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As another Valentine’s Day comes to a close and I reflect on all the wonderful people I have in my life, I am reminded of those who have less.┬áSo, as you eat the last of your chocolate and your roses begin to wilt away, I ask that you take a moment for something invaluable and indestructible: just giving love.

 

Help support the Africa Yoga Project

 

This has extra significance for me on this particular Valentine’s Day because I have just become an ambassador for a wonderful organization called Africa Yoga Project. AYP is a not for profit based out of Nairobi, Kenya and they teach respect, love, non-violence, and unity to the waring tribes of Kenyan people through the power of yoga. This, in turn, promotes mental and physical well-being and a sense of hope and opportunity. AYP also raises money for local schools and to send Kenyan natives to teacher training programs so that they can have jobs and bring yoga back to their communities. The ambassador program helps facilitate the cultivation of this through raising money, and ambassadors go to Kenya for at least 2 weeks to teach yoga, share their culture and knowledge, and spread the love. I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the Kenyan teachers and find them truly inspiring. They have absolutely nothing, yet they are the happiest, most optimistic, and loving people. I hope to have the opportunity to travel to Kenya this summer with AYP to teach yoga, hold a dance workshop for kids, and be an ambassador for change, empowerment, and love. Please consider looking into this great organization, and if you can, help out my campaign! Give Love!!!!

And happy belated Valentine’s Day!

Written by Keenan Mclaren

Keenan McLaren is from Boston, MA where she began her ballet training at the age of 8. She trained at the Boston Ballet School for 10 years, and upon graduating from high school, secured a job as an apprentice with Ballet Austin II. After one season in Austin, Keenan then joined Dayton Ballet, where she danced for 5 seasons, performing many principal and soloist roles, as well as had many roles created on her by such choreographers as Christopher Fleming, Gregory Robinson, Steven Mills, Jeffrey Hughes, and Alan Hineline. In the fall of 2010, Keenan moved to Philadelphia to join the newly established BalletFleming, where she had the opportunity to dance many principal roles as well and set and ballet mistress many of Mr. Fleming’s works. For the upcoming season, Keenan is thrilled to be joining Nashville Ballet.
In her free time, Keenan is an avid yogi and yoga teacher, having just completed her training with Baron Baptiste. She is also a huge foodie and loves cooking and experimenting in the kitchen, especially with raw and vegan foods. Keenan also loves photography, particularly black and white film. In 2008, she won a Dance Magazine Photo contest and hopes to one day become a dance photographer.