BY MICHELLE BAO
Dance has the ability to unite people, to transform lives and to teach invaluable skills. But, because dance education is expensive, children in poorer communities disproportionately lack access to quality dance education programs. Bronzeville, a neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, is one of those communities. Pierre Lockett is someone who wants to change that.
Lockett, a current Bronzeville resident, has worked extensively with youth in Bronzeville and in surrounding communities by partnering with Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Park District. As the former Directory of Community Engagement for the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, Lockett continues his commitment to providing dance education by creating programs in schools and communities with limited arts access.
Dance education programs can increase dance skills and awareness in addition to fostering creativity, critical thinking and social-emotional learning. Recognizing Lockett’s dedication, Chicago’s mayor, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, even declared June 30, 2014 Pierre Lockett Day in Chicago.
Watch the video below to see how Lockett seeks to make a tangible difference in his community by transforming the lives of the community’s children through dance.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michelle Bao is a student journalist at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She is passionate about learning new languages, traveling and telling stories about people who are changing the world. Follow her @MichelleBao27.
Ballet class photo by David Banuelos Photography via Shutterstock