On the evening of 15 May, MGCI’s Urban Dance Club performed at the Toronto Centre for the Arts for TDSB’s Dare2Create showcase, alongside other groups and individuals from schools across the Toronto District School Board. The show combined Dare2Speak and Dare2Dance, with spoken word and dance performances surrounding the “Our city, our stories” theme about Toronto.

MGCI’s Urban Dance Club of twenty-two arrived at Toronto’s Centre for the Arts in the early afternoon for a dress rehearsal before the evening show. The performances covered a wide range of issues relevant to youth in Toronto, including domestic and gun violence, diversity, Toronto neighbourhoods, immigrating to Canada, and speaking out for youth. After the dress and bow rehearsal, the performers were treated to a pizza dinner, had an impromptu dance circle, and warmed up before the show began.

The night started out with guest speaker Mustafa the Poet performing a spoken word piece about issues in Regent Park and a welcome speech by Christine Jackson, the Program Director for the Arts at the TDSB, and Nova Bhattacharya, the president of Toronto Arts Council Board of Directors. The audience was filled with teachers, friends, and families of the performers, including Ms. Goldenberg.


The concept behind the Urban Dance Club’s We Are Here piece is getting student voices heard. Photo: Abigail Chau

MGCI’s Urban Dance piece was choreographed by Karen Wu, the president of Urban Dance Club, and titled We Are Here, with the concept of a conflict between children and adults. Since last fall, the team has been practicing twice a week to perfect their piece under the guidance of Ms. Miller. TDSB and Dare2Dance funded artist time for each performance, so Urban Dance was able to gain valuable advice from Lauren Cook, a professional dancer and choreographer. The group also attended an artist feedback session in April and were mentored by Dustin Pym.

The hard work of the group paid off last night as they pulled off an energetic number to the songs Took the Night by Chelley and Out of My Mind by B.o.B. Karen commented after the show, “The whole Dare2Dance process was a great learning experience and we really bonded as a team. It was a lot of hard work, but we all had fun along the way. We’re glad we entertained our audience!”

The Urban Dance Team will also be performing at this year’s TOPS Night at the end of June.