By RON FANFAIR
Judging by Jendayi Dyer’s hip-hop dance moves at last week’s Youth Day press conference, spectators are in for a big cultural treat at the fourth annual event on Sunday, at the Yonge-Dundas Square.
The 14-year-old Bramalea Secondary School student’s impressive cameo performance was just a small sample of what to expect at the cultural spectacle.
“I was attracted to dancing by just watching TV,” said Dyer who was second in the hip hop category at last year’s Luv 2 Dance competition in Niagara Falls. “I really enjoy everything about it and every opportunity I get to show people what I can do on the dance floor.”
Dyer is among 50 students from the Mississauga-based Jade’s Hip Hop Academy who will take part in the Youth Day event.
The academy’s owner and artistic director Jade Jager Clark is this year’s Youth Day dance director.
“It’s quite an honour to be working with so many talented young people, including Jendayi,” said the former Brampton YMCA Open Concept Dance lead instructor and national representative at the 2006 World Hip Hop Championship in Bremen, Germany.
“Jen stands out because she has the ability to captivate and inspire her audience. Everyone enjoys her performance.”
Nearly 150 young people between the ages of three and 18 are enrolled in Jade’s Academy that specializes in several dance genres, including hip hop, locking, popping, krump, reggae and stepping.
Juno award nominee Kim Davis joined Jager Clark, Dyer and a few other Youth Day performers last week to promote the nine-hour spectacle that will also feature drumming and motivational speeches.
“It’s just great to be part of this event,” said Davis.
Mayoral candidates Sarah Thomson and Rocco Rossi addressed the young people.
“You all have enormous potential and sometimes you need that chance to unleash it,” said Rossi. “This is what Youth Day gives you and this is what I want for you.”
Close to 400 participants will perform at the event that starts at 11:30 a.m.
Tylaine Duggan conceived the idea for the event following the “summer of the gun” in 2005.