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Outreach Programs

Future Shock Ottawa performance

Our vision

The vision of Culture Shock Canada serves to use Hip Hop dance as a tool to promote positive values amongst individuals through youth outreach, community classes, and social interactions. Dance continues to be an important tool for preventative social work. Through Culture Shock Canada's Youth Outreach Programs, individuals have the opportunity to become leaders in the communities in which they live, while honing a new skill and talent through hip hop music and dance.

  • Violence Prevention:

    A non-competitive environment of fitness and dance offers a positive outlet for aggression and stressful emotions. The steering of youth away from violence, drugs, racism, and hatred leads them towards a lifestyle of acceptance, dedication, respect, and achievement.

  • Skill Development:

    The program aims to instill positive values, confidence, and self-esteem among its participants. Creativity of youth is both encouraged and validated. Youth will be trained to instruct others thereby creating potential employment opportunities and becoming leaders and role models for the community.

  • Body Image:

    Culture Shock's unique dance program merges components of fitness and aerobic activity. Youth will enjoy the benefits of a healthy body and lifestyle. With the awareness of fitness, youth will be encouraged to respect their bodies and thus engage in healthier habits.


Body of evidence

Those who live in poverty become more vulnerable to calamities that include violence and unhealthy practices. This vulnerability does not exclude youth. Earlier existence of hip hop dancing has demonstrated that after-school programs can reduce security incidents and vandalism among youth. Most noteworthy are Culture Shock Canada's Youth Outreach Programs. In past years, security reports involving six to eleven year olds have been reduced by 50% in Ottawa's Carlington community alone.

Our well established outreach programs touch many of Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton and Montreal as well as their surrounding areas' social housing communities. Over 3000 youth have attended our various programs and many have benefited from our Youth Sponsorship Programs.


Sponsorship Programs

Youth Coordinators and the Youth Outreach Director will select youth from each of Culture Shock Canada's youth outreach programs. These youth will have had shown leadership through outstanding commitment, attendance, positive attitude, dedication, cooperation, respect and peer support.

The sponsorship will allow those chosen, access to all Culture Shock Canada company classes free of charge. Duration of these sponsorships may vary, but recipients of the Annual Youth Outreach Leadership awards will have one full year's access! All will have the opportunity to take classes and train with most of Culture Shock Canada's dancers, some of which have been featured on the "Cardio Hip Hop" TV show and others who have travelled the world teaching workshops and taking classes with some of the best dancers and choreographers in the business. The goal is to empower them to take hip hop dancing to new heights. They will also be given the opportunity to audition for Future Shock and Culture Shock's dance troupes which may in turn offer them employment opportunities.


Annual Future Shock Youth Showcase

On the afternoon of June 21st, 2003, several youth dance groups took a bow and completed another chapter in Culture Shock Canada's youth outreach program history. The first ever Youth Outreach Extravaganza (organized by Culture Shock Canada) showcased the many successful youth programs offered in Ottawa. The youth show, appropriately titled "A Moment Like This" personified the dance troupe's powerful mission to improve the well being and opportunity of youth and other community members.

In using hip hop dance, Culture Shock offers youth many moments for them to showcase their talents and skills. Through the challenge and thrills of performing on stage to the making up and teaching of choreography, youth are given many special moments in time. As they are positively reinforced to experience these moments, their well being and opportunity to fulfill a more positive lifestyle increases, thus helping achieve the goal of Culture Shock's Canada's youth outreach program.

Each summer, experience youth talent at its best and support Culture Shock Canada's mission by attending this incredible showcase. The popularity will only grow as Culture Shock youth programs and invited youth groups from all over the world are invited to perform.


Ottawa Community Programs

Current Programs

Coming soon!

Past Programs

Bellevue (Carlington Community)

Times: Thursdays (View Map)

In partnership with Carlington Community Health Centre and the City of Ottawa through funding from the Multicultural Health Coalition and the Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation, Culture Shock Canada has been able to offer a free hip hop dance program to youth in the Bellevue Manor community since March 1999. This program is Culture Shock Canada's pilot Youth Outreach project. The project aims at helping to reduce children and youth's risk behavior in an effort to avoid personal harm, conflict with the law and violence in the community as well as reducing barriers to participation. It also helps strengthen community capacity to address poverty by identifying individuals' talents, as discovered through their involvement in children's recreation and linking them to opportunities for employment.


