Dance is a way to express your spirit and your soul. A dance company in our area discovered dance can also promote life skills.
Abdul Latif is helping turn dancers with the Divergent Ignite Dance Company into winners. It’s part of the legacy the team is trying to build.
“It’s been a lot!” Abdul says. “It’s been a lot of competitions that I’ve been in since I’ve been on the team.”
Divergent Ignite is looking for permanent studio space so they can display all those trophies. But in the meantime, the dancers practice in a space donated by a local business.
“Something so small turned into something really big,” says Jervanna Kimble.
Kimble, also known as Coach V, started the team when she was only 16. Most of the first members came from the Boys and Girls Club.
“They all come wanting to learn, wanting to dance, basically with the same goal: to get something successful out of this,” Coach V says. “And they came to the right place.”
Many of these kids came to Coach V with hardly any dance experience. When he joined four years ago, Abdul didn’t.
“Being on this team really helped me grow, as a whole,” Abdul says.
These days, Abdul is one of Coach V’s go-to dancers. He’s gotten so good, he’s showing the other team members how it’s done.
“I feel like most dancers who are in my position don’t know much or were scared to get outside their box,” he says. “I feel like me letting them know, if you do so, you’ll grow a lot! And trust me, I grew a lot.”
Coach V says there’s a lot to learn from Abdul’s rise to the top.
“I want them to understand that things aren’t going to be easy, but y’all are stars! And you have to believe that,” she says. “You have to believe that.”
Those skills and that resiliency can be applied in every aspect of life, like Abdul’s plan to go to cosmetology school. His time dancing will get him through.
“It really strengthened me, if that makes sense. I’m going to keep trying until it gets done.”
If you'd like to learn more about Divergent Ignite Dance Company, follow this link.