3. A Piece By Joy Jones
Joy Jones, writer and performer, shares with us her collaboration:
Naomi and I had several long conversations in May and June that were preceded by quite a few email exchanges in April. This was also my first (and long overdue) introduction to Skype so I'm glad this gave me the opportunity to learn how to use it.
Naomi is a full time dancer and working to get an advanced degree. She has a particular interest in promoting dance traditions from the African diaspora. I am a writer but have a part time job at the library along with other freelance projects to support myself.
I love dancing but am not a professional; I do it strictly for fun. My favorite form is a style of swing dance called hand dancing, done in the Washington, DC area to rhythm and blues music. I talked to Naomi about a study guide for children I recently completed called DC ‘s Rhythm & Blues and Hand Dance: Past and Present,” It informed children about Washington, DC’s contribution to the R & B musical tradition. It was a project I especially enjoyed writing.
My principal art form is writing. I shared with Naomi that in recent weeks, I’ve been under pressure to submit some grant proposals. But I do creative writing. When we began our talks, I had just completed a how-to book on public speaking for teens that will be published in 2019. In the past, I've also been an acrobat. I was interested to learn that Naomi has a contact of a woman who is doing research on circus acts that I plan to contact.
Both Naomi and I have done a fair amount of travel. She to Morocco and Italy. I have plans to visit California this month and may be part of a goodwill tour teaching double dutch (a form of skipping rope using two ropes turning simultaneously) in Russia during September. In the past, I did a study tour in Guinea with their African Ballet Company.
For an artistic gift exchange, she sent me a creative journal account of 17 days. I sent her a poetry video of me performing one of my original pieces. We have decided to stay in touch. We are now Facebook friends and it's possible we may attend the Black Artists On the Move in October.
Joy Jones, writer and performer