Girl Power'd was founded in 2015 by 2 sisters. Both professional artists, entrepreneurs and dancers, Brittnee Habbib and her sister started teaching Black girls dance and gymnastics in a park. In 2016, Girl Power’d had its first GP Day, a 4hr day created to build the self esteem and the self love for young girls 7-14 years old through self expression and movement.
Based on the need in the community for this safe space, GP had its first 10-week session in the summer of 2017.
From 2015-now, GP has progressed to a weekly 3 day, program serving over 100 participants per year who identify as Black. We have travelled internationally, running workshops in the USA, and our core team has grown, with youth mentors (past participants) learning to be mentors for our younger girls.
Our goal is to educate and create a safe, sacred space for these girls in a fun engaging way. Gymnastics, Cultural dance, and self expression is the perfect match to do this. African dance has history, intention and meaning. As these girls are moving they will be able to understand that each movement has a purpose. They will be learning their heritage as they dance and move.
We have a core team that works year round to bring this program to life. All members are Black professional artists. It's important for us to have team members that our participants can relate to.
We also hire Black professional artists who specialize in a specific art form to expand the minds and souls of our young girls.
Brittnee was on the Canadian National Gymnastics Team. She has travelled to 9 countries including; the Commonwealth Games in Australia, The Pan Am Championships in Brazil and the World Championships in Denmark. She was the only Black girl on the team and faced serious racism and discrimination. She lacked confidence at this high level representing her country. She did not have a voice to speak out and to stand up for the injustices that were done to her. Brittnee needed to create a safe space for young Black girls to have a voice. To love themselves, to understand their culture and to believe in their power.
Brittnee then received a full scholarship to the University Of Nebraska, graduated with honours majoring in Communications Studies, having a double minor in French and Sociology,
Brittnee is a African Contemporary Dancer, a Producer, an Actor and a Creative Artist. Brittnee is a star in the Feature film "Chalk It Up" on Netflix.
"It Starts With You. Love Yourself. Trust your Journey. Manifest Positivity"
A graduate of Ryerson who majored in social work and doubled minored in both acting and dance. Growing up she explored most dance forms including; hip hop, contemporary, Latin, Kizombe, jazz and ballet. With a passion in African Dance Diaspora, she has explored mentorship programs and has learned many skills to be able to give back to the community.
Jillian joined Girl Power’d in early 2019 where she got to incorporate both of her passions in one. Working with young Black girls and educating them on the importance of culture through African dance. She truly wants to give these girls everything she didn’t have growing up. She understands there is a lack of safe spaces for young Black girls to excel. Jillian joined our team and immediately fell in love with the vision
Faith (Youth Mentor)
Faith is 17 and has been dancing since she was 4 years of age. She is trained in the styles of tap, ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz, hip hop, and West African. She continues to train and perform with Children and Youth Dance Theatre and as a dance major at the Etobicoke School of the Arts. Dancing has allowed her to travel and represent Canada in Barbados for the 13th annual Carifesta, Trinidad for the 14th annual Carifesta, Scotland for the first annual Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival, Jamaica for the 2016 Marcus Garvey celebration. Faith joined GP as a youth mentor in the 2018/19 year and is very invested in the message of self-empowerment and confidence behind Girl Power'd. As a Black girl in a white- dominated field, Faith's experiences compelled her to work with young Black girls and to help encourage and prepare them for a life in a society that doesn't look favourably on them.
Alana (Youth Mentor)
Alana is 17 years old and she absolutely loves to dance. She started dancing at 10 years old and has competed in every style. Some styles include: acrobatics, hip hop, jazz, ballet and tap. Her talent in Tap surpassed her expectations and soon she was accepted at the tap dance centre. She has had the opportunity to perform with major companies such as: Lineen Doung, Millennium dance complex, BOSS and Kreative. In 2018 she traveled to Chicago for a “nexusontour” training program. While in Chicago she received two scholarships, to perform with their team at a gala. As of 2020, she joined Girl Power’d and is currently learning how to train and mentor the younger girls. What interests Alana about Girl Power’d is that everyone is included as equal and they all support one another. Safe spaces like this inspires Alana. Alana aspires to be an dance instructor for Girl Power’d and wants to be a performer who travels internationally.
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