Dancer Nehemiah Spencer Shares His Spirit with Dixon Scholars

Nehemiah Spencer, Dixon School of the Arts

In Spring 2016, Scholars of Dixon School of the Arts will be treated to a visit from world-class dancer, Nehemiah Spencer, who graduated from the prestigious Juilliard School in 2015 and now dances with Complexions Contemporary Ballet in New York City.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Spencer has long shared his passion for the arts with deserving students. Having spent his entire educational development in schools for the arts – from Cleveland School of the Arts to Juilliard – he knows firsthand how art can change your life.

Spencer founded the Nehemiah Project in 2012, awarding high school graduates with scholarships to support them in the upcoming school year. He dreams of someday creating an after school program to keep kids engaged in the arts even when school is out of session.

A bright star in the Big City, how did Nehemiah hear about Dixon School of the Arts?

His nieces, Tamara and Tamiah Spencer, attend the school.

“Seeing my nieces so excited about the arts just as I am made me feel good … so, now I’m thinking to myself ways that I can contribute to their experience,” Spencer says. “Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about arts and education. For me, any opportunity that allows me to inspire students to follow their dreams in the arts, I want to share the information that I have with students who are eager to grow in the arts.”

When he realized that he could spend time with family in Pensacola while also sharing his dance language with the scholars at Dixon School of the Arts, Spencer booked his trip.

During his week as a Visiting Artist-in-Residence, he hopes to introduce the students to new movements and techniques that their bodies can explore, challenging them while having fun. His ultimate goal is to broaden the scholars’ awareness of how dance can be incorporated into everyday life.

That’s especially important to Spencer, who says, “Dance introduced me to myself.”

Because of dance, his appreciation for other arts grew. But dance has his heart, mind and body. He realized he was always dancing – the way he walks, moves his hands when he talks, brings food to his mouth to eat … everything.

“Then it made sense, that if I got more information on how to move, in the way that I choose to move, then I can have more control over my body and the choices I make through out the day,” Spencer says. “Life becomes one big dance, once you realize that we never stop moving.”

Never stop moving. Good advice from a great dancer to a school full of young people, eager to start moving.