Teyana Cope – Desire to Inspire

I’m Teyana, I’m a dance tutor and a young people’s project coordinator for Community Association for West Hampstead in Northwest London. In this role I organise projects for young people, I run a dance club, a homework and coursework club for young people at the community centre. I also facilitate discussions about other activities young people can take part. I’ve been dancing all my life.

I used to perform at Mas Camps, I also used to take part in Notting Hill Carnival, I have also danced at community events and school performance. I started teaching dance to children in Sept 2015 aged 6 – 10 and a year later I’ve been teaching children 11 – 16 in the same area.

I’ve always love dancing it’s my own way of expressing myself and getting rid of stress, I started teaching because I love to work with young people so it was an opportunity for me to combine my passions. I focus on expressive dance as it allows you to tell a story and express yourself. Young people these days don’t a chance to get to talk about their feelings, so I think that using dance to do this is very important.

At first one of my students attending my classes, she was very shy and reserved but after speaking with her on a one to one basis I found out that she had a breakdown in communication with her mother whilst. I spoke to her and was able to relate to her openly and honestly about my own experiences as a young woman which led to her confiding in me and take a more active role in class. I encouraged her to take a lead in opening the Christmas show which she rejected at first, but later came back and agreed.

IMG-20170308-WA0016She then performed solo to “You Can Let Go Now Daddy” by Crystal Shawanda but changed the lyrics to “Mummy”. She invited her mum to watch and I feel that in the performance she was able to communicate to her mum that she needed to be trusted and needed her own space, which led to her and her mum finding a solution to the problems they had at home and resulted in them talking again. This for me lets me know that my work is important and life changing.

I also want people to see that they can do anything they put their mind to, they don’t have to work in a 9-5 that they don’t like. I wanted to meet new people, have a new experience, see who I could partner with, expand my skills and business and act as a role model for young people in the area to show them that they can expand their ideas and business outside of London and the UK.

I feel that some young people from my London have a very limited mindset, so by me being here, I hope it encourages them to take up similar opportunities. I also wanted a chance to experience Spanish culture and learn new things.

On our first day, we had the opportunity to meet the mayor which for me was very inspiring, I feel that he is a role model to other young people in Ourense. I feel that I would also like to be a source of inspiration for other young people in London. Having a role model really motivates you to do more and make changes to your own life and other people’s life and this is the sort of impact I would like to have in the future.

I really enjoyed going to the Hot Springs of Ourense I found it very peaceful and relaxing. I feel that this plays a part in their laid-back culture. It was very clean and maintained and I think it’s something that Spanish people take pride in. I really like Spanish nightlife, people are also really friendly and I feel that they are very responsible and enjoy having a good time.

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