Cameron University Graduate pays tribute to performing arts high school in NYC
By: Tanika Gentry
A little over a month ago, I went back home to New York City and had the opportunity to witness something really special.
A really talented choreographer friend of mine was asked to judge a popular dance competition and he invited me out to film the show for a project I am working on. The competition is called: Dance Like Everyone's Watching.
In existence since the early 90's, the competition took place at Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing and Visual Arts located in Harlem, NYC. It is currently hosted by Creative Intuition Arts, CIA. I was told the show is quite infamous amongst the NYC underground dance scene and has been for the last 26 years.
The dancers consisted of mostly students from all the 5 boroughs of New York City. These kids dance w/their heart & soul everyday as a means of expression, a way to develop their talent and also for social, educative and therapeutic reasons.
Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing and Visual Arts comes with a rich history and legacy of its own as well. Originally a school for girls, it was established during a time when it was considered scandalous for girls to receive higher education.
Fast forward to today, the school has found a way to creatively adapt to the challenges of the times. Students are taught dance, drama, vocal music, instrumental music, visual arts, culinary arts and Wadleigh academic studio. With the love of their families, encouragement from their teachers and support from their community, I have no doubt in my mind these students will successfully conquer any challenges they may encounter in life.
I was also inspired to use some musical talent from right here Lawton, OK as well. A friend of mine, also a Cameron University Graduate, is an amazing singer. She and her super talented producer provided all the music for the film. With this documentary, it is my goal to use dance, music and film as a platform to creatively bridge the gap between NYC and Oklahoma.
Thank you to all the people who participated in the documentary. Thank you Wadleigh for blessing me with your amazing talent. Thank you Cameron for giving me the skills to be able to capture it on film. Coming soon!