The 25-year dance career of Kenya Jordan came to a close late last month at St. Luke Community Fellowship Hall with a program appropriately titled, This is it…Total Praise Performance.
Jordan, who was raised and educated in Darby Township, is the daughter of Clarence and Norma Jordan. She dedicated all that time to teaching dance including ballet, jazz, and inspirational performance, among others, to the children of Chester. She founded the Believe in Strength Dance Company, and the dance groups “Believe in Strength I and II” as well as “Seven.”
Jordan’s final show was where she was baptized, at St. Luke, and where she has served in various capacities including choral ensemble, horticultural and hospitality ministry, as a Sunday School and Vacation Bible School teacher, youth advisor and on the Decorating Committee.
The idea for the Believe in Strength Dance Company first came to her, she said, when she realized that Chester children have talent. The name of the company reflects the notion that everyone should believe in something and that belief will provide strength for a person to become whatever they desire.
The mother of Keenon Torian Harris and stepmother to Dominique and Mustafa Chellis, she also helped to raise Dodson Mosely and Candice Thompson Jefferson.
For many years, Jordan operated a home daycare business and also taught at day care centers in Chester and Sharon Hill. In 1997, Jordan was awarded an Outstanding Young Woman of America award and also honored by the NAACP.
Throughout her life, Jordan’s great love has always been dance. As a child, she studied ballet and jazz at the Joan Myers Dance Studio and ultimately decided to share her passion with others. Jordan held classes at the F.D. Jones Community Center, and later at the YMCA. She presented a sold out recital each June featuring her students.
Ten years ago, she was asked to choreograph a dance for a group of young women from the Ruth Mitchell Tucker Youth Department #95. From that performance, an inspirational dance troupe called The Angels from Heaven emerged.
Jordan later became dance instructor for the New Performance Arts Center of Smedley/Allied Health Academy. She has also been dance coordinator for the Cheyney University Debutante Ball, a counselor for the teenage mother’s program, a foster parent and director of the F.D. Jones Community Center’s performing arts program. She was also dance coordinator for the National Gospel Chorus Convention.
During Jordan’s finale show, she offered thanks and appreciation to many who have supported her program including, Robert Benson, Tiberius Bobo, Aaron Bluden, Rev. Richard Brown, DaQuan Dill, Mary Ellis, Renita Garrett, Janice Graham, Mabel Harris, Floyd Jackson, Pam Johnson, Lou Macklin, Barry Mitchell, Bernard Pinder, Derrick Price, Kyle Rawls, Rosa Riley, Stanley Riley, Tracy Roberts, Sheila Plummer Shockley, Tammy Staples, Evang. LaWanda Swan, Portia West, Elizabeth Williams, Rev. Bernice Warren, Angie Mitchell-Williams, and Joan Wright.
She also thanked her children, her mother, Norma, and fiance’ Melvin Jordan, Jr.
Jordan plans to continue helping her mother with their bridal/event coordination business.
“Everybody has a season and mine is up,” Jordan said. “I enjoyed every minute of working with the children over the years.”