The first time I met this youth at Denney, he scared me a little. He cussed under his breath as I approached to show him the details of the relatively simple movement we were doing. He refused to make eye contact, and his hands were clenched into fists. It was easy to see he was …

Lance, You remind me of a kid I used to know. His heart was bigger than his circumstances, but his stature loomed higher than his community’s sense of security and his resilience outweighed the rules that were never modeled for him. He had so much life on top of him. He lived with me for …

Yesterday I got to spend about two hours at Denney with one of my favorite kids. It probably seems like I call all of them my favorites, but really and truly… this one has captured my heart. Who am I kidding… they all do. But, I wish I could adopt him. I’ll call him Lance. …

I received the sad news that one of my theater campers in Arizona, KeKe, died in her sleep. This is so tragic, so devastating, so hard to process, so heavy in our hearts. I learned this just as I was heading to Denney for a full day of performances and experienced some true panic about …

The last two weeks have been filled with giggles and goofiness, honesty and vulnerability, risk-taking and bravery, and the absolute in-my-face realization that this program matters. I’ve been allowing the youth to pick the music we warm up to, as well as call out movements to do across the floor, and this little bit of …

I wish I wish I wish… that I could share photos and videos of my youth at Denney. This morning I had a private lesson with a brilliant ray of sunshine , and I just don’t know how to convey the way she was beaming today. She walked in the room with a big smile and …

Yesterday was a crazy whirlwind of a day! The girls unit came in for the last class of the day, and I noticed one of my favorite kids wasn’t there. She’s supposed to be at Denney for a bit, and she generally loves to dance, so I peeked my head out the door and asked …

Last Tuesday, I had fifteen detainees in class. Yesterday, I had five. Today I’m working with all of the kids, but in small groups throughout the day. The dynamic in each class has been so different, my head is still spinning. I like every class, and something is always accomplished, even when the class is …

Hello all! This is my first official blog post for AWAP, but my Facebook and Instagram pages have been bursting with love every Tuesday since joining the team in November. What an honor it is to work with these kids and witness their progress and growth each week! I really don’t even know where to …