Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Empowering a Community Through Dance

Outside of my routine work schedule, I take dance classes at Dancing Grounds. From Bounce to Salsa dancing, I have been getting in touch with the inner dancer in me. I have always had a love for dance. It allows me to relieve stress, have fun, and emerge myself in a healthy environment where I can socialize and be free!


This picture is the logo for Dancing Grounds.

Dancing grounds is located in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans. It is not tooo far from the Treme neighborhood. In this neighborhood, there is a famous park referred to as the Louis Armstrong Park. Inside this park marks an open space known as Congo Square. In the 18th century enslaved Africans would gather themselves here. They were allowed Sunday’s off from their work. They would bring drums, bells, and other instruments to the square and gather roughly by tribe to play music, sing, and dance. This was their moment of freedom. When I am at Dancing Grounds, I can be free. 


The Audacity of Twerk Panel Discussion

Recently, I attended a panel discussion titled “The Audacity of Twerk”. The panelist engaged in a discussion about the historical and cultural impact of bounce in New Orleans. My Bounce instructor Marissa Joseph hosted this event. The other panelists included Aussettua Jackson, Cheeky Blakk, Ms. Tee, & Terri Colman. These women are the definition phenomenal. Their passion for the culture and history of dance in New Orleans was apparent and genuine.  I’d say one of the comments that resignated with me the most reflected on how significant storytelling is. Everyone has their own story to tell. While most look forward to hearing a good ending, that is not always the case. Youll soemtimes find people telling someone else’s story. In addditon, people may not always be able to get the story right. I hope to see how my story continues and  I look forward to seeing how dance continues to shape my life while I am living in New Orleans!

♥ Bri


About Brianna Cunningham

Brianna Cunningham is a graduate of Bucknell University. She majored in Sociology & English Literary-Studies. She spent her first year of VISTA at Stay Local and is currently a second year VISTA at NetWork Volunteers.


This entry was posted on October 14, 2016 by in VISTA Field Reports.



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