"Dance encapsulates the heart and spirit of the soul." I am a native Washingtonian and former chair of the Ward 7 Arts Collaborative. The arts are an avenue for children and adults to express themselves freely. I have been a resident of Ward 7 for over thirty years, and now a retired classroom teacher from Smothers Elementary School where I founded the Smothers Dance Ensemble 26 years ago. The Smothers Dance Ensemble has now been renamed the Julia Hurdle-Jones Ensemble Cast. My work with the Ensemble has allowed me to touch the lives of thousands of children, and in return it has made my life better. The Ensemble Cast has performed in many venues in Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia, and New York. "Children are the eyes of the soul, and it is my honor to work with them."