DENVER – The Platinum Divaz Dance Company takes hip hop to a whole new level. From adolescence to later adolescence, they move in ways that most people cannot.
“Before you shower, practice, before you eat…practice, practice,” said Platinum Divaz dancer Jahleesa Lawler.
It’s second nature to them: to train and perform in competition. But behind the scenes, the organization offers more than just dance lessons.
“It taught me a lot. It taught me a lot, like how to be comfortable with people,” said Mary Wells, a 16-year-old dancer in the group. “It made me love people and develop brotherhood and all that.”
This fraternity was the essence of the group.
Chiniqua Jackson, the organization’s founder, says their “biggest thing is mentoring young children.”
Co-owner Stanisha Evans-Snellson says the studio is a home for their dancers.
“We’re the second moms they have, the second dads they have,” Evans-Snellson said.
For high schooler Endeeya Clark, the Platinum Divaz have helped her find solace outside of the adversity she faces in school.
“There have been bullies at school and bullies around them, and it’s super cool to be able to come to a fraternity where you can talk about it and get this uplifting advice,” Clark said.
The vision behind the organization has recently attracted more community members since they last spoke to Denver7 earlier this summer.
“Since then, we’ve grown tremendously. We now have 80 members, boys and girls. It’s been a big, big blessing,” Jackson said.
More participants called for a bigger studio.
“The rent has gone up a lot. The rent has almost more than doubled, actually,” Jackson said.
And that’s why Denver7 viewers stepped in and raised $2,000 for the studio.
“Thank you very much. We appreciate it,” Jackson said.
It’s a small gesture of appreciation, but one that can take what’s already a stellar act to the next level on the floor.
“It can do so many things. We need tumbling mats. We work on tumbling and have some great stunting stuff on them,” Jackson said.
“We appreciate you so much at Denver7, thank you,” Jackson said.