‘Project 815 Dance Culture’ team highlight Rockford arts scene

Stateline Strong

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — We know that Rockford has many artists and supporters, but one form of dance making waves underground is now coming to the limelight in a major way.

Two dancers are taking over Rockford’s streets and their work is inspiring others to express themselves.

You may have seen Antoine Williams and Terry Williams first vibing out at Rockford City Market over the summer.

“We just set up shop right here [on the street corner],” said Antoine. “We were just like, ‘y’all going to see this today.’ Then we went up to the bars, then we went to the Betty’s, then we went on the East side, the North side, the Southside.”

Both Antoine and Terry first met at Auburn High School a couple of years ago and formed the impromptu dance company “Project 815 Dance Culture.” The dancers want to show whoever stops to watch them just how much art there is in the stateline.

“People that live here and don’t get a chance to go anywhere, that’s where we come in,” Terry said. “We’re on the streets. We’ve danced in front of the mayor, we’ve danced in front of City Hall. We were dancing at the BMO, City Market every Friday, at Rock Valley, at schools, helping out with the homeless, dancing everywhere and making smiles and making something that is just inspirational.”

Antoine added, “We also meet other dancers and they’ll be like, ‘man, I haven’t seen dancers in forever,’ and they’ll come out here and footwork with us, and b-boy with us, and hip-hop with us, and it’s the greatest feeling ever.”

Terry and Antoine say that, with so much negativity and bad influences around them, they are using dance as their way to be a light in the Forest City.

“We want to share this with the city, because the city needs this. Like everything bad happens, good that happens, anything that I can even come up with, dancing means so much,” Antoine said.

Antoine and Terry’s sights are set on preparing to compete in an international televised dance competition next fall.

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