When we started the year, World of Dance pledged to do more with the community. We have such an amazing platform that reaches so many people. What an opportunity we have to do good and make a difference when and where we can!

Several weeks ago, I joined my colleagues, Jesse Santos and Phil Gonzales, in a passionate dialogue with friends at the Boys and Girls Club of America about how we could make a difference together. If you’re not familiar with the BGCA, they have an inspiring mission:

The mission at the Boys and Girls Club of America is to enable all young people, especially those who need them most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

Fellow NBC World of Dance Executive Producer, Jennifer Lopez, is an alum.

 

As is music artist and NBC World of Dance judge, Ne-Yo.

 

Needless to say, it’s a great organization.

We were inspired talking with them, hearing about the impact they’ve made on so many lives. I vividly remember the impassioned words from Jesse when he shared his own story about how the BGCA was a refuge for him as a young kid. This partnership was meant to be.

Over the weekend, Jesse, Phoenix Banuelos from Elektro Botz (NBC WOD Season 2, WOD Live Season 1 Tour, WOD Championship Series), and Jet Li from Kinjaz (NBC WOD Season 1) visited a BGCA club in Atlanta for an inspiring program with the kids. They mentored the kids and gave them lots to smile and laugh about.

World of Dance x Boys and Girls Club of America

We also invited the kids out to the WOD Atlanta show the following day to see some of the best dancers from the Atlanta community compete.

Dancers are amazing, and not just because of the complexity, rhythm, and precision with which they move their bodies. They understand hardship and struggle. Dance requires a growth mindset, a certain “stick-with-it-ness.” With dedication and resilience, dancers turn challenges into opportunities.

When I reflect on the success of this program in Atlanta, I recall this letter we received from an Atlanta parent a couple years ago:

“This past weekend my daughter and I attended the WOD of Atlanta and we had an amazing time. It was a joy to see kids of all ethnicities, cultures, shapes, and sizes come together for something they all share a love for, dance. The World of Dance organization has accomplished more than showcasing amazing talent, WOD crossed boundaries that are rarely seen in today’s world and I applaud that. At no time were there fights, crude behavior, or lewd dressing. Nor were there excessive amounts of inappropriate language. These are all the things a mom thinks of when trying to raise children. Instead, there was laughter, joy, encouragement, and most importantly mentorship. I look forward to the competition next year. Great job!”

To me, that’s what World of Dance is all about.

Jesse, Phoenix, and Jet put a lot of smiles on faces in Atlanta, just as our staff sets out to do in each and every city we bring our competitions to. I am so grateful to have such high quality people in the WOD fam, and applaud their generosity and character. I also look forward to expanding our partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of America to more cities and clubs in the near future.