“The Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company is a politically astute, talented and visionary group of young people who combine political activism and cutting edge cultural expression.”
- Angela Davis, Author, Scholar and Activist
The Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company (DAYPC) was created in 1993 by Destiny’s current Artistic Director, Sarah Crowell with Destiny’s founder, Kate Hobbs. The intention was to create a forum for youth to express a message of peace and empowerment through dance, theater, martial arts, rap and song. Joined by the Destiny Junior Company (DJC) in 2009, what has emerged are critically acclaimed pre-professional companies that are respected for both their technical prowess and their commitment to the values embodied by all Destiny Arts Center programs: Love, Respect, Care, Responsibility, Honor, and Peace. All youth company members engage in a collaborative process with the company’s Artistic Directors and working professional artists to create original art that engages and re-constructs personal histories as vehicles for social change.
Every year, youth are chosen through a rigorous audition process that looks at their current level of artistic skill, but also their ability to perform and their commitment to group process. Selected company members then engage in an intensive 9-month season of training, rehearsals, scriptwriting, fundraising, and performing. The rehearsals include highly interactive conversations to illuminate the intention of each annual performance.
Since 1995, the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company has worked with the internationally acclaimed aerial dance company, Bandaloop, who train youth company members in aerial dance techniques and co-create aerial dance performance works with DAYPC youth and directors for Destiny’s annual performances.
The Destiny performance companies’ collaborative process is captured in the National Endowment of the Arts funded curriculum guide, Youth on the Move. The process, as told through the lens of DAYPC, is also the the subject of Stanford Ph.D. Lauren Stevenson’s doctoral dissertation, and is the subject of an upcoming documentary by award-winning producers Suzanne LaFetra (She Wants to be a Matador) and David Collier (For Better or for Worse) from Studio B Films.
Company members perform for up to 25,000 audience members per year and draw upon multiple disciplines, including hip hop, aerial dance, modern and jazz dance, spoken word, song, rap, and martial arts. Topics that have been addressed in their signature annual productions include racism, sexism, childhood sexual abuse, global warming, environmental justice, educational equity, identity formation, etc.
Watch video clips of the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company’s show Game Over, 2008.
Watch video clip of the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company performing at the Bioneers Conference, 2008.
Watch video clips of the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company’s show Dreaming Awake, 2009.
Watch video clip of the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company performing at the Bioneers Conference, 2010.
TESTIMONIALS FROM COMPANY MEMBERS
“The performance company is a group of teenagers who create and perform shows about global and social issues that affect our lives each and every day. Destiny Arts Center has taught me to be aware of others and myself.”
Alaysia Brooks, 17
“Not many places can generate the comfort of home out of the obstacles that a person can recognize in their peers. Destiny Arts Center is one of those places, and its Youth Performance Company has, in a very short time, created a space within myself where I feel acceptance with my being. To create love out of a place of violence is nothing short of divine. This is what Destiny does on a daily basis.”
Anisah Abdullah, 17
“I always want to go to Destiny. There has never been a time that I wanted to leave the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company. The fellow students and friends I have met here have grown into the greatest people I know. We learn to open our minds and hearts to our community. We are encouraged to pay attention to global issues and to put our ideas into action. With Destiny I have performed at the Bioneers Conference in Marin County, the Green Festival in San Francisco, the Children’s American Holiday Parade in Oakland, and at many many other events. I have worked with Balinese and aerial dancers, and attended events that focus on global warming, violence prevention, political issues, and other pressing issues in my own community. Now my eyes are open to the bigger picture. I think about my actions carefully and respect the actions of others. I have learned to respond to anger in a peaceful manner and have become a more accepting human being. Destiny has helped me to grow into the person I want to be.”
Chloe Alston, 16
“Destiny has personally changed my life for the better. It has made me a more kind, thoughtful, and compassionate person. As I’m developing the ability to express myself through dance, I am realizing my passion. Destiny is my home away from home.”
Dorianna Blitt, 15
“Destiny has helped me grow over the years. When I first got to Destiny I was this shy little girl who hid behind her mom and refused to take group classes. Now I am able to be part of the Destiny Company doing big shows in front of hundreds and sometimes thousands of people. And I even have some speaking parts. Through dance I am able to connect to the public in a peaceful way, to let them know that the youth of Oakland are out there doing positive things. Destiny is special because of the connection we have with the community. Every performance we have, the audience loves us because we make a change.”
Julia Phillips, 17
“Before joining the Company, although I was very “smart” in an academic way, I wasn’t really able to express myself emotionally. Through working with the show and performing last year I have really become able to express my emotions and tell my story. In the show early in 2011, I performed a monologue about being bullied in school for being perceived as gay. Through Destiny I was able to come to terms with this and truly grow from the experience.”
