When Patti Grimes booked Lula Washington Dance Theatre (LWDT) at the Delaware Technical and Community College in Georgetown, Delaware, her goal was to introduce contemporary dance to audiences that had rarely seen this type of dance in her small out-of-the-way community.
Dance was so new to her audience that Patti Grimes asked Lula to come on stage and introduce each dance work — something Lula had not done more than once or twice in 33 years.
Further, Patti told the audience to applaud to let the dancers know when they liked something. Normally, this would be a no-no in sophiscated dance settings. But the approach paid off.
Audience members applauded all through the dance concert and gave a standing ovation at the end. When the concert was over, happy audience members stayed for a lengthy talk-back session with Lula Washington and her dancers.
One tearful woman told Lula she had dreamed of becoming a dancer, but had given up because she never saw a way to make her dream a reality. After seeing the concert and hearing about Lula’s own personal struggles in dance, this woman promised that she would persue her dream to dance.
The concert in Delaware was part of the Lula Washington Dance Theatre’s 2013 Mid-Atlantic dance tour, which involved 9 different sites. Patti Grimes’ Joshua Freeman Foundation presented the performance.
Lula and her dancers left Delaware with new friends and a warm invitation from Patti to come back and perform again. She told Lula that she had made her audience excited about seeing dance, and in doing so, helped Patti achieve her own dreams for her community.