Platinum Divaz and Gents dance teachers empower young women to become leaders
AURORA, Colorado – At Platinum Divaz and Gents in Aurora, longtime friends Stanisha Evans-Snellson and Chiniqua Jackson are at the heart of black girl magic.
“Everyone is like, ‘When are you going to have a girl?’ Oh, I’m 75, “Evans-Snellson said.
Women started coaching a boys’ soccer team in 2010, but about two years later they had a wake-up call.
âWe just didn’t like what boys were like. They never recognized girls and we were like, ‘We want something for girls. We want girls to feel important, âsaid Jackson.
This is how this team, this fraternity, was born.
âWe preach love for who you are,â Jackson said. “God was not wrong in creating you.”
For almost 10 years now, women have been teaching self-love and inclusion to their dancers while giving girls a healthy way to express themselves.
“No girl has to audition. So whoever shows up is part of the team,” Jackson’s mother Sara Vaughn said. “You have girls who come in with two left feet and when they leave you ask yourself, ‘Was that the one with two left feet?'”
But the biggest changes are happening off the dance floor. Ask Jazoni Johnson.
âI felt like people are going to talk about me because of my appearance,â Johnson said.
The 15-year-old was once embarrassed about her body, until Jackson offered some life-changing advice.
âShe said to me, ‘You know, just to always love me. Everyone will always have their own opinion of you, but that’s the way you look at yourself,â Johnson said.
It’s a feeling we’ve heard over and over again.
âIt’s not just about dancing and coming to train. You can come to their house for anything, like you need a ride, if you need a place to stay, if you need a place to stay. never did you just need to talk to someone, you can always come to them, âsaid dancer Taliyah Griffin.
Evans-Snellson and Jackson hate to imagine where these girls without dancing would be.
âWho knows what they would honestly do, who knows,â Evans-Snellson said.
For two women who have never had daughters, they prove that you don’t have to be related to be part of the family.
âIt’s just an overall blessing to be able to be that support system in the lives of children,â Jackson said.
âI’m so proud of them. When I see all the girls growing up and what they’ve done, proud of them,â Evans-Snellson said.
For more information on the dance company, visit his site here.
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