Why We Celebrate Black History Month.
It is important that we recognize Black History Month as a celebration of achievements of African-Americans and the various role models that have paved the way. My dreams of becoming who I am today may otherwise be non-existent. It is because of influential leaders like Rosa Parks, Shirley Chisholm, and Mary Mcleod Bethune that give inspiration and power to women's voices and dreams across the nation.
Growing up as a young black dancer, I often felt a disconnect to my craft as the majority of the girls around me did not look like me. In the midst of dance class, competitions, and conventions it was a daunting task to find inspiration that I could relate to. My love for ballet and dance grew after I attended my first Alvin Ailey dance concert. It was then that I recognized the beauty and grace that flowed from professional dancers representing how rich the history in black performing arts is.
I imagined that my sister and I could rule the world like Williams Sisters ruled the tennis court. Perhaps even the next Debbie Allen and Phylicia Rashad, an iconic duo that would take over the theatrical world. These women along with many over phenomenal women should be celebrated every day.
Before I started my journey in auditioning for the world famous Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, I looked up to women like the Baker Sisters, two of the first African-American "American Sweethearts," and many other jewels that would follow their lead like my two inspirations –Jackie Bob and Jacie, former DCCs. I had the opportunity to dance alongside Jacie my first year as a DCC hopeful. I remember watching her dance to the great Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody." I dreamt of having the vibrancy she brought to the dance floor. Throughout my time as a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader, my hope is that I have had the same influence on someone else's life as these pioneers have influenced mine.
The pride I take in my heritage is boundless. The African-American culture is rich in originality, music, education, dance, and so much more. The bond I have created with other professional black dancers on my team has been uplifting. We truly share a sisterhood that only a few could understand. We represent unique stories that will go on and be celebrated for a lifetime.