Posting Date: July 16, 2010
Meet Britani Edwards: Speaking through danceBy Rochelle S. Wilson
Photo by Melissa Withers
Britani Edwards and Stacey Caren performing
Photo by Robert Pack
When Britani Edwards was in eighth grade, she wanted to be a writer. But when she was invited to take African dance classes after school, she met her dance mentor, Michelle Grant Murray. “I didn’t start off dancing in a ballet conservatory or anything like that. I really started dance training when I was fifteen years old," says the rising Kennesaw State University senior. “Most people don’t exceed in that short amount of time. Dancing is hard work. You really have to be on top of your game, and I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot in six years.”
Britani’s most memorable dance performance took place her senior year of high school. She performed at a big seafood festival in Miami. “We got to interact and dance with the crowd. There was a live band, and it was really fun." Her favorite thing about dance is telling a story with her body. “I’m a very shy person, so I don’t talk much. I like being able to express myself through beautiful movement."
Britani, who is majoring in dance, transferred to KSU from a two-year institution last year. The Florida City native saw the KSU Dance Company perform at a conference and thought they were the best group there. Now that she’s at KSU, there are many things Britani appreciates about the university. “I like KSU’s diversity. They’re nice people, and it’s a nice environment. The work ethic and the level of technique that the dancers have makes me want to push myself harder. Plus, the professors really put their all into their work.”
Ivan Pulinkala, KSU director of the Program in Dance, says, “Britani has been a strong addition to the KSU Program in Dance. Britani has a strong work ethic and a personality that makes her a joy to be around. I have no doubt that she will successfully complete her undergraduate education in dance at KSU and go on to be very successful in the field of dance."
In the future, Britani wants to travel, possibly to New York City. But most importantly, she wants to give back to her community of Florida City. “It’s one of the most impoverished communities in the United States, so I want to go back and give the kids outlets—dance, art, something that can occupy their time instead of being on the streets,” she says.
Britani has found an excellent support system in her large family as the middle of five siblings. “My mom supports me in everything. It hurts to not be able to have my family come to my performances because they’re so far away. But before and after every performance, I call them and they tell me good luck,” she says. “They’re really supportive of me, and I owe them a lot.”