As she has aged, Joanna has discovered that she can express herself even more through dance. Or as Joanna says, “her body now has more to say.”
Watch the video to hear Joanna’s full story.
I'm Joanna. I'm going to be 65 in June next year.
I feel kind of life smarter than I did 40-ish years ago. And I feel like there's more of me inside that I want to bring out.
When I was in my 20s, I was closed and kind of dark and shaded. But as I got older, all this stuff just comes flying out of me, my emotions, my dance, my smile. I smile much more than I used to when I was younger.
I know what I want, so I'm much more solid, and I know who I am and I'm much more solid. In my youth, I would flow with whatever was going on in the moment and not really have a strong sense of who Joanna is. So I feel like I'm more grounded than I ever was.
However I show up, I'm confident about it.
No makeup, makeup. Bad hair day, good hair day.
I'm an African-inspired dancer. In my 20s and 30s, my body was a different dance body, but it had less to say. Now, a little muffin top here and a little something here. Can't kick my leg up as high but somehow I have more to say with my body than I did when I was younger.
I do modern that's infused with African dance. I'm very passionate about Africa. I've been there a few times. And the African culture and movement sort of guided my body, although I trained as a modern dancer. So I've been able to fuse the two of them.
I let go of my perceptions of what a dancer is. And I think that when I said, "Well, I can't jump that high anymore. I can't throw my leg up like that anymore. I can't do the backbend." Although, I did a pretty decent backbend in a dance piece that I was in not that long ago, but, you know, not going back as far. "But can't do this, can't do that."
And when I let go of my body not being able to do what I used to believe was dance, then I think I found another way of expressing through movement.
And so, that's where the inner stuff started coming out. And, you know, I've got a few injuries along the way. So pulled Achilles tendons make you not wanna jump anymore.
So instead of giving up dance, I had to find another way to express myself through my body. So that was a big thing. And I think that I was...had a moment where, you know, "Oh, well, I'll do something else," but dance is gonna always be there.
I'm gonna find a way to move and to create art and create some kind of legacy or piece through movement. That's my creative outlet.
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