Esperanza “House of Hope”

The Esperanza dance project was founded by Ms. Braun in 2011 in hopes of spreading awareness about sexual violence and the subsequent trauma following it. The company is mainly composed of UHS students and alumni, and Tucson High students. This assembly of students has created a “House of Hope,” granting high school students access to understanding sexual violence. This performance is not limited to dancing, but also includes live poetry and film. As many as 1 in 4 females is sexually abused, and 1 in 6 males. As this is a prevalent topic, the goal of this project is to both raise awareness and provide help and hope to those whose lives are affected by sexual violence.

The opening piece, “I Don’t Pray Anymore,” introduces the project to the audience. With dancers dressed in regular clothes, it is symbolic of the commonality of sexual abuse and how it really does have the ability to affect anyone around us. The second piece “Give Me Novacaine” displays the hardships associated with those who have been sexually abused. The song represents how many who have been sexually abused succome to using substances in order to try and relieve their grief. The third piece “Hurt,” demonstrates the low points and traumatizing stages that survivors of sexual abuse experience, ending with the dancers furiously throwing their chairs. The next piece “To Cry For You” conveys the overwhelming emotions that those close to a sexual abuse survivor, including parents, friends, etc. feel. The closing piece, “Set You Free,” was created to elicit hope and offer support for survivors and their loved ones.

Sexual abuse defined by Esperanza is “an umbrella term that encompasses sexual harassment, abuse, rape, and assault.” The most important actions that they believe we can take to help survivors of sexual abuse are believing them, listening, providing support, and aiding them in getting help. Esperanza is a truly impactful and powerful program that has and continues to affect the lives of many.

If you are interested in learning more about the Esperanza dance project, visit their website: and help do your part to spread awareness for sexual abuse.


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