MLK Center dancers perform at Molloy halftime


The Dance Empress Studios dancers returned to the court to perform a halftime show for the Molloy men’s basketball team on Saturday.

Based out of the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Rockville Centre, the dancers were asked to come back after their first performance last year was well received, according to coach Tjuana Evans.

She described the girls as her “die-hard five.” They practice Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. “They’re on it more than I am,” she said. “They keep me going.”

The girls practice a unique mix of different dance styles. “We’re basically what I like to call street ballerinas,” Evans said.

They focus mainly on hip-hop, but they’ll occasionally perform interpretive dance at churches and other public locations.

Evans originally envisioned the Center’s dance program as a way to keep young girls off the streets. “I want to keep them off drugs and out of gangs,” she said. Although not a formally trained dancer, she felt that, through dance instruction, she could give them some organizational and problem-solving skills.

“It’s just a way to make peace in a world where there’s so much trouble,” she said.