The Dynasty All Stars, a Cheektowaga dance team, is making a difference in the lives of Western New York youth, many of whom come from low-income backgrounds. They’d now like to reach even more dancers by moving to a larger studio.
“I think I like the bonding the best because a lot of girls nowadays, they’re just all about drama but I feel like once you come here you’re just more focused on having fun with your friends,” said Taliyah Oaks, the team’s head captain.
The team has more than 60 girls ages 4 to 18, with many of them coming from low-income families in Western New York. They’re trained in all types of genres such as ballet and jazz. But they’re known for majorette, a type of dance many associate with historically black colleges and universities.
“At first when I joined I was shy and my coaches took the shy out of me,” said Ron’asia Walker, a dancer on the team.
Ultimately it’s more than just dance for them. The girls have to do well in school and not cause trouble at home in order to dance on the team.
“Basically we created it to give the girls something to do in the community. We teach them things like the importance of working as a team, we build character, we try to help them build self-esteem and teach them about sisterhood,” said Jazzae Verse, the team’s co-director and head coach.
“You need your education for backup if you want to be a dance coach or if you want to be something else, you still need your education,” said Leiera West, a dancer on the team.
The team is now looking to spread those messages farther. They’ve outgrown their practice space on Walden Avenue and would like to move to a larger building to welcome more dancers into their program.
“This space is great, it was a starter space and we love it, I thank God for it because it was a blessing but moving forward we need to really to look into getting a bigger space,” said Regina Verse, the team’s director.
“I think expanding into not even just Cheektowaga and the borderline of Buffalo but grabbing kids from Amherst and the outside suburbs, I think that would be the biggest goal for us right now,” said Jazzae Verse.
The program allows the girls to grow into young ladies who are confident and ready to take on the world.
“Once they leave this program or once they advance they are like the most outgoing ambitious young ladies that you can meet,” said Regina Verse.
If you’d like to help them reach their goal of getting a new space, you can drop off any monetary donations to their studio at 1236 Walden Avenue or deposit money to the Dynasty Studio of Dance account at any M&T Bank.