The world is a brilliant stage, and this passionate artist is using her talent to shine!
The world is a brilliant stage, and this passionate artist is using her talent to shine a spotlight on what really matters: honoring and respecting the craft that has been curated through rich culture. Daphne Lee, a professional ballerina with the Dance Theatre of Harlem in New York, NY, is committed to supporting black dancers by raising the standards and setting up scholarships to pursue higher education. Representation is essential in any industry, and Daphne is thankful for the boundaries DTH continues to push in order for black dancers to be seen on a global scale. While tirelessly working as an artist, Daphne prioritizes self-love: it is a daily struggle after all. Self-love is a lifestyle, and just as important as the food you eat and the air you breathe. It’s also worth it; every time. A mantra Daphne finds peace by? A true gem: “What is for you won’t pass you by.” Whew. Talk about affirming. We’d love to introduce you to Daphne, Queen of Ballet!
What inspired you to start your business? What motivates you to keep going?: What motivated me to start dancing was my mother. Seeing black ballerinas as a child was super inspiring even though I never thought about pursuing dance professionally until I was 18 and in college at Alvin Ailey/Fordham University. Now, I’m getting my masters in Dance to continue to support dancers and raise the standards and scholarships for artists pursuing a dance career. Learning my from my mother who owns a dance studio, my combination of administration in the arts with a professional career inspires my future. Being a former Miss Black USA, allows me to have a scholarship in my name to help performing artists who plan to Major in their artistic craft.
What does your company stand for?: Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) has proven over 50 years to prove that blacks can do ballet and in our time, it’s relevance is more important that ever. DTH not only performs on stages around the world and domestically but it’s outreach program allows children to have access to seeing ballet dancers, and dancers of color at that. My company allows the youth to dream about conquering whatever it is they plan to achieve. After the passing of our founder Arthur Mitchell, who was the first black principal dancer with New York City Ballet, DTH continues to push boundaries in ballet and art. I am so proud to be apart of the legacy of this company.
How do you create the life you want?: I’m a big believer in knowing that everything happens for a reason. I am deeply rooted in faith knowing God has my back and always provides, therefore, the powers that be allows me to live a life I wish to create. I believe in celebrating God's beauty here on earth by traveling, learning, growing and seeing what life has to offer.
What makes you HUMAN?: My vulnerability. As an artist, I am strong, yet sensitive to life’s ups and downs. Yet, knowing they are part of my growth allows me to fully express every aspect of life.
What are three things your want people to know about self-love?: 1. Self love is a daily struggle and isn’t limited to pampering oneself.
2. Self-Love is also about letting go doubts, fears and anything that holds us back. It’s one thing I continue to find as a challenge.
3. Self-love is a mindset, a lifestyle almost, about eating, sleeping and praying right.
What's something we can incorporate today to start loving ourselves more?: One thing we can stop doing is letting comparison be a thief of joy. Social media is amazing but we shouldn’t use it to compare our life and journey. All my friends are getting engaged and I’m currently still single. That envious feeling is what can kill us inside, so we need to not always let outside things affect us.
What has been your own journey with self love?: My journey is still continuing to focus on living. My mother has cancer and my father has Parkinson’s disease. Both of these things are a reminder to keep self love mentally and physically. I serve my family and myself through my career, through breaks and trips, financial wellness and exploring my artistry through graduate school and surrounding myself with like minded people.
Leave an affirmation for readers.....: What is for you won’t pass you by —Mom
Email Address: Daphmlee@gmail.com
Social media handles?: Instagram @daphne732
Facebook: Daphne M Lee
Any books or apps recommendations?: “Stronger than my struggle” bun Havilah Cunnington