College Media Network - Search the largest news resource for college students by college students

Dance alumni partners with YMCA

Staff Writer

Published: Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Updated: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 12:09


‘A Journey to Become’ is the title of Royal Expression’s Dance Studio’s last production, but also is the perfect description of this up-and-coming dance company. Royal Expressions is what founding director and dance instructor Princess Howell calls a “ten-year dream in the making.” After ten years, Howell never gave up on her dream despite hitches such as lacking funds, losing instructors, the typical challenges of an entrepreneur and not to mention the declining economy.

With all odds seemingly against Howell, she held on to her belief that what she was doing mattered too much to throw in the towel. Finally, this year things have seemed to take a turn around when Howell met YWCA’s Executive Director, Lindy Garnette. Howell entered the YWCA looking for a space to rent for her classes, but Garnette saw an opportunity to partner YWCA and Royal Expressions to work toward their shared goal of changing lives through children and the community.

 Howell elaborates, “I hope to introduce students to dance as a fun activity that I hope they will eventually develop a passion for and maybe even consider it as a career option.  Artists, including dancers, tend to stay out of trouble because their focus is on developing their craft and they generally will not let things tear them from that passion.  The classes offered at the YWCA do have tuition fees. However, we are in the process of developing a scholarship program for children who may not be able to afford dance classes, but have a natural talent that can be developed.” Partnering with the YWCA creates not only opportunity for Royal Expressions, but for both for YWCA and the children! “[This] is a perfect example of how community organizations can put their strengths and resources together to create exciting programs for the community” notes Howell.

With things finally falling into place, Howell offers some words of advice for students of her alma mater, UNCG, “I can honestly say that the UNCG Dance department is great for preparing us to be “Prime Movers” (the name of our dance awareness group on campus). They not only give you an opportunity to learn different dance technique and styles from teachers with experience in the field, but students also learn how to speak about dance passionately and intellectually.”

Whether it’s your first or last semester, college students have wondered if certain classes are really necessary. Howell’s words can be applied to any curriculum when she speaks of her instructor Sue Stinson’s courses. “Sue Stinson has a sure-fire dance education program that prepares you for teaching dance.  I still use things I learned from her classes and am thankful that she was my teacher.  It is funny because sometimes her assignments just seemed ridiculous and pointless and those very ones were necessary.”

Howell credits this to why she became passionate and a teacher. “When you graduate from dance school [you] understand that the dance department is creating more than just dancers [but] also creating dance enthusiasts, dance advocates, dance educators, dance administrators, dance critics, dance teachers and so much more you can do with your degree.” For more information on Royal Expressions you can check out or contact Princess Howell directly via email at: [email protected].

Recommended: Articles that may interest you

Log In