March 13


East Flatbush – African Dance Troupe Performs for Black History Month

March 13, 2023

P.S./I.S. 109 Black History celebration in the past has been amazing, and this year was no different. How to start an African dance troupe made up of staff and parents? Well, the founder and owner of HOW (The Hands on Workshop Experience) Leslie-Ann Angus-Torres did just that for a Black History celebration.

Martha Murray (UFT Rep at P.S./I.S. 109) had this vison for some time now but knew with the help of Ms. Torres that she could pull it off. “It was a challenge,” said Jewel Phillips, the choreographer/organizer of the dance group. It was an overwhelming idea to teach staff and parents traditional African dance in less than two weeks. So Ms. Jewel decided to teach TikTok dances, which everyone was familiar with.

Angelene Linton, the assistant organizer, said “We are all motivated, so it will be a nice show.”

Mr. John Cooper, the group Media Program Director, was able to capture all the excitement on video, which can be viewed on YouTube at:

The scholars at P.S./I.S. 109 enjoyed watching all their teachers and parents perform together, while celebrating Black History.

Everyone signed up for this celebration, and the African Dance Troupe included staff, the Dean, PTA, Dr. Williams AP, Simone Murray AP and Principal Bertrand.

The students of P.S./I.S. 109 also perform a variety of dances, songs and even a step team from Global Kids. New York Edge dance group was precise as the students moved and grooved on key doing Modern Afro Dance. “Stand by Me” was sung by P.S./I.S. 109 ENL students. Daniel Pascal played “Celebration” classic piano style. Raven Boyce did a rendition of Nina Simone’s Blackbird. Harriet Tubman Lyrical dance was performed by Jayla Smith and her 4th grade class.

It’s important to come together and celebrate our culture!

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