Nabilah Jiwani is a marketing professional at Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta, GA. She received her undergraduate degree in Political & Social Thought and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia where she served as President of the College of Arts & Sciences. As an Atlanta native and a former ballerina, Nabilah is excited to be working with Dance Canvas as a Board Member, to attract younger audiences to various DC performances and events and to become involved with the organization.
Let’s hear her story:
I started dancing at two years old at The Studio Atlanta Dance in Buckhead and I practiced ballet, modern and jazz dance there for 16 years. I was so lucky to have dedicated teachers, like Angela, who really became older sisters and mentors for me, which was especially valuable as an only child. After starting college, I actually did not continue my career in the dance world, which came as a surprise not only to my friends and family, but also to myself. Ballet used to be both a passion and a source of stability for my life. I liked the consistent schedule; I liked the path to advancement; I liked the frustration in memorizing choreography and building on it; I liked the daily practice of class more than the gloss of performance; I liked the release of creative energy.
The passion and dedication, while missing in the form of dance in my life, readjusted to my leadership experience and filtered into how I structured my everyday life. I couldn’t simply pick up a pair of pointe shoes and expect to do a perfect pirouette. It took years of practice in those soft, leather pink ballet slippers. It took endless effort at the barre and strong focus to ensure the quality of each move, because practice will not make perfection; it will make permanence. It taught me patience and grace to accept the changing winds and disappointments I would inevitably face. It taught me that strength comes from within – I had to build that for myself. I could not depend on someone, even in a pas de deux, to balance myself. It also taught me an appreciation of all art forms and the effort it takes for a seamless aesthetic. It taught me that I needed to flex my creative muscle from time to time in order to feel fulfilled.
I am so happy to be able to take that training from dance and reinvigorate it back into dance in a way I can meaningfully contribute. I hope to further the mission and reach of Dance Canvas to the Atlanta area and hopefully beyond.
Thank you, Nabilah for this wonderful story, and welcome to Dance Canvas!
Thanks for reading!