Outreach: Courtney Harris of Step Ahead

Step Ahead, Joy of Motion Dance Center’s free summer dance training and job skills program for DC teens, is in full swing. Our 50 participants have taken a variety of dance classes including ballet, jazz, Afro-jazz, contemporary African and West African. They also recently took an acting workshop, as well as a conflict resolution workshop facilitated by Dance 4 Peace. Although many of this year’s teens are new to the program, some like Courtney Harris have previously participated in Step Ahead:

As a two-year Step Ahead participant, I can truly say my experience with this program has been amazing. This program has strengthened me physically by allowing me to participate in several dance genres. These dance styles encourage individuals to move outside of their comfort zone and push themselves further. The numerous workshops that I was involved in have allowed me to grow mentally as well. Being able to participate in workshops with outstanding artists such as Anique Sahara and Jamile McGee has shown me no dream is too big to achieve, just work hard. Workshops such as money management, nutrition and even conflict resolution have prepared me for the future by giving me solutions on how to handle different situations and create a better life for myself! I am currently a sophomore at Elon University of Elon, NC where I study psychology and dance. I plan to begin a career in Dance Therapy. The passion that I have for dance and helping individuals allowed me to choose a career that is best for the common good and myself. Due to my participation with Step Ahead, I know I can reach my dream!