2016 Grantee Profile: Keep Rockin You

KeepRockinYou (KRY) is a community-based artist collective that inspires females through Hip Hop culture, generating new avenues for them to grow and be true to themselves. KRY’s mandate is to empower and strengthen confidence in young women through urban art. Funded twice by ArtReach, The Toronto B-Girl Movement is designed to influence young women to step out of their comfort zone and try something new, uncomfortable but liberating through breaking.

The B-Girl Movement seeks to change the landscape of urban dance in Toronto, and b-girl/ b-boy dance in particular, by bringing more women into the cipher by creating a supportive environment for young women interested in participating in breaking. Additionally, those involved aim to educate audiences about the involvement and history of women in b-girl/ b-boy culture while pushing the boundaries of its context.

“With the funding provided by ArtReach, we were able to rent out space for our bi-weekly practice session, have guest workshops, organize our final event, and pay the youth facilitators,” KRY staff Rabiatou Bah says.

The idea for this project started when it was noticed that there was very little female presence or participation in the Toronto breaking scene. The desire to actively make a change from this lack of female representation resulted in the creation of the Toronto B-Girl Movement in 2012 by the incomparable Judi Lopez.

“The women involved gave us very useful feedback with regards to the methodology and outcome of the program”, Rabi says. “Some of them have continued breaking which strengthened the Hip Hop community as a whole. We hope the participants from all our programs are able to share what they learned with the community, which may lead to a demand for more specific programs in the future.”

Click here to see Keep Rockin You’

Author: Ally Nohos