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Hip Hop Dance Takes on Gun Violence – and Wins!

Posted on April 5, 2016 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Check out the Mysterious Shawty’z

The Mysterious Shawty’z scored second place on March 26 in the hip hop dance category at the Battle of Da School Starz IV talent show and competition sponsored by Guns Down Life Up.

Say that three times fast and you’ll be dancing too.

The question is, who are the Mysterious Shawty’s – and what’s a dance competition got to do with guns?

And the answer is when this story really gets dancing.

The Mysterious Shawty’z are a 15-member dance team of girls, ages 10-17, served by Catholic Charities Alianza Division Highbridge Gardens Conerstone. (Another mouthful.)

The dance team, similar to other activities supported by Catholic Charities Alianza Division for children from the Highbridge section of the Bronx, promotes a world view that extends far beyond the streets where they live.

That’s why Guns Down Life Up – an initiative that combines violence-interruption programs and youth-development activities to offer young people positive activities before they become drawn into a culture of violence – sponsored the competition. 

“The event was exciting and scary at the same time,” says hip hop dancer Yasmine Lewis, 15, as she takes a break from her workout.  “I think the team understood what sportsmanship is all about.

It brought together teams from all over the city to educate young people about the danger of guns and gun violence’s impact on youth.  In addition to hip hop dancing, the completion included stepping, youth rappers and singers with themes centered around combating gun violence.

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