West End Talent
I was fortunate enough to watch some of the most amazing talent. No, it wasn’t the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre (although they are simply fantastic!). It was the ArtsReach Performing Arts Showcase at the KY Center. Over 170 youth from several of the local community centers came together and gave a superb performance.
Imagine several dozen pre-school aged children standing on stage in their sailor hats dancing to “Good Ship Lollipop”. Some of the kids actually knew the words to the songs and all of the moves. Others just stood on stage star struck and amazed that they were the focus of attention. Anything 3-5 year olds do is usually cute, but this routine was just right for them.
Then there was a very moving piece by several girls from the Grace Divine Liturgical Dance Institute. At the beginning there was a problem with their music, but these ladies stayed composed. They danced with such emotion and strong energy. You didn’t want to blink your eye for fear of missing a beat.
Not only was there dancing, there was a stage full of violinists. I admired the amount of boys that have becoming dedicated to playing and you can tell they each have a passion for it. While I listened to each one play, I wondered how far they would go and who may be the next hip hip violinist or 1st chair in an orchestra.
The show ended with a bang! The dance team Str8Legit put together this jamming rendition of The Wiz. They incorporated many of the songs from the movie. At the same time, they added some current dances and current dance moves. The costumes were on point. The young kids loves watching the dance team move and the older adults in the building were able to reflect back on the ‘old school’ music.
The talented instructors of the different groups included: Keith Cook, Portia White Muhammad, Marlina Churn-Diallo, Baba Serikali, Sherley Desgranges and Marcellus Love. If you haven’t seen any of their work, you are definitely missing out.
For those of you that have children that you feel are just sitting at home wasting their time away, definitely consider getting them involved with the ArtsReach program. They have activities at 50 different community centers/locations in the area. If you don’t have children, but have a gift you like to share (talent or monetary), please contact Julia Youngblood (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the KY Center. We need to support our youth in every way possible.
M.Y. June 2009