Rockford dance group works to give youth a brighter future, keep - – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford dance group works to give youth a brighter future, keep them off the streets


A couple times a week, the gym at Patriot's Gateway Community Center transforms into a dance studio.  It's all under the careful watch of Coach Jermaine Robinson. 

"They learn discipline, they're learning leadership, they're learning how to manage their time," says Robinson.

Robinson is the founder of "Dance to Make a Change".  It's a program he runs out of both Rockford and Chicago for 7 through 18 year olds.  Robinson says growing up in Chicago, he benefited from something similar. 

 "I was part of a team in Chicago where they got kids off the street.  I've seen gang bangers and drug dealers turn from their ways to dance. Some of them are professional dancers now.  If it wasn't for the leader I was under we would have never been to where we are now I wouldn't be able to give them the same opportunity."

Robinson says on top of teaching the kids dance moves, he's hoping to get his team on the path to success. 

"My main goal is to get them off to college too," says Robinson.  "Grades are a big thing for me, if you're slackin' with your grades you can't perform."

"It's to keep kids off the streets to stop gun violence where kids end up dying," says 16-year-old Brianna Coleman.

Coleman is no stranger to gun violence.  She's already lost two friends and a brother to it. 

"When some kids are at home they don't have that type of person to tell things to what's going on," says Coleman.  "When you come here  you can talk about what's going on with your personal things at home and we can keep that to yourself."

Coleman says the group has helped her find a new routine. 

"This group relieves a lot of stress. I'd be coming here angry then when I start dancing I be forgetting about a lot of stuff that's going on.  It helps relieve a lot of things."

"Just to see them in practice  to see them dancing and having a good time, that means the world to me," says Robinson. "Some of them are saying this is all I've got other than school it's like if I never made this program where would they be?"

If you're interested in joining the group, or donating to the team's efforts you can find more information on the group's Facebook page

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