Can a Dance Studio Teach Us How to Make the Right Moves in Life?
Rebekah Mawuko was one of the artists chosen for the Creative Placemaking grant, and started the Moving Forward Dance Studio on the second floor of the former Glass House headquarters. She is a professional dancer, choreographer, and instructor and has experience in a wide variety of dance styles. She has a passion for exposing the community to different cultures through dance.
What Moving Forward Dance Studio and Rebekah Mawuko Did:
The Moving Forward Dance Studio offered a large selection of classes throughout its duration, including African dance and drum, hip hop, Zumba, ballet, Capoeira, costume design, and musical theater. Local professional instructors assisted with many of the classes and integrated life skills learning into the sessions to help with healthy relationships, leadership, teamwork, following instructions, and self respect.
The studio was also a space for local dance and music groups such as the Royal Envy Dance Team and the Mawre and Co. Troop, and for instructional mentoring for advanced students, many of whom went on to perform professionally. All classes were family friendly, and some were designed specifically for infants and mothers, or children under the age of five.
Along with regular classes, Mawuko put on a summer camp for young children focusing on African dance, music, and culture.
The Dance Studio brought in people and children of all ages to learn and participate in an art form that is often overlooked, but can be the most beneficial physically, mentally, and socially. It’s a way to carry legacy and culture across generations, borders, and ages. Mawuko’s success lies in that she created a space for learning that extended so many physical boundaries, a space where the language of movement could be shared by all who entered.