Magazine article Dance Magazine

Bridging Cultures & Campuses

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Bridging Cultures & Campuses

Article excerpt

"Maybe you guys should take your socks off, if you're going to do this full-out. I just don't want you to slip and fall." It's a Thursday night at the Ailey studios in midtown Manhattan, and Joanna Poz-Molesky, a senior in the Ailey/Fordham BFA program, is overseeing a rehearsal for Juntos (meaning "together" in Spanish), the community outreach group she founded in 2008. Her tone couldn't be more easygoing, but beneath her low-key demeanor is the drive it has taken to rally a group of college students, raise thousands of dollars, and make Juntos a reality.

"Joanna is a sweet, quiet, polite young woman who you don't realize has this steel inside of her," says Ana Marie Forsythe, Poz-Molesky's advisor in the dance program (and this month's "Teacher's Wisdom"; see p. 182). "When she first approached me about this project, full of ambition, it seemed like something she might be able to do 5 or 10 years from now. But she really pulled it off."

In March, Poz-Molesky will lead eight dancers from three New York conservatories--Ailey/Fordham, Juilliard, and SUNY Purchase--on Juntos' second international excursion: a weeklong trip to Guatemala, where they plan to teach at a school in the city of Quetzaltenango and perform in several nearby towns. During their first trip--a two-week tour of central Mexico last August--a group of 14 led workshops at two orphanages and a folkloric dance camp; performed their student-directed, student-choreographed show in all kinds of venues, from a retirement home to a public plaza to more conventional theaters; and studied with the contemporary company A Poc A Poc in Mexico City. This was only after raising $20,000, a grassroots effort involving garage sales, car washes, and benefit concerts.

Poz-Molesky has a track-record for spearheading large-scale projects with a resourcefulness beyond her years. …

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