
Aesha grew up in Rochester, New York and had a great career at NYCB, Béjart’s Ballet Lausanne and LINES, the January 2006 Dance Magazinecover star. Even though she is no longer performing she is determined to use her ballet background to change the stereotypes of people for color especially young girls and women.
Aesha is now a mother of two in San Jose, California and is teaching a free after-school ballet class at her daughter’s public school. “I recently taught at Girls Inc. in Oakland, and one of the little black girls said, ‘Are you the ballet teacher?’ She just stood there, staring at me with her mouth open, like a unicorn had just walked into the room,” Ash says. “You never know the impact you can have just by being a presence.”
Please support and check out The Swans Dreams Project at swandreamproject.org the sales and proceeds goes to other organizations that are working to expand ballet in diverse communities.