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Hurricane Katrina Brings New Life to Dancer

Vernado in the Dance 411 Studio

Dance 411’s Varnado Expressing Her Joy of Dance – Photos by Jean Hallman

By Jean Hallman
Kendra Varnado was studying infectious diseases at Tulane University in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck. Varnado got out safely but lost all of her possessions.
“I lost everything,” said Varnado, “I don’t think I’ve ever felt so helpless and unsettled in my life. I had three days’ worth of clothes, my school books, and my purse, to my name.”
Tulane relocated Kendra’s department to Emory University. A trained ballet dancer, Varnado began to study in Atlanta and turned to dance as a way of coping with the loss and change in her life.
“I looked up some local dance studios and came upon Dance 411 Studios. I took the bus over to the area and took my first class. I couldn’t believe how much I needed the release and how at home I finally felt.”
Varnado enjoyed her experience at Dance 411 so much she pleaded for an internship. After graduating with her degree, Varnado took on a permanent position with Dance 411 and sister company Bloc South. After over four years with Dance 411, Kendra now works in production for various music videos, award shows, and Fashion Week in New York City.
“Since I arrived at Dance 411 my whole life and outlook has changed,” said Kendra. “I have had an amazing journey that I may not have ever had without Hurricane Katrina.”
Learn more about Dance 411 Studios located at 475 Moreland Avenue SE, at, or call 404-622-4110.

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