Purposefully Pretty Inc.

Shante Williams

A Talent is defined as a special ability that allows someone to do something well. Love is defined as a warm attachment, devotion, and enthusiasm.

This clearly sums up my connection to the performing art of dance. My name is Shante Williams, I am 17 years old, and I am currently a senior in the Performing Dance program at Benjamin N. Cardozo High school. Though my years may be small, I dream big.​I am currently Artistic Director, Choreographer, and Captain of Dancers United through Choreography and Charity (D.U.C.C. Dancers). Dancers United through Charity and Choreography started out as a High School club roughly 6 years ago. It was known as a safe haven and a second family for many of Cardozo’s dancers. We perform at local hospitals, clinics, senior centers, schools, and community events. We strive to bring love, joy, and entertainment to the children of our communities and their families. Each and every person that has gotten a chance to dance with, or experience D.U.C.C. Dancers, in one way or another has felt the love not only for the arts, but also amongst one another. Over the past year D.U.C.C. has slowly been expanding from being a school club with 20 dancers, to an ever-growing community organization with over 100 current and alumni members. I am now working on the new project of homing D.U.C.C. as a community dance team in the Jamaica, Queens area by the time I graduate in June…as well as opening my very own doors to a dance studio by the time I graduate college.

Though I have big dreams and accomplishments, It hasn’t come easily. Living with an absent father, My mother has truly been my backbone and my biggest supporter. My mother always had many health issues and was always very sick. In January 2014 she fell very ill. Within that time my grades fell terribly. I was barely passing any classes due to my huge focus on my mother’s health. When she returned home my full attention was on her. She was bedridden and unable to do daily tasks on her own. I stayed close by her side, as doctors weren’t expecting her survival. In her returning home, I had one goal and that was for her to be able to see me graduate from high school and live my dream. I knew that in order for that to happen I needed to get my grades up. Slowly but surely that’s what I did, with the help of Gateway mentors within my school and the advice from my teachers and guidance counselor.

…I am Purposefully Pretty because though my determination, drive, and creativity are endless, I am not afraid to fall.