“We Shall…” Honoring Dr. King’s Legacy through dance

Community and arts groups came together at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty to host activities, crafts, and performances for the public in celebration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., bringing to light the year’s theme, “We Build Community.” One of those groups was the McKees Rocks-based Trevor C. Dance Collective, which brought their piece “We Shall…” to the stage for the first installment of a multi-location piece that speaks to healing and strength for young people in a troubled society.

Trevor C. Dance Collective dancers Asia Harper, back, 13, of McKees Rocks, Jasmine Simpson, center, 16, of the Hill District, and Diamond Hunter, front, 10, of McKees Rocks, prepare backstage at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater to perform “We Shall…” as a party of “East Liberty Celebrates MLK” celebrations on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. “It means the world to me,” said Simpson of performing in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy. “I just think that being able to perform here is such an honor because you’re doing something for your community… It’s great just to be here.”
Trevor C. Miles, 26, and Diamond Hunter, far right 10, both of McKees Rocks, wait backstage at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater with their fellow Trevor C. Dance Collective dancers to perform “We Shall…” as a party of “East Liberty Celebrates MLK” celebrations on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. “‘We Shall…’ is the reflection of today’s social and political climate from the youth perspective,” said Miles of the piece the group performed for the community. “This is just the beginning of our conversation.” The piece continues with other segments that will be performed in the weeks to come.
Trevor C. Miles, center, 26, leads his fellow Trevor C. Dance Collective dancers in a pre-performance huddle before dancing for the public at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater as a party of “East Liberty Celebrates MLK” celebrations on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. Community and arts groups came together to host activities, crafts, and performances for the public in celebration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., bringing to light the year’s theme, “We Build Community.”
Dancer Trevor C. Miles, 26, of McKees Rocks, leaps through the air as he performs “We Shall…” with his Trevor C. Dance Collective during “East Liberty Celebrates MLK” at the Kelly Strayorn Theater in East Liberty on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. Miles said one of the takeaways of the piece was to communicate to young people, “Be strong, you can get through this situation.”
The Trevor C. Dance Collective performs their piece “We Shall…” during “East Liberty Celebrates MLK” at the Kelly Strayorn Theater in East Liberty on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. “We need to start healthy dialogue,” said choreographer Trevor C. Miles, back right, 26, of McKees Rocks, of the role of the arts and educators in today’s society. “The time is now.”
The Trevor C. Dance Collective performs their piece “We Shall…” during “East Liberty Celebrates MLK” at the Kelly Strayorn Theater in East Liberty on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. “It’s Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday and I wanted them to celebrate in some way so they can understand what this is about,” said Beverly Sennett of Stanton Heights on bringing her grandchildren to the event with her husband and the children’s grandfather, Jose Sennett. “We wanted them to experience this day,” added Mr. Sennett.