Dance Gives Peace and Bright Beginning to Former Club Kid

Dance Gives Peace and Bright Beginning to Former Club Kid
April 12, 2018 BGCMA

Chris McCord says his Club opened the door to brighter possibilities.

Twenty-eight years ago, I was an angry kid with a severe learning disability and a strong single mother who had been confined to a wheelchair from a stray bullet.

Our home was surrounded by a lot of drug dealers and pimps; these were the powerful male examples in my neighborhood.

But one summer experience at the Warren Boys & Girls Club changed my life.

When I was 11 years old, a creative youth development organization called Moving in the Spirit performed at my Club. I was sitting in the audience when they invited Club members to come up and learn a dance combination.

I learned the dance and took an opportunity to join a class Moving in the Spirit started offering at my Club. I really had a good time. My confidence grew with every step I learned.

In school, I went from making 17s and 20s to making 95s. I started cranking out good grades and my teachers were trying to figure out how my grades were improving so drastically.

I remember going back and telling my dance teacher, Dana, what was happening.

She was so impressed and the more I described how making gestures that emulated the information I was reading at school, Dana put the pieces together and discovered I was a kinesthetic learner.

If I put what I’m learning to movement, my retention level goes through the roof.

It was a big weight off my shoulders.

I might’ve never known I was a kinesthetic learner if it were not for the Boys & Girls Club. And like Boys & Girls Club, Moving in the Spirit was a safe place from my drug-infested neighborhood in Decatur.

As time went on, I knew there was more to do, and I wanted to be the good example of manhood I never had.

As a young man growing up without a father, I looked around and asked, “Where are the men?” and decided when I graduated from Georgia State University to answer that question by joining the DeKalb County police force.

But I quickly learned that it was too late to turn a young man’s life around by the time he was in my custody. So I took a gigantic entrepreneurial leap and went back to the place where I’ve I always felt at home, Moving in the Spirit, where I founded a program called Men in Motion.  Twelve years later, young men ages 8 -13 are learning to reach their potential through weekly dance classes, mentoring, and leadership training in Men in Motion.

I’m really thankful for these opportunities that shaped my life. I was in Boys & Girls Club for only one summer, but I believe the impact it’s had on my life will last a lifetime.

Thank you for showing me the possibilities.