It's hailed as a celebration of dance, music and history. Alaska Junior Theater has brought Soul Street Dance Company's "Breakin' Backwards" to Anchorage and elementary students in the Anchorage School District will benefit in a big way.

Soul Street will be performing different styles of street dance, fused with classical and traditional dance, and theatrics. The group from Texas will be performing for students this week, culminating in a public show Saturday night at the Atwood Concert Hall.

 
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Cedric Hicks and Roy Ramirez are both part of Soul Street. Hicks said the group's mission is to inspire through performance and encourage kids of all ages and circumstances to dream big.

“[Soul Street is] a group of individuals who grew up in rough neighborhoods in Houston, Texas who found something, art, dance, hip hop, we found something that we love to do and we started to travel the world encouraging youths, students, kids of all ages, to do what you want to do in life," he said.

Hicks said they key is to work hard. It's a message that comes to life on stage when Soul Street performs.

“[We practice] endless, endless hours throughout the week," he said. "Just to make sure we master our craft and give the best performance that we can, we’re in the dance studio, hours after hours throughout the week.”

Ramirez said you can expect an eclectic sound from the performance as Soul Street pulls from different eras and styles.

“We dance to like, 20s, 30s, 40s, 60s, all the way to the 80s," Ramirez said. "And not only do we just dance to this music, we actually like this music. Like, we listen to all types of music.”

Looking to music and dance to inspire them while growing up surrounded by negative influence, Hicks said he hopes young people living in similar circumstances will look to Soul Street. He wants kids to takeaway a new appreciation for music they may not have been exposed to.

“We not only do this to empower people, it’s something that we love doing," Hicks expressed. "You know, it’s dear to our heart. I’m a father, so it brings me joy to know that my daughter watches me, she’s understanding that you get music today that’s different than previous music or in different decades."

Soul Street's "Breakin' Backwards" will be presented to the public on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Atwood Concert Hall. Tickets are being sold online. Soul Street is also offering community classes and work shops while in Anchorage. More information is available online.

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