Impact Summary

Since publicly launching in June of 2018, OTC has:

  • Launched a Footwork Summer Camp, offering instruction to 100 young people on the south side of Chicago, keeping them safe in a fun, educational environment, providing jobs for a dozen local dancers to teach the youth and develop curriculum around footwork.

  • Established partnerships with leading civic institutions including the Department of Cultural Affairs, Chicago Summerdance, Chicago Votes, and Social Works / Chance the Rapper.

  • Produced a series of “dance down” performances in three Chicago parks on the south side, west side and downtown, bringing resources and good will to eight different black youth dance troupes, emphasizing collaboration over competition.

  • Created the opportunity for black youth to be on television as dancers and footwork artists, including TV spots on ABC, FOX and in an online documentary on Mic.com.

  • Provided multiple platforms for footwork dancers to perform in the city’s most prestigious venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art and in front of “the bean” downtown

 

Testimonials

Footwork camp is a blessing. OTC is teaching kids who never did this before the art and history of footworking. My kids are getting better and better with each class and showing more confidence when they dance. We sometimes forget about our roots, so thanks for taking us back.
— Shkunna Stewart, President of Bringing Out Talent Dance Troupe
I like that everybody is back supporting each other. It had started to be segregated. It’s a different feel with the work that OTC is supporting.
— Anthony Calahan, President of Geek Skquad Dance Company
AYYYYYY THIS IS SO DOPE THESE BABIES REALLY ENJOY CLASSES...!!! THIS SUMMER HAS BEEN EXTREMELY SUCCESSFUL!!! Thank u FOR EVERYTHING...!!
— LaTisha Waters, President of Empire Dance Company
This has really been amazing, being a part of the first summer footwork program for the youth of Chicago. My goal is not only to inspire but to also teach. I’m thankful and appreciative that I can impact lives of the future. I even have a protege, and what’s so crazy is that she dances just like the old me.
— Kenesha Sheridan, Footwork Dance Instructor
35 years ago I never thought that street dance would go this far to places I have never seen or heard of. Thank you Wills Glasspiegel, The Era, Latisha Waters Dee Nice for sharing your blueprint for saving our youth...take a bow
— Darnell Payne, Principal at Sullivan School and founder of U-Phi-U
Our team has been working hard for so long. My brothers are amazing. If you all knew the feeling you get when you’re in the community with the youth and the dance culture of Chicago, it would be your only high.
— Spencer “Tre” Hopkins, photographer documenting OTC’s work
These past couple of days have been nothing short of amazing and exactly what I envisioned for a Footwork Camp.
— Jamal “Litebulb” Oliver, footwork artist, teacher, founder of OTC and The Era Footwork Crew
Leaving the kids on the last day of camp felt like family breaking up. Can’t wait for next summer.
— Brandon “Chief Manny” Calhoun, footwork artist, filmmaker and founder of The Era Footwork Crew