Updated: 3 hours ago
Program Mission Statement
At Rae Studios, we believe to be a dancer is to be an artist of movement. To be a teacher is to be an uplifter. Not just in our bodies and in our spirits, but in our communities as well. Becoming a leader on and off the floor begins with educating ourselves. Our professional development program provides various opportunities for Rae Studios instructors and staff to grow their artistry, leadership, social advocacy, teaching skills, and knowledge of dance history and culture.
Rae Studios is committed to evolving these holistic qualities through curated resources, workshops, guest speakers, and special events both exclusively for instructors and staff, and for our wider community. Commitments and focuses will include topics such as Hip-Hop education: being responsible and respectful guests in Hip-Hop culture, how to honor and educate our students of the history of cultural dances from around the world, tools and strategies for creating a safe movement space, taking care of our bodies as teachers and trainers, and many more.
Rae Studios would like to express so much gratitude for instructors Kristie Lui and Lexi Nutkiewicz who are taking on extra leadership roles supporting Community Liaison, Trisha Fuerte with this initiative. Trisha, Kristie, and Lexi will develop the More Than Movement program and dedicate significant time to researching topics, creating materials, coordinating speakers, and facilitating conversations with Rae Studios instructors and staff surrounding artistry, leadership, social advocacy, teaching skills, and knowledge of dance history and culture. Get to know our leads and their backgrounds below:
Kristie (she/her) has been training in Hip-Hop and Streetstyles since she was 19. While her first love is Waacking because of its tenets of acceptance, expression, and empowerment, she also enjoys training in other forms including Hip-Hop, Popping, Waving, and Housing. Kristie is Co-Director of Str8jacket and has performed with them in America's Got Talent Season 12 and NBC's World of Dance Season 3. She is passionate about preserving the Bay Area Hip-Hop Dance Community and spreading the history and culture of Hip Hop. Kristie also began her antiracism journey in 2020 and utilizes dance as a tool to create social and philosophical change.
Lexi (she/her) started dancing Hip-Hop at age 7 and began teaching dance at age 15. While attending the University of Colorado Boulder, she led the initiative to incorporate Hip-Hop education into VeRVE Collisionz’s annual dance competition, the largest street dance competition in Colorado. After graduation, Lexi moved to the Bay Area and joined Str8jacket, whose mission is to preserve the Bay Area Hip-Hop dance community. Under Str8jacket, she trains in various dance forms such as House, Waacking, Locking, and Hip-Hop. She currently serves as their Outreach Coordinator and helps further the team’s Hip-Hop education. She strongly believes in the power of dance as activism and is excited to be part of the More Than Movement Committee!
Trisha (she/her) is the Community Liaison at Rae Studios taking lead on all things social media, events, and community engagement. Trisha obtained her Bachelor’s of Psychology with a Minor in Child and Youth Studies from the University of San Francisco and has a background of over 10 years in event planning and 7 years in education, non-profit, youth development, and job training and support. She has been a performer since she was a kid and has received theatre, choir, and film acting training from Notre Dame de Namur University, University of San Francisco, and Film Acting Bay Area. She is currently in graduate school working on her Master’s in Social Work with NYU, and is focusing on curriculum development and using art for social change. In her spare time, Trisha creates fun and informative videos for her body positive YouTube channel: Fuerte Body.
If you are interested in volunteering time to be a part of the More Than Movement Committee, please email Community Liaison, Trisha Fuerte at email@example.com. This blog post will serve as the living page for the More Than Movement program and will be updated frequently with more resources, program timeline updates, as well as internal and external event details and recaps.
Finally, we are pleased to announce that our first focus of the More Than Movement program is a commitment to the education of Hip-Hop.
Our Commitment to Education of Hip-Hop
Hip-Hop is a culture. Rae Studios recognizes our responsibility as artists and guests in Hip-Hop to educate ourselves, each other, and our students, to actively participate in anti-racist work, and to uplift the Black community. So much of dance is also indebted to the Black community. The Black community has been and still is the most harmed in our country, and this is one of the many actions we can commit ourselves to in the ongoing fight for social justice. We recognize the responsibility that we have to honor the communities that have innovated Hip-Hop long before us where it all started. Hip-Hop was created by the Black community, specifically African Americans and Afro-Caribbeans, and the Latinx community specifically Puerto Ricans in the South Bronx, New York.
Below you will find our growing list of helpful resources on the history and culture of Hip-Hop, teaching Hip-Hop dance, Hip-Hop activism, and Anti-Racism work.
(Education of Hip-Hop commitment statement crafted by More Than Movement committee leads with contributions from dancer Alicia Langlais)
History and Culture of Hip-Hop Resources
Style Wars Documentary (Documentary on hip hop culture through graffiti, bboy and rap) - Watch Style Wars | Prime Video
Freedom Movement: @freedomovement.co
80's New York City Breakers Dancing on US TV
If you have any questions or comments regarding our More Than Movement program or have any resources you’d like to share, please email Community Liaison, Trisha Fuerte at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Please continue to follow this page, our Rae Studios newsletter, and on social media for upcoming events, workshops, speaker series, panels, performances, materials for dance educators, and more. We look forward to growing as artists and community leaders that will show the world that what we do is #morethanmovement .