We are delighted to announce a new weekly series! Each week we will be sharing the stories of some our amazing company performers. We are so excited to share why these wonderful individuals choose to be active participants in the Esperanza Dance Project. 💜
Follow us on instagram for the weekly feature, where we will be highlighting each dancer with a short video. The videos are made by the dancers themselves, utilizing their own space as we work remotely as a company during the pandemic. This series is truly powerful because the dancers are all very unique and inspiring individuals, who actively engage in their communities to advocate for the end of sexual violence and sexual abuse, participate in a peer advocate training, facilitate meaningful discussions with peers, and dedicate at least 6 hours weekly to the Project. We are so grateful for all the members our team, and hope to introduce some of them here.
EDP’s performers and non-performing interns are between the ages of 14-30, of diverse backgrounds, artistic training, ethnicities, narratives, genders and sexual orientations and our audiences consist of youth and adults from diverse communities. Our young performers are a resource we have built right into our organization. They are reached out to on a regular basis to evaluate and reevaluate our curriculum. As youth they are truly experts in what youth relate to and connect with. Their feedback is extremely valuable to our planning and decision making.
Introducing Mary Spitzer!
Video caption: "My name is Mary Spitzer, and I'm a part of the Esperanza Dance Project because dance has always been a way for me to tell a story and to express myself. And the ability to take this love of mine, this passion of mine, and put it to a good purpose and a good cause has been just a really incredible experience."
Thank you Mary, for helping us to spread a message of hope and awareness as we eradicate the stigma, secrecy and shame associated with surviving childhood sexual violence. Your strength, bravery and creativity is an inspiration. 💜💜💜
And now, we introduce Pancho Chaparro!
Video Caption: "My name is Pancho Chaparro and I am a dancer with the Esperanza Dance Project. To be a part of Esperanza means not being afraid to speak up in the midst of silence. To speak out against the unspoken wrongdoings. To see the overlooked, and care for the uncared for. Using dance as our medium, Esperanza is brave enough to talk about what could be considered 'taboo' subjects. And being a part of Esperanza means to me that I should be brave enough to speak up too."
Pancho performs both as a dancer and as a narrator with the project. Thank you Pancho, for the dedication, thoughtfulness, and light you bring to Esperanza. 💜
Meet Samantha Transue!
Video caption: "My name is Samantha Transue and the most memorable part of EDP for me is being a peer advocate. It is truly powerful when a survivor discloses their story. It is beautiful to see a survivor feel safe and supported enough to confront those thoughts and emotions. I am so proud that we as a company create an empowering environment where there is no judgement. I love being someone a survivor can confide in, and trust.”
Thank you Sam, for helping us to spread a message of hope and awareness as we eradicate the stigma, secrecy and shame associated with surviving childhood sexual violence. Your honesty and dedication is part of why we keep going. 💜💜💜
Meet Grace Rhyne!
Video caption: “ I am a part of the EDP because it gives me the opportunity to take up space. I take up space with my body. I express my thoughts and feelings through movement, and I use this body to share my story.
Esperanza helps me to take up space in my community, sparking difficult conversations and hoping to heal the pain and erase the stigma surrounding sexual violence. I take up space so that others may know that they are not alone. I take up space so that survivors can take back their power.”
Thank you Grace, for joining us on this journey to advocate for survivors and change the conversations surrounding sexual violence and sexual assault. Together we can empower each other and make change in our community. 💜💜💜
Introducing Anita Totillo!
Video Caption: "Hi, my name is Anita and I am a dancer and a narrator for the Esperanza Dance Project. I am a member of this company because I feel like every where we perform we open up a space where people can talk about their experiences and emotions associated with the stigmatized issue of sexual assault. I believe that our community helps bring hope and support to an issue that at times feels completely hopeless."
Thank you Anita, for being such a wonderful light and powerful individual in the company. We are so grateful for amazing humans like Anita that help spread a message of hope and awareness. We couldn't do this without you. 💜