Community Responses

“I think this is an amazing project with a great concept really reaching out to all different cultures and backgrounds. JJ made me feel very calm and free to just move in what i was feeling. He gave just as much energy as I did if not more and he pushed me to leave my all on the dance floor and that’s what I did.” – Rebecca Savage

“It’s such an amazing idea, and the pictures you’ve taken are so special. I can’t think of a better word. Really touching.” – Kelcy Stagstetter

“What a complete and total privilege to spend the past three days watching you dance, meeting friends of yours who so lovingly support you and your work, and all the beautiful dancers who shared their spotlight with you and introduced me to forms of dance I never even knew existed. What an amazing city, what a fabulous idea of yours to explore and celebrate it through dance. I can’t wait to see what comes next. You are so incredibly gifted and so incredibly generous.” – Judy Hellman, Mural Arts

“I’ve gotten about 18 million emails about this from different sources. My inbox is abuzz.” – Baylor Harton

“JJ, it is all so amazing. I can’t wait for the day when I do the 95 drive-by and see your work there. A gift for all those coming to our city, letting everyone know of our diversity, our strength, our beauty, our joy. i enjoyed helping on Sunday. Thanks for letting me be a part of your magic.” – Aseel Rasheed

“I was thoroughly impressed with the staff/volunteers at the HPM photo shoot. Everyone was very professional and helpful. I think the project is great since it will showcase many forms of dance in such a prominent location in the city. Also, I was excited to have had the opportunity to be photographed by J.J. His work is phenomenal and it is indeed an honor to have been selected to be a part of the project.” – Yolanda Sample

“JJ, you are the most amazing spirit I have met in a very long time. I appreciate your spirit and energy! I will be there on Thursday…thanks for being you!” – Vena Jefferson

“You guys are the best!!!!! MAP is right when they forseen this project as the best ever. I Just wanted to congratulate JJ and his team for been able to embrace such a huge diverse community and make them be part of one of the greater experiments on human collaborations. The energy moving around Painted Bride was electrifing, everybody taking part felt like a winner already, because the positiveness of their souls irradiate a mile around. The fact that it was not a performance nor an audition, but a real 7 minutes of fame while sharing who you are, how you feel while owning the stage and becoming part of the history of charming Philadelphia. Thanks to JJ who exemplary humanism has had a dream not just to share , but to keep it real and endless. Good faith everyone.” – Cesar Viveros

“The whole experience was wonderful, every person I came in contact with was nicer than the next and everyone really seemed to go out of their way to answer questions and make me feel super comfortable.” – Monica Herrera

“Seriously, though, I wanted to say thank you for involving me in the shoot yesterday. It really did leave me with a stronger feel of what the project is really about, and moreover it touched me personally. Me getting up anywhere and dancing in front of people on a stage would not have crossed my mind before yesterday. I’m still a little embarrassed to think of how I must have looked so clumsy and out-of-sync with my sudden dance partner. (If you got even one decent picture out of it, you’re a magician!) But even that embarrassment does not detract from the amazing sense of community and artistic unity I walked away with. What a special thing that, a year from now, when this whole big mural is up and dedicated, I’ll be able to say (and feel) “I was a part of that.” Very cool, JJ. VERY cool.” – Rachel Estrada Ryan

“I thought that it was an amazing experience, the people were all amazing, and J.J. is extremely talented. I felt very welcome, appreciated and accepted amongst the staff and very different array of dancers that participated. It also gave us a venue to come together and have a sort of dance fellowship, to be creative, share, learn, and sweat together. I felt very connected to the mission of the project and I believe this was expressly shown through my performance. I was on a sort of high in which my body and spirit took control, giving it all up and saving nothing, leaving me breathless. The genre(s) of dance I performed, being so expressive, as well as the receptive environment, really allowed me to release and give my all, hopefully giving J.J. an experience to capture. I really felt a sense of value, meaning, and worth in being able to contribute to the project.” – Roshelle Lennon

“It was such a pleasure getting to support you while your worked last weekend. The shoot felt like a real celebration of our community. Helping out felt like giving thanks for this fabulous community of creative people that I am blessed to be a part of. Congratulations to you for not only taking over 10k images, but also for modeling how to do a job while staying relaxed, appreciating your crew, and having fun. Hurrah and three cheers.” – Erin Foreman-Murray