Ballet After Dark: A Story of Resilience After Sexual Trauma
Helping Women of Color Heal Globally
March 05, 2017 at 6:34 am
My name is Tyde-Courtney Edwards and I am the founding director of Ballet After Dark. I am also a classically trained ballerina, art model, aspiring filmmaker, and a survivor of a brutal sexual assault.
I was born and raised in Baltimore City, where I graduated from the Baltimore School for the Arts, starting my 20-year dancing career. I am trained in various styles of dance, including classical, contemporary, ballet, pointe, modern, lyrical, jazz, tap and hip-hop. I've also trained with Debbie Allen Dance Academy and the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Peabody.
Dance is a language that is easily translated on a universal scale. Since the inception of the rhythmic art form, the movement has been used an expression as well as an alternative form of therapy.
Dance allows those without a voice to speak and to be heard.
Ballet After Dark is an international program that runs a filmed workshop series allowing women who are survivors of sexual and domestic assault to heal using the power of ballet. Women all over the world will have access to a network of survivors telling stories of how of how they reprocessed, rebuilt, and reclaimed their lives using empowering and confidence-boosting fundamentals. Taught during the five-day workshop, survivors will share stories of resilience and will build life-long support systems globally.
Why Is This Important?
Sexual assault is a horrible, shameful act of violence. Most survivors are left with embarrassment and guilt and often believe the act was brought upon them by something they've done. Too often women are left feeling helpless as they navigate through their pain and trauma.
Women often feel less than human and are left with a sense of unfamiliarity when it comes to their bodies. At Ballet After Dark, we strive to help women reconnect with their womanhood and sensuality by using ballet to help heal and reconnect to femininity.
Ballet After Dark is making ballet accessible to all women. While our workshops are open to women of all ethnicities, our goal is to partner with organizations within the African Diaspora who may be unfamiliar with ballet altogether. We educate women of color about the history of ballet and the benefits of experiencing the classical art form.
The vision is to be an internationally filmed program that brings dance fitness workshops to women who have had traumatic experiences and difficulties and are seeking alternative ways to heal. The program is geared towards women reprocessing, rebuilding and reclaiming their lives at any level of trauma. We want our women to comfortably regain their womanhood following an assault. Women should be able to gradually talk openly about reclaiming their sensuality and sexuality.
We request your support in our efforts to bring these much needed empowering workshops to women's shelters throughout the world. We want to build longstanding relationships with women who successfully complete workshops and eventually provide them with the necessary training to facilitate their own workshops.
The countries this particular series will focus on are Jamaica, Barbados, Belize, Bahamas, and Kenya. We plan to extend our program to Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico to include as many survivors as possible. A list of the organizations we hope to work with are listed below:
Jamaica- Woman's Inc, Kingston
Barbados- Women of Purpose
Belize- Haven House
The Bahamas Crisis Center
Kenya- Agatha Amani House
You can also contact me here: