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Dance program looks to expand its reach

Submitted photo by Alphonso Abbott- Darryl Gordon, front left, dances with the young people during the end of the year program.

Dance program looks to expand its reach
June 08
01:00 2017

Dance has been a part of Darryl Gordon’s life since he was 7 years old, but he wasn’t doing the moonwalk like most. 

After watching Turbo and Ozone perform in the movie “Breakin,’” he said he was hooked.  He is now sharing his passion for dance to the young kids at Konnoak Elementary School through his program “The D-Unity Dancers Program.”

Gordon says he was too shy to display his dancing skills for years until he joined his former church, Mt. Olive Baptist, in 2002 and began dancing with their dance troop.  Since then he has had the confidence to showcase his talents, and as he put it, “the rest is history.”

The program started at Hall-Woodward Elementary School back in 2006.  He says initially he was asked by the principal of Hall-Woodward to put together a dance routine to end the winter semester.  The routine went over so well that it blossomed into an entire program at the school.

He says at first he wanted to call the program D-Unit but decided against that because it too closely resembled G-Unit (a popular rap group headlined by 50 cent in the early part of the new millennium).  The name D-Unity was decided upon because of the diverse group of kids that he had at Hall-Woodward.

“Jesus basically gave me the vision and he gave me the outline of how everything would go,” he said.  “He told me that I would go through roads, hills, mountains and valleys but I had to see it through.”  I’ve been blessed to have over 100 kids sign up each and every year.”

The program had a very successful eight-year run at Hall-Woodward Elementary before moving to Konnoak, where he is currently employed.  The program has been run there for the past three years.

The dance program has performed at various places around the community, such as churches, middle and high schools, colleges and twice at the Woman’s ACC Basketball tournament (2013 and 2015). 

“I enjoy seeing the kids’ faces and seeing the kids have a purpose and a vision,” he continued.  “I love not only teaching the kids about dance but also teaching them about life.  I like giving those kids that don’t have confidence or self-esteem something to be proud about.  It’s also about the kids that don’t necessarily play sports having an outlet and passing something on to the next generation.”

Currently the program is just based inside of the school, but Gordon will soon launch his nonprofit D-Unit X, which will bring to the community what he has done in the schools for well over a decade.  The nonprofit dance program will run for two months this summer for kids ages 5-17.

“I want this program to be a worldwide phenomenon because I really believe the children are our future,” said Gordon.  “I believe if you start them off in elementary and mold their minds, then the kids will take it to the next level.”

Gordon says the kids get so much out of his program, such as knowledge, physical activity, confidence and responsibility.  He thinks those are things that they can take from the program and use in their everyday lives.

For more information about the summer nonprofit program, you can contact Mr. Gordon at dgordon558@nullgmail.com.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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