Dance as therapy. Dance as a coping mechanism and a healing process. Though Shanae Jordan wouldn’t have called it any of those things until recently, she used dance to get her through one of the darkest times in her life. “My mom died from lupus when I was 13, and I started dancing just to help me get through it. And then I just fell in love with movement, and decided that dancing was going to be my life.”
When photographed for this story, Shanae was exiting a dance class and drenched in sweat. “My teacher in that class is Angela Jordan, and she works us hard. I had her for my first African Dance class, and it was difficult, but it was also the best class ever. Mind-blowing!” says Shanae. “But if it’s your passion, believe me, you will go to any length to be the best at it.”
Shanae reports, “Oh! I’ve seen so many positive changes in myself since coming to SMC. I have so much more confidence in my dancing. And because I have to do so many sorts of things at this college, it’s given me a bit more confidence in other areas of my life, as well.”
It’s Shanae’s goal to “transfer to UCLA, because they have a great dance program there. And the transfer rate from SMC is the best. But it’s my ultimate goal to have my own dance company and be doing my own choreography, and to continue to evolve as an artist.” When asked about the significance of the large heart pendant she wears around her neck, Shanae grew quite pensive. “My dad gave me this, and he is a great father. He was always there for me when Mom got sick. And I know he feels proud of the direction my life has taken me now.”
Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Profiles Archive.