Ep 26 - The Dance of Leadership with Princess Mhoon, Founder & Director, PMDC
“Creativity is something we all possess and tapping into it helps us live our best lives.” Princess Mhoon is truly a wonder-leader: an award-winning choreographer, educator, entrepreneur and scholar all in one! Her artistic brilliance was sought out by the While House and Michele Obama; her work commissioned by the Kennedy Center and she’s been called "A visionary of her generation!" In this dynamic, enlightening interview you’ll hear her amazing story of growing up in Chicago as the daughter of artists and granddaughter of entrepreneurs; how she artfully integrates art and business; her insights for dealing with the the most challenging circumstances and people with grace, respect and power; and so much more! What you'll learn A wonderful story of how growing up as a daughter of artists in Chicago influenced Princess’s personality, artistic life and professional direction as an adult How her trailblazing, financially savvy grandparents helped develop her entrepreneurial side Artful (pun intended!) ways Princess utilizes and integrates both parts of her experience - artist and entrepreneur – in her life and work Inspiring story of how Princess redefined her identity and self-value after a difficult divorce Obstacles she has faced as a double minority - an African American woman - in business and ways she has learned to overcome them How Princess balances love, respect, grace and assertiveness when dealing with difficult people and situations Her aspiration to find a managing director (do apply within) to run her art organization to focus on being an artistic director Valuable advice to young entrepreneur, women and leaders facing challenges And so much more! Links & Resources Princess Mhoon Dance Institute – link to Princess’s amazing organization Leadership Greater Washington - fantastic organization for leaders in the D.C. area Books we discussed and recommended in this episode Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci by Michael Gelb Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey About Princess Mhoon Princess Mhoon is a choreographer, producer, educator, and scholar recognized in 2015 by HUFFINGTON POST as one of 26 Female Choreographers "You Should Know" and Dance Magazine's 2006 "Top 25 to Watch" in the world for the Women's Choreography Project titled This Woman's Work. Mhoon is a second generation artist and entrepreneur who has set her sights on enhancing the artistic landscape of the Nation’s Capitol. In 2016 she was invited to participate as one of the region's leading dance leaders by First Lady Michelle Obama during her Celebration of Black Women in Dance; she also served as a panelist for The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans during Women's History Month. Mhoon is also a 2015 Helen Hayes Award Nominee for Best Choreography in a Musical, a Helen Hayes winner for Best Musical, and one of 37 International artists invited to Lusaka, Zambia for solo performance and master classes at the 2015 Barefeet Theatre Festival for vulnerable youth sponsored by UNICEF. She is also a 2016 class member of Leadership Greater Washington. With work commissioned by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the DC Jazz Festival, Princess Mhoon has been called "A visionary of her generation." She is the Founder and Director of the Princess Mhoon Dance Institute with locations in DC and Maryland. Mhoon has served on faculty at Howard University, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance and a Master of Arts degree in Public History. Her research focuses on Dance History and the African-American experience in dance. In 2015, she was awarded the Owen Dodson DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI award from her Alma Mater. A native of Chicago, Illinois, she began her training with Alyo Children's Dance Theatre, Joseph Holmes Dance Studio, and Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago. Mhoon Cooper has received numerous awards and scholarships for her excellence in dance, including recognition from the American Dance Festival, Dance Magazine, Howard University, Career Transitions for Dancers, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She has performed and toured with the world-renowned Ronald K. Brown/Evidence Dance Company, Rennie Harris Puremovement, The Chuck Davis African American Dance Ensemble, Nathan Trice Rituals, and Deeply Rooted Productions. She is the founder of DANCING FEET, an integrated arts program that includes classes and workshops for schools and outreach institutions. The opening of PMDI is the continuation of a life long commitment to the field of dance.