It’s very rare you come across people that say they want to do something and actually get to moving to do what they have to do to follow what others may consider “a pipe dream”. Of those few people that aren’t scared to pursue what may seem like unrealistic to most is Raheem ‘Skillz’ Harrington.
Now this story is personal to me because I’ve physically witnessed this idea come to life in such a short amount of time. Skillz came up to me a few months ago telling me about this grand vision he had to start a movement that involves his passion for dance. In that movement he wanted to be able to provide an outlet for teenagers from inner city neighborhoods to give them something to do while also providing an intimate family-like atmosphere between him and the dancers. I told him what I always tell anyone – go for it. Life is to short to be sitting hoping and wishing for a dream to become a reality. You have to actually be willing to make yourself vulnerable and put yourself out there and just work. He took it in and didn’t waste a second, he got to working with recruiting teenagers at the performing arts school he works in; then Real Entertainment Dance was born. Because with how teenagers are, word began to spread like wildfire throughout the high school about the R.E.D. movement.
What I find most admirable about Skillz is the fact that he doesn’t waste time for anything. He would
always come to me, asking for advice for his next move and within a matter of days (sometimes hours) he’s working on his next project. He’s recently launched a R.E.D. apparel line that seems to be a ‘must have’ for teenagers around Philadelphia. Once they get their hands on their R.E.D. wear they immediately are uploading photos on their social media networks showing pride to even be a part of something so grand.
What initially started as something catered just towards dancers, has now grown into a full blown out movement for anyone that wants to be a part of the R.E.D. family. For those that don’t dance, Skillz will eventually host dance workshops but until then everyone is there to just show support for the cause itself.
As a dedication for Black History Month, he’s recently released a video via YouTube dancing a piece to ‘Oh Freedom’
“It’s time for us to speak for our ancestors through out dancing. It’s time for us to show them and to show people how they felt during this time and how they felt to be free. It’s time for us to stand up and be a community and stop killing each other!”
Being able to personally witness how much R.E.D. has grown just these past months alone, I couldn’t be more proud of Skillz. He has teenagers from all around Philadelphia eager to join R.E.D., eager to wear R.E.D. apparel, eager to just say they are a part of something so strong and inspirational.
Just keep pushing forward Skillz! Can’t wait to see you continue to blossom and grow.
To attest to his movement, you may follow Skillz on Instagram: @IAMSKILLZ_
Check out R.E.D.’s latest video, a tribute to Black History Month.
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Now signing off with the reminder: Don’t wait for the world to recognize your greatness, live it and let the world catch up to you.