Sharing the struggles and celebrating the triumphs of being African American in the ballet world and beyond.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Time for Celebration

"God gives nothing to those who keep their arms crossed." -African Proverb


Wow! It has been way too long since the last post.  I have learned so many wonderful things since the start of this project, but like most new endeavors, a tremendous amount of personal investment is required. Fortunately, as a dancer I am no stranger to hard work. I love creative opportunities and have always followed my passion with tireless effort.

One new exciting piece of news is the announcement of a new Etsy shop. Yay! I have continued looking for novel and exciting ways to promote this project, as well as locate space to showcase signed fine art prints ( printed on high quality ink jet printers with archival inks, mounted and frame ready). Etsy is a fantastic forum for my project and I am currently debuting some exciting new items.


In honor of Black History Month, I would like to offer all of my blog readers and Facebook followers a 10% discount on all items purchased in my Etsy shop for the entire month of February. It is my small way of saying thank you!

**Make sure to enter coupon code BHM2012 when checking out to claim your discount**

Photography: Paul D. Van Hoy II 

I have always loved vintage and spent many days scouring over antique shops looking for the best performance earrings - changing make-up, hair and jewelry was one small way to keep repeated ballet's fresh and new. A small trick, but helped to keep the experience new. Adding some vintage items to the shop will be not only a pleasure for me, but will allow me to continue to share the inspirational beauty of ballet with all of you.
I have always loved creating things, and now with the start of this project and the very real need to raise funds for its implementation, I have found a great home on Etsy. Etsy combines both the creative dimension of this project with the fundraising mechanism necessary to meet financing requirements. This project requires generous support in order to spread the message of hope and inspiration to young women everywhere.

One of the goals of this project is to share inspirational images in a non-exclusive format and at a price that is affordable for everyone. Therefore, I have included greeting cards that are both inspired by the message of The Swan Dreams Project and quite inexpensive. Please stop by, say hello, choose a favorite item or leave a suggestion of something you would like to see. My ears and heart are open!

I need all of your help to keep moving this project forward, and in return I hope to leave you with creative beauty and inspiration.


  1. Ms. Ash,

    Do you follow people, I always write about you on my blog and I am constantly checking yours. Please.

    Thanks in advance

  2. Hello Kay,

    I will absolutely check out your blog.


  3. Ms. Ash,

    I greatly enjoyed your performances with NYCB. As a former "black swan", it made me very proud. What advice would you have for Michaela DePrince? She's the young African dancer featured in the film First Position. She's an amazing talent, but well aware that her very dark skin color works against her.

  4. Hello ZP,

    Thank you for your kind words and I am happy to hear that my presence at NYCB made you feel proud. It is one of the very reasons why I fought so hard there.

    My advice to Michaela would be to continue the attitude and strength that she is exuding at the moment. I have interviewed her for this blog as well as watched a few tv interviews where she has spoken. I think she has a lovely dancer with a good head on her shoulders and is very intelligent. She not only acknowledges that she is a minority in the field but the added challenges of having darker skin. I think her presence in the ballet world is extremely important. I pray she continues to remind herself that the attitude and opinions of others do not define who she is. This I believe is key and the hardest to hold on to. I deeply wish all the best and hope we will see a lot more of her!