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CityDance DREAM took the stage on Thursday, January 16 at The Kimmel Center’s Merriam Theater in Philadelphia as part of the 32nd Annual International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference and Festival. This was DREAM’s first ever performance outside of DC. Seven DREAM students performed a new work choreographed by Tobi Okanlawon, titled “Hibiscus”. The students performed the work beautifully and were cheered on by the sold out house of almost 2,000 audience members. This began what would be a strenuous but nonetheless exhilarating next 72 hours for DREAM students, which included 10 classes from leading master teachers, 3 performances and scholarship auditions.

Ja’kyah, a third year DREAM School student, said, “I felt motivated, inspired and surrounded by love while I was at the conference. Being congratulated by dancers who inspire me, taking classes with professionals, and watching all the dance companies was very special to me.” Attending IABD is always a highlight in the DREAM calendar. The time is full of rich experiences that support the students’ understanding of themselves and the pathways paved that support their progress and shine bright lights into their future.