Sometimes you just have to dance it out, and no one knows that better than Isaac Shabbits, the 13 year old leader behind the Boys Dance Too initiative.
Isaac began dancing 6 years ago when his parents showed him a video of a break-dancer. He started with lessons in hip hop and break-dancing and over the years slowly grew into ballet, jazz, lyrical and tap dance. Tired of stereotypes that dancing was a girls sport, in 2019, Isaac created Boys Dance Too to encourage and support boys in dance.
Boys Dance Too promotes an inclusive dance environment for boys and girls of all ages, including those who have danced before and those who would like to try it for the first time. In partnership with the studio Dancefusion Academy of Dance Ltd., located in Sherwood Park, Boys Dance Too holds events for young dancers to come together and build a community of dance. “I’d like more boys to try dance because it’s a great sport, as physically demanding as hockey or martial arts, and it's not just for girls!” Isaac mentions there are many benefits to dance, including meeting new people and staying active. He appreciates that his instructor is very supportive and makes the classes exciting.
Isaac’s dad, Chris Shabbits, is also passionate about the group. “Our goal is to develop a community of kids who want to come together and dance.” Chris shares that COVID-19 has been a challenging time for the community, with students unable to able to connect with their dance friends. Moving forward, (and hopefully soon) they plan to expand and hold events and workshops again. “We are trying to rebuild community and offer connection to those that haven’t had them in the past”.
Chris and Isaac hope they can start to form a core community and continue to grow and inspire others. Time to grab your dancing shoes!
Have an idea for your own project to make a difference? Check out Strathcona County’s Community grants and apply today, or join our online discussion and share your own community initiatives using the hashtag #scSocialAcion.