The Q-Kidz Dance Team Will Perform at the Black Lives Matter Street Mural in Front of Cincinnati City Hall This Weekend

The West End's Q-Kidz are doing their second weekend of dance performances at 4 and 4:30 p.m. July 19

click to enlarge The Q-Kidz Dance Team Will Perform at the Black Lives Matter Street Mural in Front of Cincinnati City Hall This Weekend
Photo: Q-Kidz Dance Team Facebook

The West End's Q-Kidz dance team is doing their second weekend of performances at the Black Lives Matter street mural in front of Cincinnati City Hall this Sunday. Shows will take place at 4 and 4:30 p.m. July 19.

Q-Kidz turned 39 in May. But it's about more than just dance. The community studio on Linn Street also offers a support system, a place where kids can get hands-on attention, positive reinforcement, even help with homework. The mission on the website says the program instills “values about the importance of a good education, living drug free and stopping the violence in their community.”

Founder Marquicia Jones-Woods  — known affectionately as Ms. Quicy — founded Q-Kidz when she was just a teenager.

“I started the children's group as a kid basically,” she says. “I wanted to give the kids in my community something to do because there was just so much going on and I was trying to find positive ways for them to have a day that was filled with fun instead of just the hustle and bustle of everything that was going on around us in public housing.”

Currently, there are 100 kids between the ages of 4 and 17 enrolled at the studio. About 75 to 80 actively participate and they’re taught by a mix of instructors. There are two head coaches — Jones-Woods’ twin daughters, Mariah and Chariah — who focus on majorette. Then there’s a pom coach, who used to coach at Xavier; choreographer and DANCEFIX founder Heather Britt, who teaches modern dance; a summertime ballet instructor from the Cincinnati Ballet; an instructor who teaches African and Nigerian dance; and a Salsa instructor.

Q-Kidz performs frequently locally — you’ll see them onstage at Music Hall, the Aronoff Center, in the Opening Day Parade, BLINK — and they travel across the country to cities like New York, New Orleans, Atlanta and Los Angeles to take part in (and win) dance competitions and events. Q-Kidz dancers have also been immortalized on film in the highly acclaimed 2015 indie movie The Fits.

The shows at the Black Lives Matter street mural in front of City Hall are meant to draw attention to the younger generation and their role in the current conversation around racial injustice, policing and the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I think with this whole process, that the youth is getting left out. Like they’re having all these roundtable talks, but it's always involving the adults — it never involves the youth — and we know the youth need to be at the table because they're up next. If we don't start doing something different with them, we're going to still have the same problem,” Jones-Woods says.

And that ties in to her goals with Q-Kidz: to provide her kids with more opportunities and life experiences than she had.

Read a full feature on Q-Kidz at CityBeat.com.

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