MWP is the collective dream of several people who love to dance and wish to share their passion with everyone. Scroll down to meet the dreamers!
Jenni Anderson, Co-founder/CEO
Jenni began dancing when she was 5 years old in Nashville, Tennessee. After watching her older sister take dance lessons, she asked her parents if she could try a class. And no one has been able to tear her away from dance studios since. Jenni also discovered her love for the special needs community at a very young age. She began working at Special Friends Camp (SFC) as a counselor at 14 years old. When she was 18, she was asked to be a part of the leadership staff for SFC and became responsible for planning and leading an activity for adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. She then had her first taste of creating and leading a dance activity designed specially for individuals with special needs and the experience was more rewarding than she could have ever imagined. Jenni then went to Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Dance and wrote her honors thesis on the value of dance as a possible therapy for individuals with special needs. Upon graduation, Jenni moved to Sacramento, CA to fulfill her dream of being a professional dancer by joining CORE Contemporary Dance. She is currently a member of CORE, a teacher at Leighton Dance Project, and the Staff Director for Special Friends Camp. In 2014, Jenni began teaching CORE's Adaptive Dance program for children with special needs and their siblings which has truly been a blessing in her life. It is her hope that she can take all of the experiences she has had and provide amazing opportunities for special needs dancers. There is nothing she believes in more than the idea that dance is for everyone!
Jamie Day, Co-founder/cfo
Jamie grew up in a very small town in Upstate NY where her mom put her in dance classes to keep her active and out of trouble. Staying active and out of trouble turned into her getting a Bachelor of Arts in Dance at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA as well as a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. While at Point Park, Jamie met Jenni who invited her to be a camp counselor at Special Friends Camp which serves adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. Even though Jamie had zero experience working with people with special needs, SFC turned out to be one of the most rewarding and meaningful experiences of her life. Over the next 6 years Jamie moved to Sacramento where she became a company member with CORE Contemporary Dance as well as a ballet teacher at Leighton Dance Project. As a member of CORE, Jamie has had the opportunity to spend her Friday afternoons in an Adaptive Dance class geared towards children with special needs who are not able to participate in a traditional class setting. Dance has been such a wonderful gift in Jamie's life that being able to share it with special needs children is just one of the many reasons why she's excited for this new adventure Move With Purpose!
Rachael STEVENSon, secretary
Rachael took her first dance class at 2 1/2 years old in Oxnard, California. She was so well behaved that they allowed her to take the 3 year old class early and her love for dance continued to grow from that point on. Rachael grew up dancing at Oakley Ballet Center located in Camarillo, California. Some favorite roles she had the opportunity to perform include Swanilda in "Coppelia" and Giselle in "Giselle." During her teenage years, she had the opportunity to attend summer intensives with Oregon Ballet, Orlando Ballet, and Ballet Met. After finishing high school, Rachael attended Sacramento State University, was a part of the Sac State Dance Team, trained with Sacramento Ballet Education, and danced with Sacramento Ballet all while continuing her professional career with Oakland Ballet and Central West Ballet. In 2012, she joined CORE Contemporary Dance and has danced with the company for the past 5 seasons. In March 2017, she was accepted into the American Ballet Theater's Teacher Training program. She is now an official ABT certified teacher and teaching at Leighton Dance Project.Being a part of CORE has given Rachael the opportunity to work with special needs families every Friday through their Adaptive Dance program which has allowed her to witness first hand how dance can have such a massively positive influence on these special students' lives.