Imani's Story - " A Bright Light


Imani Thompson Twine’s brief but meaningful life touched the hearts of countless people who knew and loved her as well as many people who never met the vibrant and accomplished 16-year-old high school senior. She possessed an extraordinary ability to impact people of all backgrounds, ages, races and cultures with her quiet strength, maturity and positive outlook on the world.

Imani sought to excel in every aspect of her life and worked hard to achieve her goals and aspirations. Rarely daunted by challenges, she always tunneled her way through problems – large or small – without complaint. Instead, she committed a healthy dose of optimism, humor, spirit and a sense of purpose in every aspect of her life.

A rising senior at Decatur High School in Decatur, Georgia at the time of her death, Imani’s leadership was evidenced by the many activities in which she participated as well as her academic achievements.
Although relatively new at her high school, Imani’s rapid rise in popularity among her classmates and a strong display of business leadership garnered her election as senior class treasurer. She was also inducted into the National Honor Society and was a member of the Future Business Leaders of America, the Fellowship of Christian Students and the Key Club.
Imani’s peers often said that she was wise beyond her years and turned to her for advice and she served as a mentor to classmates and friends as well as younger girls.
Imani had the rare blessing of possessing a great passion for the very thing in which she was also talented: dance. She was an extremely talented and dedicated dance student who performed in many amateur and professional productions in schools, churches and venues throughout metro Atlanta.


Imani had an uncanny ability to communicate with dance and helped audiences to experience her passion for the art, thereby, giving everyone who saw her perform a memorable and moving experience. Her accomplishment as a dancer was further confirmed when she was honored as “Dancer of the Year” in 2010 by the prestigious Ballethnic Dance Company.


The self-disciplined dancer was also honored in 2010 when she was among the top 1% of high school students in Georgia to be selected as a representative to the Governor’s Honor’s Program with a discipline in dance. The Georgia Governor's Honors Program is a six-week summer instructional program designed to provide intellectually gifted and artistically talented high school students with educational opportunities not usually available during the regular school year. While representing Decatur High School at the Governor’s Honor’s Program in Valdosta, Georgia, Imani suffered complications from a rare illness and passed away on June 21, 2010 at age 16, leaving a legacy of hard work, accomplishments, and giving back to others as well as her community.


Imani’s high school principal described her death as “a significant loss to our school community,” while teachers, friends, fellow dancers and dance instructors paint a picture of a dynamic, graceful spirit who contributed greatly to her school and community, and whose warm heart and compassion touched the lives of many. In February 2011, the George State Senate honored Imani by passing Senate Resolution 93, recognizing her contributions during her short life.


Described by her parents, family, friends and teachers as a “bright light,” Imani Thompson Twine’s influence and spirit of courage, tenacity, and love for others will continue to inspire people from all walks of life through A Dancer’s Heart, which was established in 2011 in honor of her indelible imprint on the world.