By Renee Bogatko, Image Credit - @kulturebreak/Facebook (other pictures supplied)
They’re known for their slick moves, huge smiles and entertaining performances.
But there’s so much more to Kulture Break.
Founded in 2002, Kulture Break is a Canberra based charity with a community arts focus.
They run a range of mentoring programs and dance classes to transform and empower young people – and that they certainly have!
Kulture Break’s engaged with nearly 500,000 people, many of which suffered from depression, anxiety, social isolation and childhood obesity – just to name a few.
CEO and founder, Francis Owusu, said they try to foster an inclusive, fun and welcoming environment for kids from a range of backgrounds.
“When they first come to Kulture Break, it’s not their performance we look for first, it’s more so about who they are and accepting them and from there, they can dance and be involved in our programs,” he said.
“I believe that’s what young people want to feel, a place where they feel a sense of belonging, a connection, a sense of acceptance and significance. The dance has become that outlet for many people.”
There’s countless stories of kids who’ve joined Kulture Break during a tough time in their lives and come out the other side.
Francis recalls an example of a visit to the Apple store in Civic, which turned out to have a huge and unexpected impact on him.
“When I was in high school at Canberra High, I was going through suicidal and depressive thoughts and Kulture Break came to our school and it was that dance program that got me through that tough dark time. I’ve not had any of those thoughts ever since,” the staff member told him.
“That’s the reason why we do what we do. It made me feel good and what I loved is here’s a guy I’d never met, but by seeing the name Kulture Break, he could reconnect with that time in his life that made a difference in his world. That’s the power of what we try to do,” Francis said.
That’s one of thousands of success stories – with another one involving a guy called Ethan with dyslexia.
“Ever since he got involved with Kulture Break, his confidence has increased and has gone from a C student to a B student,” Francis said.
While Kulture Break is based in Canberra, some of the groups travel nationally and internationally to places like China, Singapore, the USA and more!
They run a range of programs – like the ‘Ladies 1st’ and ‘Man Up’ risk prevention dance mentoring programs.
Canberra’s aspiring talent can also get high-level training and mentoring through Kulture Break’s ‘Elevate Academy’.
They also run an arts program for primary and high school aged students called ‘Dance Nation’ and the iInspire leadership program - empowering young people to voice changes they want to see in their school, community and city.
Dance classes for ages 3 and up cover contemporary, ballet, hip hop, break dance and adult fitness.
And if your kiddies love to move, Kulture Break also run school holiday programs every term for 7 to 13-year-olds.
You can see the students in action at the upcoming ‘Genesis’ Mid-Year Expo!
To grab your tickets and find out more about all that Kulture Break has to offer, visit their website!