About The Esperanza Dance Project
Taking its name from the Spanish word for “hope,” Esperanza Dance Project was started in January 2011 in Tucson, Ariz., by choreographer and director Beth Braun, a professional dancer and high school dance educator.
The Esperanza Dance Project involves more than 25 teen and adult dancers, artists, writers and performers of diverse ethnicities, genders, backgrounds, artistic training, abilities and ages.
The Project also maintains a Board made up of individuals representing a range of knowledge, including dance, mental health, business, art, and creative writing.
In March 2011, Esperanza Dance Project was accepted for fiscal sponsorship with Fractured Atlas, a national nonprofit artist service organization providing a range of support services for the independent arts community. Donations can be made through Fractured Atlas here.
She had an anatomical heart with wings tattooed on her forearm with the Spanish word “esperanza,” which translates to “hope.” Was this tattoo her desperate attempt to find hope in her life when in reality, she had spiraled deeply to a place of complete hopelessness?
The woman with the tattoo is near and dear to the heart of this Project. She had a secretive life, filled with overwhelming pain, shame and suffering. Since the age of seven she was a victim of sexual abuse. Now 22, she still feared that if this secret was revealed she would no longer be worthy of love. Throughout childhood and adolescence this young woman found ways to temporarily avoid the pain, however, these self-destructive behaviors eventually served only to increase the intensity of her suffering to the point of complete despair.