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.
0:04 Feels smarter than she did 40 years ago 0:25 As she gets older, her emotions come out 0:39 Much more solid and grounded now 1:02 She’s confident in herself no matter what 1:11 As a dancer, her body has more to say 1:40 Passionate about African-infused modern dance 2:02 Letting go of perceptions of what a dancer is 2:52 Found new ways of expressing with movement 3:33 Dance is her creative outlet