MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - The 12th annual block party for peace in Frayser wrapped up with local dance teams battling it out, all in good fun of course.
Three teams squared off in a competition called, "Buck Wars." The dancers say their learning life lessons on and off the dance floor and using their talents to prepare them for success.
The girls range in age from 5 to 18. They say they dance to keep them focus in order to use their talents for scholarships.
"Buck Wars" took place at the Ed Rice Community Center in Frayser. Onyx Holloway, member of the Dynamic Pears, has the attitude and the skill, but she says her coaches go beyond teaching the techniques.
"I keep it family oriented. Treat everybody the way you want to be treated and that's what I always tell them," said Kaderrius Little, Coach of Dynamic Pearls.
That's why the team keeps a winning record. However, at the Block Party for Peace Sunday afternoon, every team was a winner.
"We want to raise those kids up as a village as a community to make sure those children understand that we are there for them. We do care," said Representative Antonio Parkinson, State Representative, District 98. "If you improve people's quality of life people are less likely to be kicking your back door in and stealing your stuff."
It's that vision that keeps this event afloat year after year. These girls say their teammates are their sisters.
"I just wanted to try something different and communicate with others and have positive attitudes toward other people and having someone to look up to," said Kenya Holmes, Mighty Marchers of Memphis.
The coaches say they teach their girls the importance of confidence and working hard on and off the dance floor.
"One of my girls specifically her grades were suffering And she really really wanted to dance so what she did is she got her act together in school and you know she's an A, B student now," Little explained. "When you put on that uniform all that playing it goes away, you're like I'm in plain makeup, full clothing, I look beautiful, I need to act like Beyonce.
The girls do contemporary ballet, hip hop and majorette style dancing. They practice after school every day and sometimes go as late as 8 p.m.