Youths commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. with hip-hop dance

Cannon Connections: Alisa Boswell Justin Forbes, 11, practiced some of his dance moves Friday night during the dance at the Cannon Air Force Base Youth Center.

Alisa Boswell

On Friday night, more than a dozen Cannon Air Force Base children could be seen “getting their groove on” at the CAFB Youth Center. The Youth Center put on a hip-hop dance in honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Children from 9 to 16 years old littered the dance floor as they showed off their moves to dance instructor, Sharesse Sawyer, who spent two hours of the evening teaching the children various hip hop moves.

Justin Forbes, 11, and Katelynn Mathews, 9, faced each other in a dance-off while the rest of the crowd watched. Forbes twisted his feet and legs around the floor, finishing with a front flip and Mathews came back with some of her own sassy footwork.

“It was fun,” said Forbes later in the evening. “I liked learning all the dance moves.”

There were many other children of various ages, who agreed with Forbes’ opinion on the night’s events.

“This was the best thing I’ve ever done,” said 9-year-old Landon Jordon.

“It was amazingly awesome,” agreed 15-year-old Victoria Ruiz.

Sawyer, who is a fitness trainer at Transformation Fitness in Clovis, said it was her second time to come to the Youth Center to teach dance and she has enjoyed it thoroughly both times.

“These kids are so talented,” said Sawyer. “I love kids that want to be active. I think it’s a great thing they do here.”

According to Brandi Clay, the Youth program coordinator for the center, said she is grateful for people like Sawyer, who will come to the center to teach the children new things and influence them in positive ways.

“The program is continuing to grow,” said Clay. “Every time we host an event, we see more and more new faces. I’m really fortunate to have such a great group of kids.”

The night’s hip hop dance came to a close with a pizza dinner for the children. The sound of excited talking and laughter came from each table as the children discussed their dance performances.

“I think today was a good chance for us to learn some dance moves and have some fun,” said 12-year-old Jarrad Jones.

“This probably made my top three of my list of favorite nights,” agreed 10-year-old Brelain Finan.