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Dancers work to "shine a different light on Baltimore"

Posted at 7:13 AM, Jun 25, 2021

BALTIMORE — With all the continued violence in Baltimore, the city tends to get a bad reputation. Two young women are working to change that through dance.

NaTori Blackman and Breonna Leigh have been dancing since they were little. Now they have their own dance company, Eleven Mob.

"It’s basically a way to give back to Baltimore. A lot of people don’t know how much talent that we have in Baltimore and in the Baltimore area. So, we came up with this company just to promote and showcase our talent," said Leigh. She added, "if they see these are some talented young dancers, some talented young woman, trying to do the best for their city... I feel that it will create a better name. My hope is just to shine a different light on Baltimore."

They're hosting a virtual showcase on Saturday, June 26 at 3 p.m. Each ticket is $20 on Eventbrite. More here.

The money they raise is going directly to two things. The first is a scholarship program for those who have the passion and drive to dance but don't have the funds to support it. The second is a new studio so they can work with children and have classes.

"I really want to start working with younger children because I feel like that’s what they need," said Blackman. She added, "I want to start with younger kids for them to be able to do modern ballet and come to a space where they feel comfortable that we can provide for them."

A safe space in Baltimore.

"We want to stay in Baltimore. We don’t want to leave. We feel that a lot of people do that. They start their talent here and then they leave and never give back to the community. We want to start it home before we expand," said Blackman.

Dance has helped her through life and she know how it can help so many others. Blackman stressed, "I think I’ve been through a lot of times in my life where the only thing I had was dance and I think I’m stronger because of that and I want people to have that same experience no matter what you can come in the studio. You can dance you can cry all of that."

Eleven Mob was created about six months ago. Blackman and Leigh hope to expand this group and hope to have their showcase in person next year. With all the Covid restrictions constantly changing they decided to keep it virtual this year and it's easier for you to attend!