Empowerment in Dance

Empowered women, empower women. RP is dedicated to empowering all types of women; women who own businesses, women entrepreneurs, women who dance, and so many others.

In order to empower RP dancers, we interviewed one of our highly esteemed RP Teachers, Cory-Jeanne M. Houck-Cox.

What empowers you?

Being an empowered woman is the ability to live my life as I choose and being willing to focus and work hard for what I desire and believe in, as well as learning from previous failures.  During my career as a student and professional, I had several devasting and debilitating injuries to my ankles and then, neck. Two and a half years on crutches, 22 casts, 2 surgeries, followed later by fractured vertebras and 2 ½ years in neck braces, I learned to never give up even when the odds seemed impossible. My parents were my pillars. My mother was my role model as she was strong, adamant, fierce, courageous, kind and feminine. She gave me a plaque that said, “Dream, Believe, Achieve,” and a journal that said, “When I fall, I just get up and dance.”  The one inspired me when I was fourteen, the other when I was in my late twenties.   To empower oneself, one must surround themselves with like-minded people that can encourage you as well help you up when you are exhausted. Empowering myself also requires me to practice mindfulness and to be resolute about my professional development from within and outside of my field of expertise, as so much in life is a butterfly effect. I am in a continual state of learning, and that is very empowering. And most of all, my faith and my family empower me to be the best that I can be.

How do you empower your dancers/others?

I tell my dancers that they have the ability to do anything with focus and determination.  I explain that everything happens in incremental steps and to continue to believe in themselves as I do.  Dance is about the journey.

What would you say to a dancer who is feeling discouraged?

When a dancer is feeling discouraged, I like to sit with them on the floor and listen to what they are feeling.  As each dancer is a distinct individual, I try to encourage them with positive feedback, brainstorming on what can “we do together” to dance forward, and instill in them the faith to keep moving forward and that I am there for them.

Why do you/your students like the new RP EMPOWERED Leotard Collection?

What I embrace and celebrate about the new RP EMPOWERED Leotard Collection are the vibrant names given to each leotard as well as the new colors that represent springing into the new year, 2019.

What is your favorite leotard from the collection and why?

My favorite leotard is “Focused” because of the sleek lines with mesh insets.  The V-detail on the leotard that elongates the line in both the front and back are gorgeous. The high waist and V-cut also create the illusion of a longer torso and leg line.  The detailed back of the leotard with the V-cut and wider straps accentuate the back that create a striking waist.


Cory-Jeanne M. Houck-Cox, BA, ABT® Affiliate Certified Teacher Levels Primary-5 ABT NTC, is a choreographer, teacher and retired prima ballerina. Cory-Jeanne began her ballet training in New Mexico with Mariko, Suzanne Johnston, followed by international medalists Soili Arvola & Leo Ahonen. She began dancing professionally at fifteen and received scholarships to Ballet West, Houston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and Nagoya, Japan.  She performed with Ballet West, Pajarito Ballet Theatre, Pacific American Ballet Theatre and Ballet Theatre International. Cory-Jeanne was the first American ballerina to be chosen to dance with ballet superstar Irek Mukhamedov of the Royal Ballet, for his premiere tour as a Guest Artist to the United States.  They received rave reviews for their roles in “La Bayadere” and “Tarantella.” In 1997 she was invited to perform at the Presidential Inaugural Gala Balls. Her expertise is in ballet, but she has also studied in depth and performed jazz, lyrical, modern, contemporary, musical theater, and flamenco.

A Policy Board Member for the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), she is a Teaching Artist/Adjunct Faculty throughout the U.S. By personal invitation, she was invited to the Sundance Choreographer’s Lab. She co-created and performed in “Winter War” & “Proud Heritage”, both recipients of Irvine Foundation and National Endowment of the Arts, which were presented at the Kennedy Center. Her method of combining of ABT curriculum with national standards was published in Dance Education in Practice (DEiP). Ms. Houck-Cox is an Aspen Institute Scholar Fellow. She teaches in the Private Sector and Public Schools. She is a member of IADMS, Classical Dance Alliance, Dance USA, and Americans for the Arts. She most recently became certified and licensed in Progressing Ballet Technique® (PBT), and attended the “Whole Body Dancer Alignment”, with Deb Vogel presented by the Royal Academy of Dance, USA. She is an Adjudicator for regional and national dance competitions as well as magnet programs.

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