Thanks to All Who Attended the West Wind Open House

on Mar 10, 2015 in Blog by

The West Wind Open House was a success! We enjoyed catching up with long-time friends, colleagues, family, and connecting with new faces. We especially appreciate the Dream Divas who rocked Eastdale Plaza!

If you’re less familiar with the Dream Divas, this is a team of young ladies, ages 4-23, who are sponsored by the Dream Center and perform at venues around Iowa. One of the larger performances from this year happened in January when the girls performed at the 17th Annual I’ll Make Me a World conference in Des Moines, IA. Each year, I’ll Make Me a World celebrates African-American arts, culture, and contributions. The Dream Divas were part of a cohort of dance teams that highlighted the performance arts.

Frederick Newell, founder of the Dream Center, appreciates being a sponsor to Dream Divas.

“In addition to physical fitness, the drill team gives the girls an opportunity to build friendships and to hold each other accountable to their academics and how they conduct themselves in public.”

The youth sign a contract in which they agree to maintain a 2.5 GPA and engage in positive behaviors. Fred said it’s common for the girls to remind one another of these expectations when necessary.

Last summer, four of my cousins performed with Unified Youth, a dance team in Iowa City that partnered with Dream Divas to perform at several events including the annual Fourth of July parade in Coralville. The girls agree with Fred. Dancing is a way to structure time—especially when school is out in the summer. Each said they most enjoyed connecting with other youth. My cousins travel from Milwaukee, Davenport, and Alabama to spend large chunks of the summer in Iowa.  They attended several outings and formed friendships that they look forward to continuing when they visit this summer.

“The dance team is something the girls can call their own and feel proud about, and I’m sure you saw this when they performed at the Open House,” Fred said as he finished his reflection on why drill team is important.

Click the video to see a snippet of the performance.






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