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Meet Tahira Page of Project 18Forty in West Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tahira Page.

Tahira, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My dreams of becoming a dancers started after one ballet lessons when I was a child. From that lesson the instructor told my mother “I had a natural gift”. I Embraced  that  instructor’s words and a lifetime of dance was ensued. After dancing for many years my new dream is to own my own studio.

I have developed myself into an international dancer who uses my passion for dance as a means to give back to my community, West Los Angeles/ Little Ethiopia. With over 30 years of experience as a dancer, I have trained in private dance studios in California, Europe, and South America. I develop new passions and right now, I dedicated myself to a substantial amount of time to mentoring, volunteering, and teaching dance lessons to young girls of my dance studio, Project 18Forty. I wanted to set myself to a higher standard as a dance instructor and company owner, this is what lead me to the decision to go back to school gaining a background in Sports Medicine, Youth kinetic wellness Youth exercise and certifications in Various areas of Dance.

To date, Project 18Forty has been open ten years and has continued to grow in size. I went from training four students to training 24 students and counting. During the dance classes, which are taught in French, I teach the girls ballet terminology to better equip them with the tools they need to confidently walk into any audition around the world. I also believe that self-esteem plays a higher role even higher than technique. One of the ways she encourages self-empowerment is from our “sister circle.” “We all stand in a circle and hold hands and go one-by-one giving each other a true compliment. Some days they are about a person’s technique and other days they are about a person’s character”. “For me, that’s one of things that bonds us. Then when we break the circle, the first person that we see when we leave the studio we offer them a compliment.” My ability to love and give back is an extension of the love I received as a child from my older sisters Patty and Bobbie and my awesome mother Leota Ann.

My dancers have had some amazing experiences. I have watched them now go from tiny little elementary school dancers to advanced dancers and performing arts schools. This has truly been my reward, but some of the most memorable experiences we’ve had together would be dancing for Los Angeles councilman Herb Wesson, various schools, shelters and most memorable Disneyland California. Project 18Forty was the first all African American dance group to perform mainstream at the theme-park. The following day, Project 18Forty was invited back to perform their choreography on the main stage at Disneyland. My goal is to keep dancing keep inspiring. Most of all adding a jewel to my community

Has it been a smooth road?
Children that can not afford. Dance performance gear such as performance shoes and leotards this became a problem early on and so, I developed a program called SOS “save our sister.” This program is designed for other families and other dancers to donate such items to dancers in need.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Project 18Forty – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
There are a lot of dancers that are fantastic at teaching dance but sometimes not familiar with needs such as injury prevention, performance enhancement and exercise psychology. And on the other hand, they are many with the background in sports medicine and physical therapy that cannot explain the techniques of Dance. I also add a unique flare of training all of my classes and proper ballet terminology “French”

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
What I love most about West Los Angeles is that it is always been home for me. I’ve also noticed that it has become a second home for so many easily because of our Accessibility to beautiful beaches and outdoor carefree lifestyle.

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