Debra Weiss Dance Company Broadway Dance Youth Programs MLK Day 2022
In Fall 2021, the Debra Weiss Dance Company’s Broadway Dance (BD) youth program moved outside, to Allen’s Place Pearl City Community Garden. In all, more than 50 children participated in BD’s new “Healthy Living” program. The children received a nutrition curriculum developed by Dr. Weiss and gardened in a bed donated by the dance company. They learned a routine, “Colors of the Garden,” that reinforced the message that brightly colored fruits and vegetables are the most nutrient-dense and help prevent disease. The children made garden-related crafts as well. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the younger students gave their MLK Day performance on January 12 in the garden, with live drumming. Afterward, they received goodie bags, T-shirts, and Certificates of Achievement.
On MLK Day (January 17), the older students from Broadway Dance marched to Mizner Park displaying beautiful banners and signs that they had made with quotes from Dr. King about justice and inclusion. They also carried the new Garden banner. Clad in colorful costumes and waving streamers, the students performed “Colors of the Garden” at Mizner Park Amphitheatre East Lot, with live drumming by Anthony Bacchus. BD students were joined by student volunteers from Nova Southeastern University. The BD program concluded with a rousing performance of “Funga Alafia,” a West African Welcome Dance. Audience members joined in the fun!