Restoration Dance Youth Ensemble takes Los Angeles

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January 29th - This year, Restoration Dance Youth Ensemble (RDYE) were chosen to perform at the 30th Annual International Association for Blacks in Dance in Los Angeles, California. These hardworking students also managed to raise over $10,000 to fund their travel, allowing them to showcase their talents to a new audience. This year, the conference and festival theme was “Honoring Legacies: Past, Present, and Future,” honoring the legacy of Norma Miller, Queen of Swing. Restoration’s 10 student team, along with instructors, joined over 700 dance professionals for four days of workshops and performances.

“The International Association for Blacks in Dance is the largest convening of dance professionals across the nation, including universities, high schools, choreographers, and students from around the country” says Indira Etwaroo, Director of RestorationART. RDYE, founded by Marie Brooks and led by Creative Director Ronald K. Brown, Arcell Cabuag, and Ronald Alexander, has undergone a strategic pivot in the last two years under their leadership. The core of RDYE’s educational programming intends to to create a platform for student success by providing the necessary tools for academic achievement, proper body maintenance and the confidence to know that they can reach the next level.

This year, Restoration’s ensemble was the only group under the age of 18 in the professional showcase, performing “The Torch” by Ronald K. Brown. These dancers “owned the stage”, earning five students scholarships for summer intensives programs at Dance Studio of Harlem and Dissonance Dance Theatre. Our two distinguished dancers, Antoine Gunther and Tiana Smith, were awarded scholarships to attend the University of Alabama’s Dance Program.

Alexander says some of his favorite memories are meeting locals and other dance teams at Venice Beach and preparing meals and team building at the AirBnb. For pictures and videos visit RestorationART’s Facebook.