The Flex Program is working with 15 artists that have a wide range of experience working with children and youth, and have gone through PREA training through ACS.
The program calls on the talents of a diverse team of professional dancers who split their time between instructing and performing. The dancers are instrumental in our mentoring sessions, and are the main focal point of the organization, attracting awareness at performances and providing stability during teaching sessions.
“There are no Rules to FLEXn, it’s all about your heart” – Flizzo
Flizzo is one of the Head Teachers in the FLEX Program. He has starred in movies like “FLEX is Kings” and “FELA-FLEX”. Flizzo is a huge inspiration, and great mentor to the youth in the centers. We are fortunate to have him on our team.
“First I let the music move me then I move the music” – Jeezy
Jeezy started dancing when he was about 8 years old.
He is a self-taught dancer but his biggest inspiration was his good friend Kemar. Jeezy has done a lot of extreme street dance completions like Battlefest,
L.o.u.d (league of unreal dancing) and D.R.E.A.M.
Jeezy is one of the Head-Teachers in the Flex Program
and has taught kids in the community as well asin public schools.
“We have been teaching each other and others in the community for so long, we decided to take it to another level. That’s why we’re here today. The Flex Program provides a new way to communicate and evolve as a person through Flex-Dance. We have provided flex dance to incarcerated youth for over a year now. We communicate with the kids very well because we aren’t too far from them. We relate with them. Flex changed our lives so we want it to do the same for others.
Next time, when you see children hanging around with nothing to do. You will know that there is a program that will forever change what kids and young adults will do with their time, that program is called: Flex Dance Program”.
“God is love keep shining”- Ozzie
Haseem Ozzie Bivins is the founder of “Strictly Street” a dance program for youth and kids in Westchester.
He moves to express to the essence and the feeling of a story while maintaining a balance of musicality, strength, grace, and control. Haseem has been performing
on the stage and on the street in underground dance competitions for 10 years and he says nothing makes him feel more alive.
About the Founder of the Program:
Ragz (Ragnhild Bruland) grew up in Norway where she studied psychology at the University of Oslo. She has background in musical theater, dance and music, and a variety of experience working with kids and youth. When moving from Norway to New York years ago Ragz was inspired to work with youth and dancing, and she quickly gained interest in hip hop and street styles.
She earned her MA in psychology from the New School for Social Research in 2014, and decided to develop the Flex dance program for youth in secure detention after being inspired by the advanced art-form of flexing. She works with an Interdisciplinary Team of skilled Flex street dancers who mentor the kids, and inspire them to dance.
With her artistic background, and as a recent Psychology Graduate, she strongly believes in the value of artistic expression and its positive effects on mental health. Her research interests include how institutions affect the development of identity, and the influence of dance on resilience and coping. Ragnhild is pursuing a PhD in Research Psychology at The New School for Social Research. Her dissertation aims to explore the efficacy and benefits of the Flex Program.
“At some point in your life you have to figure out who you are” —Zik
Zik started dancing 2 years ago. He holds a BA from CUNY, and is a coordinator/teaching artist for the FLEX Program.
The Teacher Artist Profile Series are under development- Stay Tuned 🙂