• SkunkWorks Dance

Transformation Tuesday: Jessica Ho

#transformationtuesdaySW This week's dancer story comes from New York City's Jessica Ho! Jessica is currently a professional salsa dancer and aerialist, among her many other talents. Hear about a few special ways dance has played in part in transforming her life.

" My name is Jessica Ho and I am a movement artist in New York City. I can’t even begin to express all the ways in which dance has transformed my life so I will try to mention just a couple that are more tangible to me.

First of all, dance gives me embodied empathy. I am a multidisciplinary artist who enjoys learning different genres of dance from different cultures. When I learn a genre of dance that belongs to a culture different from my own, I have to humble myself and honor the culture/traditions before I submit my body to the learning of those traditions. I allow myself to embody and to see just a flicker of what it is like to hold those traditions with pride and joy. I have often been asked by the people of that culture: “Why do you like our music/dance?” It is as if to say that it is fascinating for someone who is an outsider to be genuinely interested in celebrating a culture different from their own. It grows a very unique bond between myself and others. I am often accepted into circles that I would otherwise not be welcomed in. I think this is especially crucial in the world we live in today where empathy is lacking.

I am also a dance teacher at Senior Citizens Centers. Here at these centers, my perspective on life has changed. I’ve learnt that dance and movement is so much more of a gift than we sometimes realize. For some of these Seniors, coming to the center to dance once a week is the only thing that they look forward to each week which brings them immense joy. They are taken back to the days of their youth when they had dance parties and were able to move and be free. Others tell me that the movement class is the only thing that enables them to be pain-free and mobile enough to walk or use their arm/fingers/leg etc. I tailor this class in a way that enables them to participate even if some aren’t able to stand for more than a few minutes.

I feel truly blessed to have this gift of dance and to be able to share it to the world whether it is through my performance onstage or through teaching. "

-Jessica Ho

Do you have a story about how dance has transformed your life or a part of your life? We want to hear it! Submit your story (written or in video form) and 3-10 dance / head shots to us at blog@skunkworksdance.com! All photos must have photo credit, and all videos are subject to editing from the SkunkWorks Dance social media team.

Skunk Blog Extras! See more of Jessica's dance journey:

Professional photos by: Bob Morrison

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