Ballet After Dark showed that Baltimore’s got talent thanks to a stirring audition featuring founder Tyde-Courtney Edwards on last night’s episode of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”
The show’s three judges were inspired enough by the dancers’ performance to Kesha’s “Praying,” as well as Edwards’ mission to help trauma survivors reclaim relationships with their bodies and lives through the healing power of dance, to unanimously vote for the troupe’s passage into the competition round.
The Baltimore-based Edwards is no stranger to accolades for her work: She recently won the $25,000 top prize from an event celebrating her and other organizations in the latest cohort of Johns Hopkins University’s Social Innovation Lab. Telling her story on camera also isn’t new to her, as she’s detailed the creation of Ballet After Dark in Procter & Gamble‘s “Queen Collective” video series. All of these experiences culminated in Edwards and her troupe being ready for the performance of a lifetime.
Edwards previously told Technical.ly that her organization was created so “survivors of trauma and violence [don’t] experience the same lonely journey to healing that I experienced.” Ballet After Dark uses dance therapy to provide free, trauma-informed and holistic resources to those who have survived sexual trauma and various levels of violence in Baltimore city.
The org’s powerful message, in concert with the troupe’s choreography, resulted in “yes” votes from the nationwide talent competition’s 17th season judges Simon Cowell, Sofía Vergara and Heidi Klum.
It’s another crowning moment for Edwards as she recently received American Rescue Plan funds from the city through the Baltimore Civic Fund’s Nonprofit Relief Fund, which grants financial relief to nonprofits impacted by the pandemic so the organizations can continue to provide core services.
After our performance, @SimonCowell came backstage and shook founding director @Curvyballerina hand and told her that Ballet After Dark is truly inspiring and that he loves ballet now! Thank you for the opportunity @AGT pic.twitter.com/d6k43DdS6f
— Ballet After Dark (@BalletAfterDark) July 20, 2022
Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation. -30-