Student dances her way to her dreams

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Yvonne Winborne, a Penn State College of Education senior studying childhood and early adolescent education with a minor in dance, has a lifetime passion for education and dance that took her on an incredible journey across the globe this summer. Winborne traveled from Dublin to Texas and back to her hometown of Philadelphia, impacting the lives of children and her peers along the way.

Winborne spent four weeks at Dance House Ireland in Dublin studying a variety of dance styles, including Irish modern dance, Grecian modern dance and Irish river dance. In her experience of dancing through the different regions of Ireland, she learned that dance is much more than just an art, but a form of communication.

“The one thing I love about dance is that even if you’re from another country or speak another language, dance is universal,” said Winborne. “Anyone and everyone can communicate through dance."

Upon returning to the United States, Winborne traveled to Austin, Texas, to compete in Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity’s Miss Black and Gold Scholarship Pageant. According to Winborne, the pageant focused on highlighting women who display the characteristics of service, scholarship, beauty and leadership. Winborne showcased all of these traits as she proceeded to compete in the categories of swimwear, talent (dance), formal wear, and question-and-answer at locals, districts, regionals and nationals, making her the national queen.

Winborne’s two-year title means more to her than just a title. She said she was committed to becoming “a positive role model and active figure for females in the African-American community and the student body at large.”

Winborne subsequently launched an initiative called E2 — Empowerment through Education, which will involve her touring schools across the country to motivate and encourage them to achieve their dreams.

After the pageant, Winborne finished her summer by instructing at J-Rock Performing Arts Camp, a summer camp located just across the street from her southwest-Philadelphia home. She taught dance to children ages 5 through 13, combining her passion for dance and education.

“I enjoyed working every day because I was doing two things I loved, dancing and teaching kids,” Winborne said.

The summer may be over, but Winborne’s work is not. She will continue to teach dance at AMBITIONS Dance Organization, which she and her three friends founded in 2011, offering free dance classes of all styles to all students.

“I didn’t necessarily choose education to be my major. It chose me,” Winborne said. “I believe that teaching is really a calling, and I was called to this profession.”

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Last Updated October 23, 2013