I'm scrolling through Eventbrite on a mild temperature day in April. I'm looking for an event to attend and come across a Fish & Champagne Fundraiser presented by Chocolate Ballerina Company. I've always admired ballet and in fact I wanted to be a ballerina growing up. However due to challenges with my health and being the only black girl in the dance school I quit. So let's just say I'm excited to attend the festivities on April 20, 2019 .
The day is here and I decide on a comfortable look for the evening and then go about my day before it starts. It's time for me to leave and I head to the Northern Liberties section of the city. When I arrived a beautiful chocolate woman introduced herself as Chanel and handed me a glass of champagne and a gift bag. Chanel slayed in her hot pink blazer dress with her heels to compliment. Music played through the speakers at the Airis Sushi Bar & Lounge everyone started to come in. The smell of fried fish filled the air and smiles gleamed on everyone's face. The night continued as Chanel thanked everyone for attending. We played games and the prizes were ballerina class, tickets to an upcoming Chocolate Ballerina Company show , or a swag bag from Milano Di Rouge clothing line. I drew a ballerina on top of the world and won the CBC show tickets. The other prize winners were super happy about their gifts. Each table including mine were filled with people that were so excited and happy for the chocolate ballerina. I had to dash but the afterparty was lit and Black Ink Chicago's Ryan Henry attended. It was a fun filled evening and I was glad I attended. So, when it was time to lay out my interviewees , I chose Chanel because I admire that she has followed her dream and she inspires so many others in the community. So check out my interview with her below
1. What does Philly mean to you ?
Philadelphia means change and chance to me. I believe that Philadelphia is a canvas for raw talent. Those whom if provided a chance to be successful and make a difference they will change their community.
2. Who do you look up to ?
I look up to anyone who is creating a avenue of success for the youth in their community. I personally am the teacher and the student. I learn from various artists, women, and children. I look up to successors and creators of successors.
3. If you can describe your life in a song what would it be and why?
My life in song would probably be "HERO" song by Mariah Carey. The lyrics speak so much volume to my personal struggle and being able to uplift myself in order to impact the lives of others. When she say "Theres a hero if you look inside your heart, you don't have to be afraid of what you are." Those words have allowed me to really look into my own heart or look in the mirror and begin to love who I see. I had to love myself so much to the point that I wanted others to see themselves and love who they are.
4. For those that don't know you , share a little bit about what it is that you do?
My name is Chanel Holland and I am the founder of Chocolate Ballerina Company LLC. I am a advocate for success in arts education for both youth and adults for the under-served communities in Philadelphia. I provide professional ballet technique training for free or a subsidized fee in recreation centers, schools, and partnering organizations. I am a master choreographer and teaching artists and my passion is impacting lives through arts education programming.
5. If you could link with one famous celeb from Philly who would it be and why?
Jill Scott, I truly adore her spirit and her music. She has done so much for her city and I appreciate and admire that.
6.So you wake up and there's 5 million in your bank account what to do you do first?
First thing I would do is pray. I know that nothing is possible with out God and before you spend or make live changing decisions you have to praise God first. I would also buy my own studio. We work closely with partners that provide rehearsal space, and class space, however the initial goal is to have my own building.
7. How does it feel to be featured on "Drawlin World" ?
This opportunity feels great and very rewarding and I am so humbled and grateful for this moment.