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Entrepreneur Spotlight: Donna ‘The Donna’ Crump of ‘Good Dance Since 1984’

Written by  IntheNOLA.com
It was about fifteen years ago on the first day of school at Eleanor McMain Secondary School that one of the ladies of IntheNOLA (LaTesha Gonzales to be exact) was waiting for the yellow bus to go to the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) on Perrier St. Uptown. As a second year student in the dance program, she was looking for others who would be sharing the classroom and stage with her in a few months…and who did she find? Well, you’re not gonna believe it, but a long-legged, flexible, quiet, and shy young woman by the name of Donna Crump.
 
Those of you who know Donna know that while long-legged and flexible are applicable descriptions, but quiet and shy are most certainly not part of her vocabulary! In fact, that quiet and shyness lasted all of five minutes before “The Donna” emerged, full of talent, personality, and character, which is why we are so thrilled and pleased to introduce her as our newest Local Entrepreneur Spotlight, Ms. Donna “The Donna” Crump, owner of local dance company, Good Dance Since 1984!
Entrepreneur Spotlight: Good Dance Since 1984 | IntheNOLA.com
Good Dance Since 1984 (the year she was born), you say? Yep, that’s what The Donna says and means. As a dancer for as far back as she can remember (we’re pretty sure she progressed from crawling to choreography), Donna's passion for dance has only gotten stronger as she’s gotten older.
 
“I stared dancing at the age of four at the Benjamin’s School of Dancing and Gymnastics,” she said. “Once I turned eight or nine, I started studying with Ballet Hysell, which was intense classical ballet training. When I enrolled at NOCCA during high schoo,l I was exposed to a variety of new dance styles like modern, jazz, hip hop, etc. NOCCA prepared me for so much; it was intense, three to four hours a day, five days a week, guest artists, workshops, and master classes.”

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Good Dance Since 1984 | IntheNOLA.comAfter graduating from NOCCA, Donna found herself dancing in New York at Long Island University, as a Honeybee for the New Orleans Hornets, and in South Africa and Brazil with top dance company, Grupo Corpo. “I couldn’t see myself doing anything else,” Donna explained. “Dance has always had a special place in my heart. When I dance, I get a chance to get away from myself for a while and let something else take over. I enjoy dancing and sharing my gift with others.”
 
And Good Dance Since 1984 allows Donna, as well as other dancers, to showcase and share their gift. “I was tired of waiting for someone to give me an opportunity to be part of a company or production, so I decided that since I had the skills, I’d step out there and do it myself. I started Good Dance in February of this year in the hopes of giving other performing artists the chance to showcase their talents. New Orleans is a great city for the arts, but unfortunately, the dance scene is still relatively small. So, I wanted to give those artists an outlet to create and perform works. I also started a youth branch of the company called ‘Good Dance Since 1991,’ where younger dancers get a chance to perform with other professional dancers on a real stage with real lighting.”
Entrepreneur Spotlight: Good Dance Since 1984 | IntheNOLA.com
Good Dance Since 1984 has definitely been busy the last few months, from performing in the Harvest Chicago Dance Festival and the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival to teaching master dance classes in the city. Good Dance will be premiering their first original work at the upcoming New Orleans Fringe Festival from November 14-18. “We have our New Orleans debut at this year’s Fringe Festival at the Marigny Opera House entitled Isis and Nephthys. This is my very first work and it’s exciting and terrifying at the same time! I’m excited to present this work and show my talents as a choreographer. I have all my old professors and mentors coming and I really want to make them proud!”
 
Of course, New Orleans is just as important to Donna as choreography. She said, “New Orleans is home. I’m so invested and grounded in this city that I could never leave again. Now is my time with this company to make a change in my city by getting the youth involved and bringing more awareness to the local dance community. With all the beauty in this city, I've got to keep it home grown!”
 
For more information about Donna Crump and Good Dance Since 1984, please visit the website, Facebook, and Twitter.

UPDATE: Good Dance Since 1984 is hosting their fall fundraiser, "Fall into Dance with Good Dance," Saturday, September 20 from 7:30pm-9:30pm at the Blue Plate Artist Loft! Get tickets HERE!

Last modified on Tuesday, 16 September 2014
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