UNITY Charity, one of our awesome community partners, has been providing hip-hop programming to improve the lives of young people and create healthier communities. They will be celebrating their 10-year anniversary at Artscape Wychwood Barns this Saturday, April 29 at 3PM. Visit the Facebook Event page here to learn how you can join the celebration. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.
Breakdancing at #SKETCH20 (above and below)
Hip Hop is one of the most exported cultural movements in the world. Despite its 40+ year history and its roots, Hip Hop still has one of the youngest, most-engaged demographics worldwide. That’s apparent every week during SKETCH programming!
We’ve been partnering with UNITY Charity offering hip-hop workshops in dance and beatboxing for almost two years. Our connection began because of the shared values of respect, arts education and finding innovative ways to engage young people through arts to improve their wellbeing and creating community. “The programs at SKETCH help provide sustainability for the beatboxing community by having a consistent space where they can practice,” says Cat, UNITY’s Communities Program Coordinator, “The seasonal showcases also provided a concrete platform for the youth to perform beatboxing in front of an audience.”
“Through workshops such as Beatboxing, Street Dance, and Breakdance, youth were able to explore dance styles such as House, Hip Hop, Locking and more,” says Kosi, co-facilitator of our Winter Season’s Street Dance workshops, “The most significant changes were the increases in self-awareness and the awareness of others. It helps youth know that they can take up space, and know what they can do with or within that space.”
“Youth who participated in the workshops slowly got more comfortable with movements or motions involving their own bodies,” echoed fellow co-facilitator Adrian, “They were slowly developing their own style and they didn’t even know it. Youth become more comfortable with just dropping by and learning something new related to dance every week.”
A snapshot of Winter’s Breakdancing workshop in the Movement Studio
“The Winter Season’s Hip Hop and Breakdancing workshops went through topics of wellbeing, community, storytelling, identity, and togetherness,” Adrian continues, “Each session challenged the youth to think outside of the box. Hip Hop is all about community, respect, having fun and finding your own style.” This Spring at SKETCH, the Street Dance workshop is focusing on Locking and Floorwork dance styles. “One thing is patience,” says Kosi, “Dance is not a skill you acquire overnight. So you need to have patience with yourself, with others and with the art form.”
What “waffles and ice cream” looks like at SKETCH
“Hip Hop is all about community, respect, having fun and finding your own style,” Adrian shares, “The SKETCH-UNITY connection is like waffles and ice cream, it works perfectly!”
-By Jonsaba Jabbi, Communications
Photo Credits: Ian Lawrence and Jessica Cho