Mayzsoul Inc. was a non-profit dance company founded by my mentor, Melanie Lalande, in the DC area. The souls involved supplied an intense energy which made everyone believe that, Mayzsoul was destined for greatness. When Melanie left to run a Cirque Du Soleil show, it was up to the company to continue Mayzsoul’s mission. “To create and grow a community of artists,” was our mission, and wouldn’t you know it, we ran for five seasons strong.


Each season, a company member would be promoted as Artistic Director and/or Operations Manager. The first four years of Mayzsoul’s existence, I lived in Richmond, VA, making the two hour drive, every weekend. I had worked with Melanie from age 15 and like to think I was one of her protégés. During our time I had created a plethora of shows but, was never promoted. Then, I moved back home, and was thankfully promoted to Artistic Director. Finally, my visions and concepts could be executed! During my year as Artistic Director, I established a solid relationship with a charity for kids with special needs and/or low-income households, produced three full-length shows, and was accepted to perform at multiple festivals.


The beginning of the year was such a success which left me worried about the second half of the year. I thought, “we will either become a success or fail miserably.” We didn’t fail but, the second half of the season was rough. We were exhausted and it became clear that the company members wanted to live their lives more than they wanted to make Mayzsoul successful. Mayzsoul started when I was 20 and by 25, everyone wanted live their lives without dance. Before my second season as AD, it was clear that this was the end of this endeavor. I was alone in fulfilling Mayzsoul’s purpose. I dreaded making the phone call to Melanie. “It’s time to pull the plug,” I said, and she politely agreed. I had failed many times before but this time, it took a large piece of my soul. I felt shame and emptiness for a solid year.


Thankfully, that desolate time provided beneficial insight. The amount in which we commit should be based on deeply believing its realistic attainability. More importantly, you really cannot do everything alone. Even though I continue to execute most ventures alone, they are not pursued out of an isolated wishful thinking.

Published by Joye Thomas

Navigating through life, trying to bring joy and change to the world. Well established dance teacher, highly sought after in the Northern Virginia area. Inventor of "Articulation Technique." Articulation Technique is a modern-dance based technique devised to harness all of one’s knowledge on various dance styles, with the hopes to clearly communicate movement to anyone. Elements of Articulation Technique are: relaxation of proper muscles in order to conserve energy; working through resistance filled space that allows us to feel texture; agility and dynamic movements that gives one full awareness of weight; energy in terms of positivity and proper usage; and power that comes from within the soul to complete power moves. When Articulation Technique is accessed the body develops in strength and muscle memory is heightened allowing the body to operate as a tool.

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