Nonprofit Be A Bridge’s Dance Haus is hosting a dance showcase on Saturday

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ALTON — Be A Bridge’s Dance Haus program will hold its first recital on Saturday with approximately 20 girls in attendance.

Freedom: An Afro-Cultural Movement Showcase is at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Jacoby Arts Center (JAC), 627 E. Broadway, Alton.

“This is our first showcase. Some of the girls have never danced before,” said Sarah Goins, artistic director of Dance Haus. “We coordinated this event with the help of my sister-in-law, Marqueta Goins, Executive Director of Be A Bridge.”

The showcase is a fundraiser for Be A Bridge, which offers programs that aim to mentor, empower, educate and love young teens in the community.

“The showcase is Afro-cultural themed, and I’ve been to all of their practices. It’s going to be amazing,” said Sarah Goins’ friend Missy Johnson, who helped out a lot with rehearsals.

The girls took an intensive seven-week summer dance course, learning African dance, jazz and worship, with free lessons every Wednesday.

“They learn to express themselves in a healthy way, to become aware of their culture and to love who they are while honoring their ancestors,” Goins said.

Goins choreographed all the dance pieces and chose the music.

“Another element that we really want is cultural awareness, which is super important,” said Marqueta Goins. “Our ultimate hope is for diversity and conversations among our young people, to change what it used to be, to bring cultural awareness into the experience of this young generation, to dissolve misconceptions and biases.”

Sarah Goins has been dancing since she was a child. She also teaches at DK Dance Productions in Alton. She studied theater and dance at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where she received her bachelor’s degree in 2012.

“Jacoby Arts Center has been a big help with all the technical stuff, promotion and providing space,” Goins said. “A big, big thank you to the Jacoby Arts Center.”

Admission to the event is $10 for adults and $5 for ages 17 and under. Donations are also welcome.

Specifically, Be A Bridge’s mission is to build relationships and connect young teens with opportunities that prepare them for a successful future. Be A Bridge’s Youth Workforce and Economic Development Program aims to connect young people to employment, skills training and financial literacy, encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation, while enhancing self-esteem and professional skills.

Dance Haus is open to middle and high school boys and girls.

To learn more, get involved and donate by emailing beabridgenfp@gmail.com, visit www.beabridgenfp.org, message the Be A Bridge Facebook page, and/or call 618-737-2299 . Monthly supporters are needed to continue to develop the programs. Donations can be made via the Be A Bridge website or Facebook page.

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