Youth dancers

Youth dancers take center stage at Miami-Dade alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. event.

Youth from across South Florida strutted with flair, sang songs of joy and drumlines marked time at “Jabberwock 2020 Soulful Struts and Sounds.” The annual performing arts exposition was held Saturday, March 7 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Miami Jackson senior high school auditorium.

The Miami alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. sponsored the event in partnership with Delta Education and Health and Cultural Initiative, Inc., Proceeds from the event will benefit young women in their pursuit of higher education.

Since 1925, Jabberwock has served as one of several fundraising arms for the organization’s debutante cotillion which has allocated more than $200,000 in scholarship funding to high school girls in Miami-Dade County.

The debutant cotillion is a three-year program that students begin in 10th grade and culminates in their senior year of high school. Participants are eligible to receive a 1st place award of $10,000; second prize $7,500 and third prize $5,000.

“We give no less than $33,000 in scholarships at each year’s debutante cotillion,” said Kay Dawson, president of the Miami alumnae chapter who offered the Jabberwock welcome address. “We also offer additional stipends for books and the funding is a collective effort from our annual gala and ‘Cooking Gents’ events.”

The Jabberwock planning committee begins planning one year in advance. This year, 24 groups accepted invitations to perform and represented Miami-Dade county K-12 public and private schools, charter schools, local dance academies, church ministries and more.

Roselyn Cox served as mistress of ceremonies, and performances included the mime ministry of New Birth Baptist Church of Miami who performed to the gospel rendition, "Let your power fall." Vocalist Christi Syverain, a sixth grader enrolled at Jose de Diego Middle School, sang "Your daddy's son" and Miami Northwestern senior high 11th grade student Saadiya Studwell crooned a soulful tribute to the late Aretha Franklin.

A theatre presentation titled, “96,000” was presented by Dr. Michael Krop senior high and Booker T. Washington senior high school’s Force Majeure performed Billie Holiday’s classic, "Strange fruit." Miami Norland senior high school’s Viking Dance Theater performed, "If this world were mine."

"Jabberwock is an amazing event that showcases the immeasurable talent of our youth,” said Michelle Moore, an educator and third year attendee. “ It is a reminder that we have a wealth of brilliant and talented young people in Miami. I will continue to support this joyous event."

Standout performances were IC Talent Dance, Inc. from Cutler Bay and the debut of The Edwin Holland Dance Ensemble. Both groups ignited the crowd and garnered thunderous applause.

"The Spirit of Southridge’s drumline performance was out of sight,” said Dawson. “We have some of the most talented youth performing at Jabberwock 2020. The entire evening was filled with amazing groups, skits and dances. I want to thank the soulful and artistic women of the Jabberwock committee for their hard work.”

Daniella Pierre is a native of Miami, with Caribbean Diaspora roots. She's been an active member of the NAACP for most of her adult life. Her advocacy work in affordable housing and social justice has been featured in various global media outlets.

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