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    The Power of Imagery: A dancer is promoting ballet in poor communities in the most inspiring way

    Tuesday, February 25, 2020
    Aesha Ash is a retired New York City Ballet dancer. During most of her time as a dancer, she was the only woman of color. 

    Growing up, Aesha remembers an image that really made an impression on her. It was an advertisement of a dancing woman of color  by the School of American Ballet.  It raised her spirits and she wanted to do that for others. 

    Aesha understands the importance of imagery. 

    If you go into any impoverished inner city, there is a bombardment of advertising that keeps kids from dreaming bigger. There’s no inspiration for the arts, especially dancing.  

     On the way to school, most of these kids see advertisements for pharmaceuticals, tobacco, fast food, and “sexy” girls in alcohol ads. 


    Kids are super impressionable.  The images they see should inspire them not  reinforce  that a “partying” lifestyle is completely normal and "cool" 

    It’s important to reshape beliefs at a young age when its much easier to dream bigger.   
     After some research on what it would take to advertise on billboards and buses in those areas, she realized it was quite expensive and out of her budget. She decided SHE would have to be the inspiring advertisement and set up the Swan Dream Project 

    The Swan Dream Project's  mission is to bring light into the darkest of inner cities inspiring  little girls and boys to dream a bigger. 

    Aesha uses her image and ballet background to take photos of herself in ethnically diverse areas. 

    The photos depict a beautiful contrast yet they  portray a powerful message. Beauty isn't reserved for a few. All races and socioeconomic backgrounds deserve a chance to spark a dream and have it become a reality.  

    Her photos can be purchased through her website.  100% of the profits go to low socioeconomics areas promoting the arts.  

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