Winson-Salem State alumnus and NBA legend Chris Paul have partnered with ESPN and Andscape to produce a new edition of the ESPN+ series “Why Not Us” per a statement by ESPN Press Room. “Why Not Us: Grambling Dance” will feature episodes centered around the Orchesis Dance Company, which was founded on the campus of Grambling in 1948 by Catherine Jones Williams.
Williams created the dance organization with the aim of training dancers aesthetically, developing high artistic standards, and fostering an appreciation of dance as an art form. Additionally, the organization seeks to create community awareness of modern dance, making it an accessible experience for all. Since it's inception the band has traveled and performed in venues around America as well as overseas and has been featured in the 2002 film “Drumline” and the 2007 film “The Great Debaters”.
In this season, we will witness J’aime Griffith's journey as she assumes leadership of the program from a renowned director with 38 years of experience. Alongside this, she will strive to restore the dedication and work ethic required from every dancer to maintain the prestigious status of the Orchesis Dance Company (ODC) at Grambling State University. Join us as we delve into the practices, classrooms, and communities of this cherished sisterhood and uncover what it truly means to embody the spirit of Orchesis.
Chris Paul spoke about the new season of “Why Not Us” and said, “Marching Band performances are a fundamental element of life at HBCUs as the center of culture shaping the HBCU experience, Dancers bring the HBCU culture to life and demonstrate school pride through unity and showmanship. This season on Why Not Us, the talented Grambling Dance program will show audiences the drive and focus it takes to come together and breathe life into those performances.”
The series will feature 8 episodes that will air on ESPN+ premiering on October 4th with the final episode debuting on November 22nd.