Name? NiaAdjowa Sheard
What city are you from? Columbus, Ohio
When did you join Thiossane?
Story has it, I’ve been dancing since being in the womb; but I officially started dancing at age one
When you think of Thiossane, what immediately comes to mind? What does Thiossane mean to you?
Support because there are lot of different families here. We’ve experienced death, marriage, divorce, children raised, and injuries and through all of that, we’ve been able to endure and support one another. When we lost our dad, no one was like, “That’s their family business; let me stay out of it.” The sentiment was, let’s go clean the house, let’s give the kids rides, let’s support the family. We felt completely supported by our Thiossane family.
Of all the Thiossane values (appropriateness, respect, knowledge, adaptability, restraint, and excellence), which one do you feel the most during your time in the company? Why?
Restraint and adaptability best describe my time with Thiossane. Restraint works best for me when I need to remove my feelings for my mother from the company director and learn that different people have different relationships with each her. The same can be said for my sister or for my dad when he was alive. I have to remember that people aren’t attacking them, they simply have a different way of relating to them than I do.
Adaptability because everyday we have to adapt in our personal lives. Your job requires something of you, your school requires something of you, you have certain requirements of yourself and you have to constantly make adjustments to meet those demands.
What do you see as your role in Thiossane? (Dancer, drummer, other?)
What do you hope to bring to Thiossane as a dancer?
I bring me! I’m one of a kind; you can’t put me in a box! I also bring a unique style and stage presence. I learned technique at a young age, so it comes quite natural for me to put my own flavor on a step. I am also a very passionate dancer. You will see my emotion translated into my performance.
What do you hope to accomplish in the next 15 years with Thiossane? How do you imagine the future of Thiossane?
Thiossane’s growth began long before its official title. When we were the African Beginnings Children’s Dance Ensemble, we were developing what has become known as Thiossane today. We also began to engage the community in a way that you see today. Moving forward, I hope to continue that community support and have an independent facility where we can reach more people.