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Domonique Glover: Still at the Top of the Class

By Linda Nelson
Sojourner’s Truth Reporter

On the surface it seems as if Domonique Glover’s life is an exercise in contraries. In 2004, Glover – now a math teacher and tutor at Horizon Science Academy, and a principal dancer and contemporary jazz instructor with the Toledo Ballet – left Toledo for a future full of promise as a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta Georgia, and the dream of becoming a pediatrician.

“I was always literally at the top of my class,” said the young man who graduated from Scott High School with a 4.56 GPA.  At Scott, Glover was given the unusual honor, as a male, to serve as class valedictorian. And by the time he finished high school, he had elicited bursaries from multiple local organizations and a renewable scholarship from Morehouse.  

Glover’s future was bright and he unstoppable when he delivered a memo of hope and encouragement to his high school class offering them the advice he’d grown up hearing – to help them navigate the waters they would encounter outside.

“I tried to share with my classmates that success isn’t just about getting everything that you want,” said Glover. “Sometimes you have to fail and fall and falter, but you get back up and you keep fighting for what you want and you keep going for your dreams.”

At the time Glover had no way of knowing that the root of the message he’d given to his high school classmates would also serve him in his own journey at Morehouse.  

“About a year and a half in, chemistry just wasn’t clicking for me,” said Glover. “I don’t remember when the seed was planted in me but we were basically told as children that a high school diploma was not enough, and that we weren’t finished with school until we at least earned a bachelor’s degree. It wasn’t forced on us but it was highly encouraged and rewarded, and after a while that ethic became instilled in us and second nature.”

So Glover reassessed his objective, and switched his major to math. “Something I always enjoyed and was good at,” he said. Math was the skill that he knew wouldn’t fail him. “There are certain things that I consider gifts,” said Glover.  “It’s my ability to take mathematical information, and retain that information, process it, and explain it to someone else.”

Glover was back on track academically. And then came the dancing.   

On a whim, he says, he joined a dance troupe “Just for kicks. I felt old because I started so late,” he said. “But most of the people who are gaining notoriety are in my age group.”

And for the next two years, he travelled and performed with the ensemble throughout the state of Georgia. He’d found his niche and began training technically in jazz and ballet before joining the Spelman Dance Theater Company and being promoted to principal dancer.

Glover graduated from Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics, and in 2009 he found himself back in Toledo.

He described his last year at Morehouse as “A faltering year that was very tough. I needed somewhere to go where I had support and a safety net.”

And it’s here in Toledo that his life as a dancer and his life as a teacher begin to intertwine.

“I want all of it,” Glover said. “Whether people remember me as Dom, Domonique or Mr. Glover, as a dancer, I want people to say ‘he performed from his heart and I loved performing with him.’ And as a teacher, I want my students to say that I was tough on them, ‘but he helped me understand math. I didn’t get it before, but now I understand why.’”  

As a math teacher, the fluidity he cultivates as a dancer helps him see and address the hurdles that affect his students.

“Many of the barriers that I see in my math students, regardless of ethnicity, are the stats that affect their learning abilities and are out of their control,” said Glover. “When kids can’t get to school on time, or have homework and their parents are working or busy and can’t help, it has an impact on learning.”

And as a dancer and instructor, Glover knows the benefits that discipline and hard work can bring when life is tough. He talked about his most memorable role as lead dancer in Stravinsky’s production Rite of Spring. “We had to walk around and dance on the apron. That’s the part of the stage that nobody really wants to touch because it’s a small lip on the stage and you’re out of the light. It represented everything that I was going through in my life at the time and culminated into one emotional, meaningful, moment for me.”

What’s next for Domonique Glover? More auditions and an upcoming role in Cabaret. “And hopefully in the very near future I’ll be able to do more productions outside of Toledo,” he said. He’d also like to see a greater push for the arts in black and Hispanic communities.

And then there’s the teaching, of course, which will include a teaching role, for him, in the Toledo Ballet’s After School dance program at the Boys & Girls Clubs beginning October 2017.

Dancing, instructing, teaching … a future as bright as it ever was!



Copyright © 2017 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08/16/18 14:12:34 -0700.

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