Artist spotlight interviews and editing by Ebony English. Ebony is a writer of poetry and fiction. She is currently working on a collection of short stories.
Pamela Hetherington is a dancer, choreographer, instructor and the director of Take It Away Dance. She is passionate about tap dance education and has performed widely across Philadelphia and the East Coast. Learn more about her through this month’s artist spotlight!
Please tell us about yourself and your work in dance.
I grew up in Northeast Philadelphia and I have been dancing in Philadelphia for my entire life. I started producing my own work about 10 years ago, and two years ago, I started my own dance company.
What does being an artist in Philadelphia mean to you?
I think that Philadelphia artists have a certain scrappiness and determination to do a lot with a little. I love this city and I love connecting with people here.
Who is your favorite artist?
I get a lot of inspiration from Rennie Harris, another Philadelphian and the director of Rennie Harris Pure Movement.
What or who inspires you the most?
I’m inspired by other women directors in tap who have forged a path for me to do what I do, including Lynn Dally, Jane Goldberg and Heather Cornell.
What kind of creative routines and rituals do you have?
I write five pages in my journal every day. I sit in at Jazz Jam every week and get my ass kicked.
What are you working on currently?
I have three shows coming up in the next three months, life is insane! I’m trying to do it all.
What resources have you utilized for Philly-based creatives?
Corzo Center for the Creative Economy
What advice would you give to aspiring dancers?
Nobody can teach you enthusiasm. If you can’t or won’t express enthusiasm for what you are doing, then you shouldn’t be doing it.
Make an effort to support others in your field. Go to shows, promote on social media and be positive about everything everyone is doing in the world. The success of others, especially in the arts, is good for you and good for your art form.
You can’t be afraid of losing, because essentially, there is no fear and there is no loss, in the pursuit of doing what you were born to do.
How can people connect with you?
You can get more information from my website: www.takeitawaydance.com