By: Isaiah S. Showell, Follow South Jersey Multimedia Journalist/’What’s Good’ Host
SALEM, N.J. — If anyone thought that the art of dance, specifically hip-hop dance, has died, perhaps they have not spent enough time in Salem because Flavaz Dance Studio exists.
The studio, located on 219 E. Broadway, hosts young girls from ages 9 to 16 teaching them to perform hip-hop dance while simultaneously helping them do something creative with their time after school.
Da’Mesha Hunter and Ji’Mesha Telfair are the founders of Flavaz Dance Studio, where they pass on the knowledge they have accumulated over the years in hip-hop dance to their girls.
“I found myself on YouTube watching kid dance crews or people dancing in general, and I knew there is somebody younger than me I could probably teach,” said Hunter.
The name of the dance crew is Spice Dollz, and though they’ve only been dancing for a small amount of time, they have several dance routines committed to memory. The crew’s leader is Serenity Turner who says she uses dance as a way to channel her emotions.
“When my cousin passed, I changed,” Turner said. “I was always angry and had a bad attitude, but I found that dancing was a way to relieve stress, and that’s why I do it. Every time I come here I just feel safe and special, it’s like a family here.”
Both Da’Mesha and Ji’Mesha are from Salem and say they would dance as children in front of their home but longed for a dance studio and never received one, leaving them with the responsibility to try to provide for the youth what they never had.
“To actually have a building and a space to relieve your stress and put it on the dance floor is what we have to give to them and they’re taking advantage of it, and they love it. I love it too,” said Telfair.
Dur Amour is the name of the clothing line Da’Mesha and Ji’Mesha started in honor of their late brother. Dur Amour is French for “tough love,” and selling merchandise along with bake sales go towards raising money for the girls to do more and host events.
Teen Neon Party is an event open to the community to spread the word and encourage dance in South Jersey that will be held on Saturday May 14 from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. To donate or help Flavaz Dance Studio, visit their Instagram page and inform them that you’re willing to help them.
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