Sasha Petterson, 16
Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company (DAYPC)
Part of the Destiny Arts Center model is to consciously foster young artists. The Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company (DAYPC) was formed for youth ages 13-18 in order to create productions that are dynamic forums for young people to express their fears, hopes, and strategies for confronting challenging personal and social issues. Since 1993, the group has matured into a committed, multicultural group of teens from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds who bring their narratives to the table in creating their annual production in collaboration with DAYPC Co-Artistic Directors Sarah Crowell and Rashidi Omari and invited professional artists. All productions combine hip hop, modern, aerial dance, theater, martial arts, song, rap, and spoken word as artistic mediums. Company members rehearse twice/week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30-7:30PM. As the season progresses, rehearsal times increase. The group performs up to 30 times during the season, mostly on weekends.
Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company 2013 AUDITIONS Thursday, October 24th 4:30-8:30pm
Destiny Junior Company (DJC)
The Destiny Junior Company (DJC) is a training ground and performance troupe for youth ages 9-12. DJC company members also undergo an audition process to assess their readiness to be a member of a performance team as well as their current level of technical achievement. All invited members of DJC perform portions of the annual production written and co-created by DAYPC, and are expected to take one Destiny technique class in addition to their twice/weekly rehearsals (Tues/Thurs, from 4:30-5:30PM).
Destiny Junior Company 2013 Tuesday, October 22nd 4:30-6:30pm
We host auditions at our North Oakland arts center at the beginning of every new school year!
School Year 2013-14 Audition Dates
Destiny Junior Company
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 4:30-6:30pm
Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company
Thursday, October 24, 2013 4:30-8:30pm
How to prepare: Come prepared to work hard and support your fellow auditioners.
What to wear: Clothes you can move in. Sweats. t-shirts and sneakers or modest tights and jazz shoes are some forms of suggested attire.
What to expect: Auditions will last several hours and begin from the moment you step into the room. Destiny directors are watching for each participant’s dance and theater skills as well as willingness to be an attentive audience member and the ability to support and encourage their competitors.
Upon entry, auditionees will receive a number, warm up with the group and learn short hip hop and modern dance routines that they then perform for a small panel of judges. You may also be asked to freestyle for several measures at the end of the given choreography. You will then read a short monologue from a previous Destiny production.
Optional: You may also prepare a solo a small group routine (with other auditionees). This routine can be in any form of dance/movement you choose and must be no longer than one minute in length. You must bring your own music. You may also perform a poem, monologue of your choice. This must also be no longer than one minute in length.
Destiny Arts youth performance companies have performed for audiences throughout the Bay Area and beyond. Our performances are a powerful mixture of youth-written monologues, dialogue and scene work, multiple dance styles, and martial arts. All of our content is derived from company members’ experience with relevant social issues that affect the day-to-day lives of their communities. For more information, please contact us!
If you are interested in booking one of the companies for a performance or event, please call Sarah Crowell, Artistic Director, at 510-597-1619 x 102. Because we work with school-aged youth, we generally do not accept commissions during the school day.
REQUIRED REHEARSALS ETC.
Required rehearsals for DESTINY ARTS YOUTH PERFORMANCE COMPANY (DAYPC) members are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 to 7:30pm. Optional classes include scriptwriting on Fridays from 4:30-6:30pm starting on November 30th, and aerial dance rehearsals on Mondays from 5-7pm starting on December 3.
NOTE: for the spring session, rehearsals will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30-6:30pm. NO aerial or scriptwriting until fall.
DESTINY JUNIOR COMPANY (DJC) members are required to attend rehearsals on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 to 5:30pm. In addition, members must take at least one hip hop dance class on Tuesday or Thursday from 3:30pm to 4:30 pm or Saturday from 10 to 11am.
DESTINY ARTS YOUTH PERFORMANCE COMPANY (DAYPC)
DAYPC SPRING REHEARSALS: APRIL 30th-June 3
Tuesdays & Thursdays (mandatory)
4:30-6:30pm @ Destiny Arts Center
DAYPC SPRING PERFORMANCES (mandatory)
Saturday, May 4th
noon-4pm (event at 3:30pm)
Dancing in the Park at Fort Mason Meadow, SF (FREE)
Tuesday, May 7
6-10pm (event at 8pm)
Benefit for Destiny at Yoshi’s Jazz Club, Oakland ($20 tickets – no comps)
Thursday, May 9
4-7:30pm (event at 6pm)
Event for Northern CA Community Loan Fund at Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission Street, SF (not open to the public)
Saturday, June 1
4-10pm (event at 7pm)
All Oakland Talent Show at Oakland Technical High School ($10 tickets – no comps)
Saturday, June 8
Moving for Peace recital at Destiny ($3-$20 tickets – no one turned away for lack of funds)
DESTINY JUNIOR COMPANY (DJC)
DJC SPRING REHEARSALS
Tuesdays & Thursdays (mandatory)
4:30-5:30pm @ Destiny Arts Center REGULAR REHEARSALS
Tuesdays, Thursdays OR Saturdays – one extra hip hop class per week (mandatory)
T/Th @ 3:30-4:30pm OR Sat. @ 10am @ Destiny Arts Center
DJC SPRING PERFORMANCES (mandatory)
Tuesday, June 4
Destiny Junior Company original show at Destiny ($3-$20 tickets – no one turned away for lack of funds)
Saturday, June 8
Moving for Peace recital at Destiny ($3-$20 tickets- no one turned away for lack of funds )