Who is this for?
This fundraiser is for my son RayShard Pettway aka "Dynamic Ray," known around town as Ray-Ray. RayRay, who is well loved and adored for his dynamic natural dancing ability, will be 12 years old on June 30th and has been dancing since he was old enough to walk.
With so much energy, grace, and stage presence, This talented young leader has been successful at motivating and inspiring his peers and anyone who has been blessed to see him dance for the past 9 years in Knoxville, TN.
Why Do We Need Your Help?
On March 18, 2017 I drove RayShard and my other 4 children from Knoxville, TN to Washington, D.C. to allow him the opportunity to audition for the Ngoma Center of Dance Summer DanceLab to be held at the Clarice Smith Performance Arts Center at the University of Maryland from June19th-July 15th.
He was accepted to study dance in their level 1 summer dance intensive where he will have the opportunity to perfect his craft in the areas of ballet, jazz , modern, hip-hop, and african dance. Thanks to a generous donor, he was blessed to with a Scholarship of $1,400 toward the cost of enrollment totaling $1,800. Because he is under 18 and unable to stay in the student dorms, I must raise funds for us both towards our travel expenses for the entire 4 weeks as itemized below.
Remaining Enrollment Fees (deadline 6/2/17) $ 200
Housing (4 weeks through Air BnB) $1,500
Food $ 580
Car Rental $1,724
Gas $ 360
Uniforms $ 185
Parking Pass $ 200
Total Needed $4,749
Dynamic Ray is extremly fortunate to have been influenced by multiple professional dancers and instructors who have witnessed his passion. This experience will equipt him with the ballet technique he needs to continue on the paith to being a well rounded and professionally trained dancer.
We are very thankful for the Director of Ngoma Center for Dance Mr. Sean Short for creating such a program that will prepare each dancer for success both in the present and future as they consider careers in the field of dance. Also grateful for one of Dynamic Rays previous dance instructors and mentors Jeremiah Welch for urging us to audition for the SummerLab that he interns for and for encouraging Ray to continue his education in dance.
Without the continual love and support of our community, family, friends, and you, we will be unable to travel to D.C. and will forfeit this opportunity for Dynamic Ray to follow his dream of dancing inspite of our circumstances. So Thank You All for Reading, Giving and Sharing with anyone you fill can be of assistance to us. May Gods Continual Blessing be apon you!
For More Background Info Continue Reading
Who is Dynamic Ray?
Dynamic Ray was born to dance and started dancing with the Divine Urban eXpressions ( DUeX)" Dream Team" at the early age of 3. He presently choreographs for the group and shares his gift free of charge in the Knoxville community at local churches, community events, Black History Programs, and has even ministerd in dance upon request at a funeral for a young man slain in our community.
Ray at Age 6 Performing at Berea College in 2011 with
The DUeX Dream Team
Anyone that knows this young and aspiring artist knows that he has a passion for dance and dreams of one day owning his own dance studio where he will be able to motivate and inspires other young dancers both male and females to dance their hearts out. He also dreams of dancing on National Television just so he can inspire others to live their dream, especially other male dancers. He has his heart set on dancing on the Ellen Show.
Dynamic Ray helps to lead the Dream Team in spreading love and unity through song and dance in a effort to combat the violence that has claimed the lives of many youth and adults in Knoxville. He sets a positive example for others who display an interest in the Arts through his dedication and commitment to learning , practicing, and performing different dance styles.
He performs monthly as a solo artist at the"#Love is the Answer" Community Showcase/Open Mic Presented by Divine Urban eXpressions and held at the Global Outlook Cafe near the UT Campus.
In 2014, his passion for dance also inspired other young males in the community to join the group and thus "the Mighty Kings" was formed. During the same year,
he also caught the eye of Chris Blue before going on to win this year's season of the Voice.
Ironically at the time, Chris offered to come in work with the group on a dance he choreographed to Tye Tribbette's "Victory" when Robby Mattews and Ray Ray were the only 2 dedicated male dancers of the Dream Team.
The two learned the dance and went on to teach it to the other males who were inspired to join the group after seeing their perfomance at the 5th Avenue Arts Explosion. Along with the all-Female Dance Group the Divine Divas, the Mighty Kings have performed anually at the Tense Summit, The Mechanicsville Homecoming, the Londale Homecoming Parade, the Austin East Home Coming Parade, the MLK Parade, and at the the 1st Walter P. Homecoming in 2015.
Dynamic Ray has performed solo at the TN Theatre on two occasions, once alongside Knoxville Jazz Singer Kelly Jolle and Musician Will Boyd at their performance at the Mighty Musical Monday Anniversary celebration at the Tennessee. Carpet Bag Theatre later invited him to dance alongside them during the Annual" Night with Arts" presented by the MLK Commission in Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Since the age of 4, he has danced annually at the Knoxville Kuumba Festival as one of the few male dancers in the Kuumba Watoto Drum and Dance Ensemble.
I am proud to say that not only am I Dynamic Ray's mother but I am the Founder and Artistic Director of Divine Urban eXpressions. So I must say that I am extremely grateful for all the youth and aspiring dance instructors and artists who have either participated in the Arts N Dance program or graciously shared their talent with our young dancers, poets, and performers free of charge over the years. I initially started the program for youth from low income families who simily lacked the means to invest in their child's talents, including my own 5 children.
It has since then developed into a passion of the heart. After Chris Blue's win on the voice, I realized even more that with love and support from every one working in unity to show love to young aspiring artists, they can truley acheive their greatness. Thus, Love is the Answer.
From the bottom of our hearts we would like to thank you all for showing love to Dynamic Ray by helping to fund his opportunity to enhace his ballet skills and practice his passion for dancing in general.
He currently Attends Vine Middle Magnet School where he was awarded the Star Performer award as a member of the Dance Company and as a student in Dance class.
- Johnnie William Skinner
- Reginald Cook
- Reginald Cook
- Brenda McCullum
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