Brave Movement founders Lenox Cedeno and Manny Dominguez met in high school and bonded as best friends over a shared love of dance. Cedeno became involved in break dancing because he wanted to gain some confidence. He says with a laugh, “I was looking for a way to become more interesting.” He began by practicing with a group of “b-boys” (breakdancers) in Queens that met at The Rock church.
Later, he and Dominguez became part of a performance troupe called the “hip hop Prophets” in the Bronx. It was there that the two began to talk about a shared desire to use dance to impact their uptown community. “I wanted to give the neighborhood something I never had,” says Cedeno, “”I used to have to go downtown to get lessons and it would have been better if there was something like Brave Movement closer to me.”
We want Brave Movement to be a pillar, something our community can be proud of, a bridge where people from different walks of life can come through and just be able to talk, share and have a sense of community.
Then they took a trip to Redding California to visit a friend who was attending the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. Cedeno didn’t know what to expect, knowing that Bethel’s approach was more charismatic than he was used to. However, one day he decided to fully open up to the experience. It was then that God gave him the vision of not just a dance studio, but a dance movement. He and Dominguez both left with a sense of renewed purpose.
Today, Brave Movement is a collective, a group of young adults working together to inspire hope in northern Manhattan, one dancer at a time. Most work as volunteers, from CFO Albert Pico, to ballet teacher Marlene Perez. Brave’s mission, according to Cedeno, who is now the CVO (Chief Visionary Officer) is to “provide a quality dance experience that promotes authentic community, self-expression, and intentional living.
According to Cedeno, living intentionally means doing things with purpose and excellence, and letting that inform your outlook and your choices in life. He gives this example, “a young girl can come in angry at her dad, and through a dance session, gain the courage to just go and talk to him about it…you know, become brave.”
Their business model is unique in that Brave Movement is always open for walk-ins and there is no push to commit to multiple sessions. And, there’s something for all ages, including adults. The dance teachers are exceptional dancers, and will encourage excellence. However, the vision of Brave is bigger than that.
“We want Brave Movement to be a pillar, something our community can be proud of, a bridge where people from different walks of life can come through and just be able to talk, share and have a sense of community.” And of course, dance together.
To learn more about Brave Movement and how you can get involved
visit their official Facebook page here: Brave Movement.