Makeda N’wabonkozi Margurose Roney
Last summer I was sweating it out in Bikram (yoga Harlem Holla) and every day that I was there, so was this little Chocolate nugget. I could tell by her comportment that she was dancer, there was a discipline in her practice that I recognized, it was that certain thing that dancers acquire from years in the dance studio and preparing for recitals, learning how dance in lines and patterns. It is an ability to mentally and physically focused, as well as listen and move at the same time. She had the markings. I watched her for a long time before I approached her. I asked her if she would like to participate in a interview about Bikram yoga. I told her that I was interested in her perspective because she was so young, dedicated (she practiced at least 5 times a week) and disciplined. She said yes.
Later she auditioned for the Ailey School’s Junior Division and was awarded a Fellowship, it was then that she became my student. When she took her first Pointe classes with me I was not surprised that her work ethic and focus in the dance studio, as it echoed that of her yoga practice. Unfortunately before Spring term’s end Makeda suffered an injury, she was unable to complete the semester and could not perform. She was unsure if she would be recovered enough to participate in the Ailey School Summer intensive (which is intense) and that is when I thought to ask her to work with me on the blog.
I had come to know her as a deeply thoughtful, and inquisitive young woman with an opinion and a point of view. I applauded the support she lent her fellow dancers when in crisis, and was awed at her self confidence and possession in taking a leadership role amongst her peers when she was essentially the “New Girl”. The duality of our relationship allowed me to have interesting, and sophisticated conversations with her about art, dance, technique, teaching skills, friendship, and of course the body. She was perfect for the position. Thankfully, she is healthy enough to dance this summer but, as driven as she is, she as taken on the internship as well. I am so excited to be working with her!
Makeda with be creating her own posts on MBMI so when you see MR and the foot of a post it was her idea her voice and perspective. She will also be contributing a weekly column to In Your Words I can ‘t wait to hear what she has to say!!
There is an interesting duality to our relationship as I met her in a social setting and only after became her teacher.