On March 27, 2007 Rhea began a journey toward fulfilling her life long dream. In August of 2008, that dream became a reality. She became the founder of the RH School of Performing Arts, Inc, a performing arts school in the heart of the South Shore community.
As a young child Rhea always knew she wanted to dance. At the age of 11 she began extensive dance training in ballet and jazz with such greats as Sadie Bruce and Sammy Dyer. She later went on to continue her dance training with a concentration in tap dance at Mayfair Academy. From there she was on to the Joel Hall Dance Company where her concentration of study was modern dance. With 7 years of extensive dance training under her belt, Rhea decided to try her hand at choreography. She went on to become the choreographer for the Gwendolyn Brooks Dance Troupe for 2 years. It was at this time that her talents were recognized and she was encouraged to begin training for the Miss Illinois Pageant system. Rhea's commitment to training, talent, poise and personality earned her a place as a contestant in the Miss Illinois Pageant twice; once as the First Black Miss Macomb in 1990 and again as Miss Northwest Cook County in 1992. Her hard work and perseverance earned her a spot as a top10 finalist in the Miss Illinois Pageant in 1992. During this time Rhea auditioned for the Chicago Bulls Cheerleading team the Luv-A-Bulls, made it, and went on to perform with the squad all over the world for 2 years.
Modeling was always a passion of Rhea's and in 1998 she decided to pursue it with a drive and determination that only she knows how. With the help of extensive training with Jackie Blakely and the Collage Modeling Troupe, Rhea went on to do runway and choreography for such greats as Revlon, Colomer USA, and Inner Beauty Fashion Affair. In September of 2006 Rhea joined the Fieldcrest School of Performing Arts staff as a modeling instructor.
Rhea has been an active advocate for children for over 10 years. She has served as the coach for the 2 time Catholic League City Champion St. Thomas the Apostle Cheer/Pom squad, worked as a modeling instructor for the Fieldcrest School of Performing Arts, and participated in, helped coordinate and/or hosted events such as the Children's Special Olympics and Back to School Fairs. Rhea is also member of the Lake Shore Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc. where she has served as the Vice-President and the Teen Advisor. Rhea is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.
Rhea, a graduate of Chicago State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Health Information Management, is also presently the Health Information Manager for Advocate Health Centers. She is actively pursuing her Masters degree in Business Administration.
An active member of Trinity United Church of Christ, Rhea understands that finding your life's purpose is purely a gift from God. What you do with it is your gift to him. Rhea has found her life's purpose. It is to empower our youth to become strong, determined, respectable, peace-centered, productive and well rounded individuals of society. Our children are trying so desperately to find their way and have their voices heard. It is Rhea's belief that the arts are an integral part of helping them find their way. The RH School of Performing Arts will provide them with the platform for their talents to be nurtured, their voices to be heard, their academic achievements to be praised and their dreams to come true.
"Academics is Food for the Mind, Dancing is Food for the Soul”
Rhea A. Henderson