By Jessica Roller
Alum Ashley Thorndike-Youssef visits OSU Dance on Monday March 21st to share Now Next Dance, a project based organization that pairs college age dancers with middle school girls and working choreographers. Now Next Dance cultivates creativity, leadership, and wellness in and through dance.
They embody the principals of action, support, curiosity, challenge, and resilience. They offer summer camps, workshops, after-school programs, and in school residencies to link the physical and creative experience of dance training with life and leadership skills.
Ashley Thorndike-Youssef is a dancer, choreographer, scholar, and educator who received her PhD in Dance Studies from the Ohio State University. She founded the Now & Next Dance Mentoring Project in 2010. She has worked in the dance departments of Ohio State University, Oberlin College, and the George Washington University. After earning a BFA in Modern Dance at the University of Utah and spending a year studying dance in New York, Ashley moved to, Charlottesville, Virginia. She worked for four years at the University of Virginia Women’s Center where, after earning an MEd in Counseling, she managed the operations of the Young Women Leaders Program. In Charlottesville, Ashley was a resident artist at the McGuffey Art Center and co-director of Prospect Dance Group. Ashley has performed at Movement Research in New York and Green Street Studios in Boston, in Annie Kloppenberg’s Indelible Marks and at the Theatre Building in Chicago with Beserra Dance Theatre’s Jenkins Farm Project. She recently presented on Now & Next at the National Conference on Girls Education and was just featured on Life of a Modern Dancer.