Company Spotlight: Vibe Tribe

The Vibe Tribe Experience
by Malaika Tate-Scott


Directing Joy of Motion’s newest youth hip hop company, Vibe Tribe, has been a wonderful experience thus far. In my interactions with youth I always seek to impart some of the knowledge I have been given that has helped me, so that they may gain more than just the ability to dance. Through my time with Vibe Tribe, I have been reminded that our greatest learning can be through experiences. Although the main focus of our season has been on performance preparation and readiness, we have experienced moments together that can’t be duplicated through a lesson plan. In closing out this season with inspiration to take into the next season of Vibe Tribe, I asked the dancers to share their thoughts on their time as company members of Vibe Tribe for the first season. Theirs answers revealed more than I expected.

“What has been your experience dancing with Vibe Tribe?”
Zara Tate: “It has been a lot of fun! I haven’t experienced joy and love like this before. I have learned how much work that I have to put into my dancing in order to be a great dancer.”
Janae Holster: “Before Malaika came we had a different set of rules, but after a while I got to know her better and learned that she is fun but serious at the right moments.”
I’mani Donaldson: “I experienced dancing harder than I ever really have before. At first I would end up coughing feeling like no air was in my lungs, but Malaika taught me how to breathe through my movements.”

“How was your first performance with Vibe Tribe?”
I’mani Donaldson: “I liked it because we were very good and we danced like stars in my eyes and the crowd really enjoyed us.”
Janae Holster: “I liked how Malaika was very supportive of us. I loved how the whole group supported each other.”

“What do you like most about being in Vibe Tribe?”
Brooke Shelton-Epps: “What I like most is how close we are. I love how we love each other so hard but also dance, have fun, and give it our all. I have gained a new family. That is the most memorable thing.”
Zara Tate: “We are a family! I love how we can be comfortable around each other and communicate with each other. I like how we can be ourselves when we dance.”
Janae Holster: “I love my teammates and teacher and the fun we have when we experiment with dance.”

“How do you feel as you prepare for your final performance for the season?”
Brooke Shelton-Epps: “I have mixed feelings because I’m happy that we made it to the end of the season as a company, but also sad because the season is coming to an end and I won’t dance with my teammates every Friday.”
I’mani Donaldson: “I’m excited because I have worked hard and my family is coming to see us perform so I want to rock it and make them proud.”
Jasmine Myers: “I am excited to put more energy in my dancing than I ever did before.”

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After reading their responses I saw that these dancers gained so much more than the ability to do a good two step, they formed new friendships and learned that supporting each other was more important than the competitive drive to be the “best dancer”. If you read between the lines, you too will see that there is so much to gain when we open up to the joy of motion. I am excited for the upcoming auditions for new Vibe Tribe members and the teaching/learning possibilities that the new season brings with it. Becoming a member of Vibe Tribe is not only a chance to dance, it’s an experience!