BALTIMORE — Ballet After Dark has been open in Baltimore for about two years. Now, it's a documentary, part of Queen Latifah's Queen Collective.
"We are known for dance therapy workshops, which are facilitated for trauma survivors," said Tyde Edwards, the founder of Ballet After Dark. These workshops specifically help survivors of domestic or sexual assault. Edwards created this organization after she survived an attack.
"I was searching for places where I could collectively heal various elements of myself. There wasn't an institution that existed, so I created it," said Edwards. She added, "ballet was always my first love and when I decided that I was strong enough to start healing, it just felt, it felt very natural to incorporate something that brought me joy."
She hopes Ballet After Dark will help others like her. "I was ready to get it together. I was ready to be strong. I was ready to reclaim my power, but it took time. Healing is not a linear process. You have to be open to the idea of healing at your own pace," said Edwards.
Edwards' friend Patrice Abel said dance is a great way to heal. Abel is also a survivor who's been supporting Edwards since the beginning. "Through dance you can strengthen your body, and you can also strengthen your mind, and you’re more confident," said Abel. "You feel like you can walk down the street more confidently and not worry about is it going to happen again."
Even those who aren't survivors still loved being part of this process. Tamara Robinson was a student of Edwards and got her daughter to be part of Edwards' class and in the documentary.
"As a result of Ballet After Dark she can see how her passion for dance can be used to help others, can be used to heal others," said Robinson. All of the ballerinas in the documentary are or will be students in Baltimore School for the Arts.
The next "Heal How You Feel" event is on July 14 from 3 p.m. untl 7:00 p.m. at the Impact Hub in Baltimore (10 East North Avenue). This is a workshop/mini-retreat for survivors. For more information about Ballet After Dark go to their website or follow them on twitter.