That’s My Cousin!

Last week, I got to watch my cousin, Jessie Ryan, perform with her dance troupe Diavolo on America’s Got Talent. My very first tour as Founding Footsteps was with Diavolo over a year ago. The night before, I watched them perform to a sold out crowd at Philadelphia’s Merriam Theater. The show opened and closed with my cousin as the sole performer on stage. Watching their company live out their dreams that night was incredibly inspiring for me and it made my first tour all the more special and memorable.

Even though she’s quite a bit younger, I’d like to think that Jessie and I have always had a unique kinship. I didn’t go to college until much later in life and we both graduated from Adelphi University in the same year. We had different majors (I’ve never been much of a dancer) and so we sat on opposite ends of Nassau Coliseum for the ceremony. At one point during the graduation, I decided to get a beer from one of the vendors in the lobby. Out of the thousands of people in attendance, the only other person in line for a beer was my cousin.

I can’t tell you how much I admire her focus. I say this without the least bit of exaggeration, from the very first day that Jessie was able to vocalize her dream, the answer was to be a dancer. Over the years, our family has had the privilege of watching her live out that quest. We get to point her out to those around us and brag “See the lead? That’s my cousin. Isn’t she talented?” And she is! But more than that, she’s dedicated. Beyond anyone I’ve ever personally known. She shines on stage because when the spotlight is off, she’s working. She’ll spend hours upon hours pushing her body beyond its limits, raising her personal bar each time. She’s been bloodied, bruised and on the verge of breaking down, only to get up the next morning, and do it all over again.

America’s Got Talent is by no means her pinnacle. It’s just another carrot that was dangled in front of her that, through hard work and perseverance, she was determined to reach. I hope she enjoys it for a few moments before setting her sights on the next carrot, which I know she’ll devour as well. So as Diavolo advances on America’s Got Talent, please watch and vote!! And when you see someone during their performance, doing the seemingly impossible, just know, “That’s my cousin! Isn’t she talented?”

Check out their amazing performance here!

Post contributed by Tim McAleer

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Historically Hilarious BYOB Tours of Philadelphia

An entertaining, comedic story-telling adventure through Philadelphia, covering the city's major attractions. Tours runs for 2 hours. All ages are welcome. 21+ to drink.

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Explore historic Philadelphia on this walking tour of the Old City District, a quick and convenient introduction for first-time visitors. See Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Betsy Ross House, Ben Franklin Post Office, Carpenters’ Hall, and more. Then wander down Elfreth’s Alley, the nation’s oldest continuously inhabited residential street. Plus, choose from multiple departure times to suit your needs. Our storytelling guide will cover famous historic moments in American history as well as the history that you won't see in textbooks!

Our Old City Historic Walking Tour can also be booked as a private tour!

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School Tours for Students

At Founding Footsteps, we take pride in creating tours that are not only educational, but also immersive and captivating for students. Our tours are thoughtfully designed to bring Philadelphia's fascinating history and rich culture to life, providing students with an interactive learning experience that goes beyond the walls of the classroom.

We believe that learning should be engaging and memorable, and our tours are crafted with this principle in mind. We strive to make history come alive for students by incorporating interactive elements and engaging storytelling throughout our tours. By doing so, we hope to instill a lifelong appreciation for history and culture in our young learners.

We understand that budget constraints can be a major concern when planning school trips. That's why we offer competitive pricing options, making our tours accessible to as many students as possible. We believe that every student should have the opportunity to learn and explore outside of the classroom, and we aim to make that possible by providing affordable and high-quality tours.

At the heart of everything we do is our passion for education and our commitment to providing students with an unforgettable experience. We take great care in creating tours that are not only informative, but also engaging and fun. We believe that learning should be an adventure, and we invite students to join us on a journey through Philadelphia's vibrant history and culture.

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