Brothers Sanwone and Santae Benjamin want to create a space where children, and adults can explore their creative potential, feel good about themselves and be valued by others.
When they started dancing 20 years ago, dance helped them to grow, develop, and build positive relationships within their communities.
“As kids, me and my brother didn’t have those dance opportunities growing up, so we want to be able to present those opportunities to kids that don’t have that privilege,” Santea said. “We’re just super honored and thankful to be able to give the opportunity of dance to kids.”
The identical twin brothers and founders of their Charlotte dance company, TwinNation, will be part of a free event called Wednesday Night Live hosted by Dance Artist Alliance CLT at Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts.
“Our purpose through dance is to inspire our community,” he said.
TwinNation hopes to lead and support community dance and share their values about people, society, art, creativity, learning and the world we live in.
These values are central to the work of TwinNation as they use what they do, why they do it, and share that with others.
The brothers said that gathering people together as a group or community to dance can give a sense of identity and belonging to an area like Charlotte and even build cultural identity.
We want to bring people together as a big family, as a community,” he said. “That’s one thing that we want to continue to do, and that’s why this show means a lot to us.”
A variety of presentations will be performed from African-Brazilian to classical ballet and dances of India to jazz presented by Blumenthal Performing Arts.
TwinNation will present “Redemption” and will teach a Hip-Hop Afrobeat workshop to children and adults with a focus on musicality.
“Dance can definitely impact our community through collaborative work, by connecting with other great dancers and collaborating with each other,” he said.
In urban and rural communities, dancing plays an important role with massive cultural benefits.
What distinguishes TwinNation is that they believe that everyone can dance regardless of their age or ability and that everyone can be included and make a contribution and every person matters.
The twins believe that everyone has the capacity to dance, express themselves through dance and anyone has a creative and powerful contribution to make in Charlotte in a safe, supportive environment.
TwinNation Dance Company has an extensive résumé including performing with The Weeknd at the Super Bowl LV Pepsi Halftime Show.
But on Wednesday, they hope to provide social and cultural awareness for children, teenagers and adults, and expand social and cultural interaction to provide an overall community feeling of well-being and togetherness.
“Each and every day we wake up and strive to be the best person we can be,” the brothers said.
The presentation will certainly motivate children to harness their overflowing energy to achieve boundless goals.
The brothers agree that it is never too late to enjoy the benefits of art and said that a dancing community is a healthy community.
Dance Artist Alliance CLT mission is to create opportunities and support for dance artists living in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area to thrive locally, nationally and internationally.
If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte public affairs manager, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.
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