My cousin Jan leaping amazingly.

You probably think I am going to tell you she went on to have an illustrious career with the Alvin Ailey dance troupe, but no, she did not.  I asked her how long she danced and she replied “let’s see, started around 13, stopped around 25. I danced somewhat with Shashu born and a teeny bit after Kamau.”

I believe there was also some modeling and transcribing of court sessions. Jan eventually moved to Canada and, along with Leonard, raised 4 wonderful, smart and talented children. She has 5 grandchildren. Jan now spends her time doing what needs to be done. This includes, but is not limited to, keeping up with her far flung family, copying and sending me family photos via email, posting inspiring quotes on fb and moving to a higher plane in a spiritual sense.  She still wears her magnificent collection of bangles.

I saw the leaping photo in 2013 and I was very impressed. Jan was so much younger than I was in those days and I have to admit I wasn’t paying enough attention to her life back then. Amazing how the passage of time makes the years that seemed so wide in youth narrow as we age.

I’m sorry I never saw Jan dance but so happy to have these photos.

For more jumps and leaps, click

14 thoughts on “Jumping

  1. The photos of you cousin are beautiful. My dancing cousin is a year older than I, and my Grandmother used to take me to all my cousin’s dance recitals. She took ballet & tap dancing, and I used to dream I was up there on the stage wearing all her beautiful costumes dancing with her. I’d come home from her recitals and dance around our living room trying to emulate what she’d done. Unfortunately, my parents couldn’t afford dancing lessons, but I persevered, dancing with school groups such as folk, or cheerleading, and at the grand old age of 38, took tap and ballet, & wound up onstage myself at last! As for my cousin, in addition to teaching grade school, she taught tap, & later, Scottish dancing.

  2. These indeed are amazing photos of your cousin. I can understand why you are grateful to have them. Dancers often end their careers early, at least by their 30s, so Jan stopping dancing at 25 doesn’t seem to be a stretch.

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