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How one woman is helping to unify Detroit through dance.

The creative arts in this town just got a major upgrade.

How one woman is helping to unify Detroit through dance.
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Detroit is known for its cars, Motown music, and 8 Mile (the district and the movie). But now, it wants to be known for its dance.

And Joori Jung is the woman for the job. When she moved to New York from South Korea to dance, she realized the city wasn’t for her. In a city so large, it felt to her like there was little community. So instead, she followed her now-husband to Detroit, where she settled down and founded ArtLab J.

All photos by ArtLab J, used with permission.


The lab is a dance company, but it's also more than that.

According to the ArtLab J mission statement, the organization strives to "create unity between the city's dance companies, educational institutions, individual artists, and beyond." It's long been said that dance brings more than just performance to a community, but now, ArtLab J is out to prove it.

Watch below:

XQ Rethink High School: Detroit

These girls are learning to trust others through dance.

Posted by Upworthy on Monday, November 13, 2017

When we talk about supporting the arts, there's no denying the positive ripple effect that activities like dance can have.

On an individual level, dance provides people with an outlet to express themselves, which promotes spiritual and emotional health. That can translate to less violence, stronger community ties, and better interpersonal relationships.

For kids, that can also mean a better school experience, higher academic performance, and a better shot at finding success as adults.

But reading about performance arts and seeing them in action are two different things. ArtLab J is hard evidence of the real benefits of dance in Detroit.

By setting up a dance company within the city, ArtLab J has provided not just a hub for entertainment, but also a lab for others to dabble in the arts in a welcoming space.

Jung's company of six primary dancers performs her original choreography throughout the regular season, but the lab also runs workshops, classes, and other programs to help foster a connection between the organization and the community that surrounds it.

Perhaps most impressive is what the lab has done to expand Detroit's reach by bringing its global neighbors into the city.

While ArtLab J's presence in Detroit builds strong bonds and helps foster community within the city, there's also much that can be learned by going beyond city limits and collaborating with artists outside Detroit.

The Detroit Dance City Festival is a showcase that brings choreographers from all over the world to Detroit, putting their work in front of new and diverse audiences. And in doing so, it brings the world to the people of Detroit, building connections and building a global network for its residents.

ArtLab J is just one example of how dance has a positive effect far beyond the performances themselves.

Though Jung's initiative is one of the more visible dance community programs we have, cities and towns across the country and around the world fight every day for the budget and support they need to maintain an artistic presence in their communities.

And as Detroit's dancers have shown, those efforts can only lead to good things.

Learn more at XQSuperSchool.org.

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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

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Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.

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Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

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Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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