My name is Shawn-Lamere Williams and I am the director of Eleone Dance Unlimited (EDU), the official dance school of Eleone Dance Theatre. I started dancing at age 8y/o at the Williams M. Meredith school, which ultimately changed the direction of my life. As a child, I was diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), and constantly got into trouble at school and home. However, back then the Arts ( music, art, drama, and dance), were part of academic curriculum. Once focused and with the love of mentors, I was able to channel all that energy into something productive and from that I became a professional dancer. I've had the luxury of receiving multiple scholarships that allowed me to tour all over the world. I attended the Philadelphia Dance Company Training Program and was the recipient of merit scholarship at the Alvin Ailey American School of Dance. Additionally, I traveled and performed professionally with Eleone Dance Theatre, the Philadelphia Dance Company, Juba Contemporary Dance Company, Mark Scott, and the New Freedom Theater. Further, I have had the pleasure of performing for stellar artists such as, Patti Labelle, Cab Calloway, Grover Washington, Jr., and the Reverend Jesse Jackson. I was a featured dancer in Beloved, The Black Nativity, and Lazarus Unstoned. If not for scholarships and generous donations from people, I would not have been able to fulfill my dreams. My talents could have lead me to Broadway, but I choose to open a dance school which allows me to give back to children what was instilled in me and I live through them. Currently, my dance school has 225 enrolled students in the community. Aside from mentoring them, they are provided a positive and loving environment, professional dance training, discipline and direction, and are encouraged and rewarded for good grades. We encourage higher education such as going to college and to pursue dreams as professional dancers. Eleone Dance Unlimited is a safe haven for these children. My program keeps over 275 children off of the streets and in a safe environment weekly. Additionally, tuition cost is affordable to the children whose families often have financial difficulties and are disadvantage. Unfortunately, due to the gentrification it has become cumbersome to remain in our current dance home. Remaining here would increase our fees in order to pay our bills which is in clear opposition of our mission. Now we are task with relocating to house our current and future students, continuing to assist those who are unable to pay for extra curricular activity (due to the cuts in the school district), train dancers to become professional in spite of their circumstances, and finally, to give back what was freely given me. My motto is as follows: "I would rather see our kids shine brightly on stage, than on the corner in the dark." The Arts saves lives they saved mine. We are pleading for financial support in helping us reach our financial goal to secure a new building.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF ELEONE DANCE THEATRE, ELEONE CONNECTION, ELEONE DANCE INCORPORATED & ELEONE DANCE UNLIMITED-THE OFFICIAL SCHOOL OF ELEONE DANCE THEATRE.
1321 S. Juniper St. Phila., PA 19147
MAILING- ELEONE DANCE THEATRE P.O. BOX 54340, PHILA., PA 19105
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