Cast members of "Motown: The Musical" taught choreography to Memphis teens on Wednesday at Stax Music Academy.
"I feel like there should be more programs like this and equal opportunity for anyone to do this,” said participant Jasmine Mack.
Beyond the smooth moves, the teens learned life lessons from famous performers.
"It’s very important to have places like this, in South Memphis especially. Because this is an area where poverty and crime are very high," said Stax Music Academy alumnus Terrell Richmond.
The stars of "Motown: The Musical” broke down difficult dance moves from the play.
"I've been teaching the arts in the community since I was 14. That was one of the things that kept me involved. It kept me off the street and it definitely kept me driven and focused when I was young," said ensemble actress Chadaé Nichole.
The actors also gave the teens important tips to succeed both on and off the stage. The musical tells the story of music mogul Berry Gordy's journey to success and how he launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and many more.
"I create lots of charts, lots of matrices, lots of numeric devices to remember dialogue and different aspects of each role," said swing actress Anissa Felix.
The actors explained that the play does more than entertain. It inspires others to persevere and follow their passions.
"Go after whatever you have in your heart because people are not taught to dream anymore. I feel that when you have a dream, you need to take that action and go towards it” said ensemble actor Jarvis Manning Jr.
“Motown: The Musical” is playing at the Orpheum until July 19, 2015. For more information, call 901-743-ARTS.
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