Teen Leaders in the Arts is an exciting new program at GAAH’s Cook Arts Center. Inspired by the youth driven spaces model of programming practiced by The Neutral Zone in Ann Arbor, the Teen Leaders program engages neighborhood teens in programs that celebrate and encourage autonomy and decision-making about their activities.
The program was launched last summer when a committee of teens, under the guidance of program director Steffanie Rosalez, met to define four main areas on which the program would focus: creative expression, work experience, community service, and travel. One of the resultant creative projects was the production of a promotional video featuring GAAH’s award-winning breakdance crew, Aerial Tactic
Aerial Tactic was formed in 2012 by three members of a Cook Arts Center breakdance class taught by Brian Urbane, head of the crew 61Syx Technique. Antonio, Ignacio, and Edgar were so taken with breakdancing that they began choreographing routines of their own. The boys soon decided to form their own crew. They chose a name, selected a logo, and recruited Carlos, Noe, and Danny to the group.
When the opportunity arose for a creative project through the Teen Leaders program, several members of Aerial Tactic decided on a promotional video. About this time GSM Creative directors Matthew Lohr and Steve Wygmans were looking for ways to expand their business. Steffanie facilitated a meeting between Aerial Tactic and GSM Creative to discuss the possibility of working together, and a creative project was born.
Last September Aerial Tactic spent an entire Saturday afternoon in the GSM Creative studio. After an hour of filming, the teens provided input and learned editing techniques. The group agrees that the biggest challenge was finding the right music for the project. Because each dancer has his own style, the team wanted to portray each person’s specific talent. They found inspiration in the idea of “glitching” between scenes to unify the piece.
The collaboration proved to be a unique, exciting, educational project for both the breakdancers and GSM Creative. The members of Aerial Tactic were inspired to improve their moves, and the video turned out to be far better than they could have imagined. One of the members of the crew summed it up this way: “GMS Creative took a cake and added frosting to it.”
Antonio, Ignacio, Edgar, Carlos, Noe, and Danny invite you to view their video: