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Teens Activate

Giving Voice and Taking Action.

Designed for teens ages 13 - 18 years old. Teens Activate is Core Dance’s Dynamic X-Change offering specifically for teenagers. Teens Activate integrates the art forms of spoken word and movement and offers the guidance of professional Spoken Word and Dance Artists to bring the concerns, fears and ideas of teens into performative expression and action. Classes are led by Spoken Word & Movement Artists: Juana Farfan, Chris James, Marcus Montgomery and Amanda Sieradzki. Find out more about our instructors below.

To learn more about the program, check out the video below from our
summer 2021 program. 
Meet Our Instructors
Chris James

Chris James is a man who is truly on a journey to impact and changes lives in his community and the world. Chris James is a national award winning spoken word poet, TED Talks speaker, playwright, educator, photographer and self-published author. He recently served as the keynote speaker at the United States Capitol for the 39th Annual Congressional Arts Competition. He is the author of Joe Got Flow, Black Boy Blues and The Odds Against US. Chris is the creator of stage plays, Dear Black People and The Odds Against US., AETN/PBS will be releasing a short documentary about the life of Chris James. In 2016 he was featured on the front cover of Arkansas Times Newspaper for being one of Arkansas' top visionaries. Chris is a member of Foreign Tongues poetry slam team whom ranked 2nd place in the worlds second largest poetry competition in 2014. He is the founder of Arkansas' only poetry venue and second black owned gallery, The House of Art. As a teacher artist, Chris develops and facilitates art integrated poetry writing and performance workshops for K-12 across the country. Through his work, he educates on racial barriers and socio-economic challenges and how we can overcome. He is very passionate about the awareness of mental health. Find out more about Chris here.

Marcus Montgomery

Marcus Montgomery is the owner of Next Move Consulting, working in Arkansas, New York, DC, Colorado, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and Mississippi providing creative approaches for engaging and educating youth, specifically at risk youth and minority males to help them find their voice in education, life, and in the workforce. Marcus designed curriculum and served as an instructor for the First Year Experience course at The University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College. Marcus also served as a Success Coach for the Network for Student Success at The University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College, which is an Initiative program designed to improve the retention and graduation rates of marginalized high school and college students. He has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.


Most recently he completed a successful Finding Your Voice Creative Writing Workshop and Poetry Café with students at Horace Mann Middle School, where each participant created original poetry with some reciting their work before the faculty and students. He is also the author of 2 books. In Portholes: Windows Into My Soul, he uses poetry to connect with and motivate students to read, write, think critically and achieve goals. His most recent book 7 Unwritten Rules of Success offers practical success strategies. His goal is to motivate readers and provide user friendly resources for every person that wants to live life to its fullest potential. He is a spoken word artist with Writeous Poets in Little Rock.

Marcus Montgomery has spent his entire career working with youth through community programs, churches, public schools and colleges. He is known for helping the youth and young adults reach their fullest potential. Marcus is married and has two brilliant daughters.

Marcus Montgomery photo by Seth Foley.png
Amanda Sieradzki

Amanda Sieradzki is an interdisciplinary choreographer, educator, and arts journalist based in Tampa, FL. Amanda is the artistic director and founder of Poetica, a dance company that values collaboration, bodies and voices in motion, and the community. Her teaching builds on Anne Green Gilbert’s brain compatible dance education and emphasizes creativity and self-expression while strengthening mind-body connections. Amanda studied under Gilbert at the Summer Dance Institute for Teachers in Seattle, WA, and believes that everybody and every body is made for dance. She incorporates poetic forms and creative writing in her classes and her choreographies have been shown throughout the Southeast. Currently, she is on dance faculty at the University of Tampa and is a feature writer for Creative Pinellas’ Arts Coast Journal, the Tallahassee Council on Culture & Arts, DIYdancer Magazine, & ArtsATL. Amanda earned her MFA in Performance and Choreography from Florida State University, BA in Writing from the University of Tampa, and completed a year of independent study at The Ailey School in NYC.

Photo Credit: Jarid Barringer

Juana Farfan

Juana Farfan is an independent artist and dance educator based in Atlanta, Georgia, originally from Bogota, Colombia. She has been creating and performing in the Atlanta dance community since 2002, as well as being an arts curriculum integration and dance teacher in grades K-12.

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