Dance events resonate with youth

By Logan Davis

Turtle Mountain Star of Rolla, North Dakota

According to Vince Grant, Sacred Eagle Youth Center Coordinator, a new organization can make great changes through the ideas and energetic spirits of local young people.

Dance 4 Change began its work last November and Grant says the kids are dancing their hearts out and enjoy being a part of many causes and issues that affect the world.

Grant indicated that the goal of Dance 4 Change is to evolve into a united effort that makes a difference in the community, through the hosting of teen dances with a theme that resonates with youth.

So far, the dances sponsored by the youth organization have been major successes because of large turnouts, the positive results and messages that are brought into each event.

Grant gives credit to the Dance 4 Change Committee, many volunteers and all of the youth who participate to create a joyful and wonderful spirit, besides making everything pure fun.

"We've had three dances so far, and at every one, the kids had a lot of fun dancing and socializing in a safe and positive environment," said Grant, who also serves as the youth representative on the Pathways to Prosperity Board of Directors.

According to Grant, the dances are held at the Sacred Eagle Youth Center across from the Turtle Mountain Mall in Belcourt. The first dance attracted approximately 150 youth from the community and the second dance brought in a similar number of local kids who wanted to enjoy themselves.

Dance 4 Change strikes a chord in the heart of Grant, who knows that the youth in the community are the future and have more to offer than many may think. Grant says there arc many very intelligent and compassionate teenagers who know what is good for the community and they want to make a difference and change the world into a better place to live.

"At the first dance we held on November 30 (2012) for Dance 4 Change, we did a survey and had about 150 kids show up. At the second dance, we focused on the issue of bullying and created an awareness about that problem and how to deal with all types of bullying. At our third dance (January 4), we dedicated it to show support to our northern relatives and Chief Theresa Spence and the on-going Idle No More movement for native rights and the environment. Our next dance coming up this weekend will probably address the use of marijuana and the prevention of that behavior," stated Grant. "We have a great committee who are all dedicated and work well with the youth. People involved with Dance 4 Change are great and the support and participation we're getting is awesome."

The Dance 4 Change group is basically headquartered at the Sacred Eagle Youth Center and relies heavily on volunteers and local youth organizations like Turtle Mountain Outreach and the Tribal Youth Program.

Grant noted the youth of the Turtle Mountains is the focus in the Dance 4 Change mission statement.

The crux of the statement is to develop the awareness in young people and bring out the best in them through the offering a positive and supportive organization and safe environment where they feel welcome.

The Dance 4 Change committee is made up entirely of local youth of the community. They are Mackenzie Malaterre, Rylan Reopelle, Jalen Wanna, Alex Wilkie, Klea Gillis, Sadie Gourneau, Tyra Azure ad Jon-nilynn Thomas.

For more information on the Dance 4 Change youth group and the upcoming activities, contact Vince Grant at 701-278-9082.

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