(NEWARK, NJ) -- Clinton Hill Community Action (CHCA) proudly hosted "Eclectic Movement: A dance fusion experience" on Thursday, February 1, 2024 in Clinton Hill. This creative movement event was hosted by Clinton Hill Community Action’s ArtsXchange program in Collaboration with NJPAC.
Community members eagerly anticipated the session at 30 Demarest Street, the Clinton Hill Early Learning Center. Despite the cold weather, people showed up with dance clothes, and they were excited to try something new.
Approximately forty guests arrived Thursday at 6:00pm. They were greeted with smiling faces, encouragement, and laughter from other residents and CHCA staff. Before the dance session began, attendees were served sandwiches, chips, and cookies. There was a true sense of community engagement, and people were relaxed and at ease.
Asha Coates, Arthur Thorton, and C Blaze Watson were the facilitators. They led the group in warm up exercises, and then each specialized in different genres of dance and led sessions in their specialties. Asha facilitated a mini workshop on Afro-Carribbean dance, C Blaze led a Hip Hop mini workshop, and Arthur led the group in Modern dance. Margie Johnson, a workshop attendee, stated, “It was amazing. It was reminiscent of me being a young person and dancing. I love seeing the competitive nature and energy of the kids. I loved every minute of it!”
Rhenotha Whitaker, (CHCA Deputy Director) explained the purpose of the ArtsXchange and the collaboration with NJPAC. “We are able to bring high-quality NJPAC caliber performances and experiences to you, the community because of this partnership.”
The event was energy filled and time flew by. The last activity of the session was the dance battle. C Blaze separated the group into two sections, and they had an old fashioned dance off. The sentiment of the night was, “We can’t wait for the next artxchange event.”
Clinton Hill Community Action (CHCA) is a nonprofit, community development organization that engages residents and partners to revitalize the Clinton Hill neighborhood in Newark’s South Ward. We believe this work must be led by residents, alongside partners who understand the centrality of the role of residents in naming challenges, identifying solutions that are most responsive to their hopes and aspirations, and collaboratively acting for sustained progress. CHCA facilitates this collaborative action and advocacy with a focus on quality, affordable housing, food security, economic empowerment, and environmental justice. Since our founding in 2019, we have worked to build trust in the community and engage residents to address long standing issues.