Del-York Creative Academy, internationally renowned ballerina, Joy Womack and the Joy Womack Ballet Academy are set to nurture talents in Nigeria through dance.
In a partnership ceremony held on January 25, 2024 at the Del-York Creative Academy, Linus Idahosa, Founder and CEO of Del-York Creative Academy, and Womack celebrated the integration of the Joy Womack Ballet Academy into the Del-York Creative Academy.
This partnership signifies a monumental step in Del-York Creative Academy’s mission to foster and grow the creative arts, across multiple disciplines and genres, in Nigeria and across Africa.
This partnership, which will use the power of dance as the vehicle to nurture talent and build bridges across cultures for youth in Nigeria and across Africa.
Womack was joined by Linus Idahosa, Founder and CEO of Del-York Creative Academy, as well as the talented dancers from Leap of Dance Academy and Above Ballet Company.
Idahosa shared his enthusiasm for the partnership, stating, “We believe in the transformative power of the arts, and this partnership with Joy Womack is a testament to our commitment. Ballet and dance are not just performances; they are profound vehicles for discipline, confidence, education, and opportunity.
“By bridging youth across the continent and the diaspora, we’re opening up a world of possibilities for cultural dialogue and mutual understanding through the universal language of dance, both through traditional ballet, but integrating and infusing our traditional dances from across the nation and continent. We are excited to see how this collaboration will inspire and empower youth, setting a new standard for artistic excellence in Nigeria and beyond.”
Womack expressed the significance of integrating ballet with traditional African dances, saying, “Through our groundbreaking partnership, we’re poised to unlock the vast potential of dance, bringing its transformative power to millions of children who possess the talent but lack opportunity.
“This collaboration is not just about teaching dance; it’s about opening doors to cultural exchange and understanding. By incorporating the rich heritage of Nigeria and Africa into our programs — through dance, music, and costume design — we aim to foster a spirit of unity and global community. Together, we are setting the stage for a new generation to express their stories, share their cultures, and connect with the world in profound and moving ways,” said Womack.
Joy Womack, an American who has graced the stages of the top ballets of the world, achieved an extraordinary feat as one of the first American woman to dance with the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, a milestone that not only showcased her exceptional talent but also paved the way for cultural exchange in the ballet community.
The Bolshoi Ballet is an internationally renowned ballet company based on the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.
Founded in 1776, the Bolshoi is among the world’s oldest and most esteemed ballet companies, being regarded as the foremost ballet company in the world. This significant achievement is just one highlight in a career marked by performances with renowned companies, including the Kremlin Ballet, Universal Ballet, and the Paris Opera Ballet.
Her remarkable story, filled with dedication, resilience, and groundbreaking achievements, has been captivatingly portrayed in the documentary “Joy Womack: The White Swan”, available through Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV.
This film offers an intimate glimpse into her experiences with the Bolshoi and Kremlin Ballets, highlighting her journey’s unique challenges and triumphs. Further cementing her legacy, Womack’s life inspired the feature film “Joika,” with Diane Kruger playing a leading role.
This film was acclaimed as the “Best of Fest” at the Palm Springs Film Festival, underlining the impact of her story in the world of dance and beyond. Joy Womack’s journey is not just a testament to her individual talent and perseverance but also a source of inspiration for aspiring dancers worldwide, demonstrating what can be achieved through passion and hard work.
Del-York Creative Academy’s planned expansion into a comprehensive institute for the arts across genres, is excited to include dance and ballet in its curriculum, marked by Joy Womack’s visit and their partnership with the Joy Womack Ballet Academy.
This partnership is a testament to Del-York’s dedication to diversifying and enriching the artistic landscape in Nigeria and beyond.
Larisa Miller, CEO of Phoenix Global, a partner of Del-York Group, and a member of the board of directors for the Joy Womack Ballet Foundation, spoke about the impact of this collaboration: “The union of Del-York Creative Academy and Joy Womack Ballet Academy represents a significant moment in the world of creative arts.
“This partnership is more than just a collaboration; it’s a catalyst for soft diplomacy through the art of ballet. We’re bringing together two powerhouses in the creative arts world to foster a global appreciation for ballet, transcending cultural and geographical barriers.
“This initiative is poised to redefine the narrative of ballet as a tool for international engagement and cultural exchange.”