Why We Dance 2011 on Saturday, March 12 at the Westtfield Y

Dance Workshops at the Westfield Y

Violetta and her won with Why We Dancer Priscilla Hatchett

Why We Dance in conjunction with the Westfield Neighborhood Council will be presenting free dance workshops at the Westfield Y on March 12, 2011. Participants can register on the day of the event beginning at 10:30 a.m.

The workshops are free and open to the public. There will be three hour long workshops starting from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Dancers will be able to showcase their talent from 2-3 p.m. during the share period. This is the 3rd annual Why We Dance event. The first two events drew participants from around the state and featured professional dancers to lead the workshops.

Scotch Plains resident Kathleen McMahon will be teaching the first workshop on African and bellydance from 11-12. McMahon is a certified hospice nurse and teacher specializes in belly dancing. In 2008 she took a humanitarian trip to Burandi, Africa where she danced with hospice patients. She will instruct on the dance techniques that learned while there.

Nick Abreu who lives in Cranford will be teaching a free style hip hop class from 12-1. Abreu started dancing in the late seventies and became active in the club scene in the early eighties and continued to dance until the nineties. He was a dancer with the Funhouse B-Boys, a hip hop dance crew. He danced at the Funhouse and other underground and popular clubs in New York and New Jersey. “We won many dance contests and did many dance battles,” Abreu said. “We wanted to learn the different styles of dance.”

Some of the clubs Nick and his crew danced at were the Roxy and Studio 54. He started a hip-hop/b-boy program which is still ongoing in Pittsburgh, PA. He worked as a choreographer and appeared in a few videos. He is now working on a documentary about the legendary Funhouse night club.

Violeta Galagarza riveted the audience at the first Why We Dance event. She will be teaching a technique and choreography class. She is from Brooklyn and she will be bring her son to class to serve as a role model for other young male hip hop dancers.
Her company is KR3TS Dance Company that caters to children, young adults of lower to middle income families in Latino communities of New York City primarily as well as other communities.

Their goal is to provide an outlet to develop skills and abilities that will enhance their lifestyles and express their talents through dance. KR3TS produces multiple shows and fund-raisers throughout the year and consistently provides professional opportunities for its students by providing dancers for music videos, concerts, photo shoots, events and festivals. Violet’s program has produced a number of professional dancers and choreographers who got their start and their training through KR3TS.

In the wake of all the budgets cuts affecting art, gym and dance classes in the schools this event will meet the need for people, particularly our youth to remain active and learn about the arts says Dance Coordinator Candace Waller.

“Why We Dance fulfills a need and exposes participants to international talent. We hope to encourage youth to stay active and just have fun. Obesity and budgets cuts have hindered some to dance. “

Dancers from the weekly classes that took place at the Westfield Neighborhood Council will be presenting two numbers during the share period from 2-3 p.m.

Please contact Why We Dance at whywedance@gmail.com or (908) 432-2003 for more information.

Funding for this program came from the Union County HEART grant.