Blackburn Hamlet and Gloucester Community

Times: Thursdays

In partnership with The Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre’s Child and Youth program, Culture Shock is please to offer free Hip Hop classes to the youth of Blackburn Hamlet and the Gloucester catchment area. This program strives to offer youth in the community an opportunity to express themselves in a safe and positive environment while at the same time building on their leadership skills, nurturing their creativity and encouraging individual self expression. The program will also allow the youth to become more familiar with other supportive service available to them thru the EORC such as the Blackburn Youth Drop In, The Youth and a Place for Success: Homework club, as well as counselling services offered at EORC.


Boys and Girls Club – Heatherington

Times: TBA

Heatherington Welcomes Culture Shock! Their energy is contagious and it is thrilling to watch, as Culture Shock leads the children who are part of the Heatherington community through their high energy hip hop dancing. Every Tuesday the group convenes and once the music starts pumping the group of 6-12yr olds can been seen mimicking the experienced instructors in a variety of twists and turns, tapping and clapping. It has been a great addition to the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa programming at Heatherington-we are grateful for the opportunity and the kids love it!


Carson Community

Times: Tuesdays (View Map)

In partnership with the Overbrook-Forbes Community Resource Centre's Youth Program and through funding from United Way and the City of Ottawa, Culture Shock has been able to offer free Hip-Hop classes to the youth in the Overbrook-Forbes, Manor Park and Carson's communities. The objective of the program is to be able to offer the high-risk youth in these communities the opportunity to nurture their voices, minds and transform their lives through the creative process of dancing. To instill in young people the confidence to ask important questions, make enriching choices and pursue meaningful opportunities to share their dance talents. In taking part of the production of a performance, they learn to work as a group, to develop strong leadership skills that are important in both personnal and professional areas. These skills include teamwork, assertiveness, time management and effective communication. To become role models of ahievement and success in their neighbourhoods and community.


Notre Dame High School

Times: TBA

Notre Dame High School welcomes Culture Shock Canda to its ACTIVE KIDS after school program. Over 36 youth are enjoying the dancing fun, Culture Shock style, before they sit down to daily academic tutoring in the Notre Dame Team Tutor program.


Overbrook-Forbes (Vanier Community)

Times: Mondays (View Map)

In partnership with the Overbrook-Forbes Community Resource Centre's Youth Program and through funding from United Way and the City of Ottawa, Culture Shock has been able to offer free Hip-Hop classes to the youth in the Overbrook-Forbes, Manor Park and Carson's communities. The objective of the program is to be able to offer the high-risk youth in these communities the opportunity to nurture their voices, minds and transform their lives through the creative process of dancing. To instill in young people the confidence to ask important questions, make enriching choices and pursue meaningful opportunities to share their dance talents. In taking part of the production of a performance, they learn to work as a group, to develop strong leadership skills that are important in both personnal and professional areas. These skills include teamwork, assertiveness, time management and effective communication. To become role models of ahievement and success in their neighbourhoods and community.

Toronto Community Programs

Current Programs

Coming soon!

Past Programs

City of Toronto – Park and Recreation Programs

In partnership with the City of Toronto's Parks and Recreation Culture Shock Toronto (CSTO) has facilitated after school programming for local youth at various community centers across the city, including Secord and the St. Lawrence Community Centre.


In-Class Workshops for Elementary, Middle and High School Students

Culture Shock Toronto (CSTO) has gone back to school!  Using inclusive methodologies to make dance more accessible, Culture Shock Toronto continues to foster creativity and physical fitness as we allow students to dance to their own unique beat.  So much more than a typical dance class, Culture Shock’s Urban Dance Experience fulfills curricular expectations related to Dance and Physical Education.   Children and youth across the following regions continue to experience the Culture Shock: Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Peel, Halton, York, Durham.  The expansion continues...


Professional Development Workshops for Teachers

Culture Shock Toronto (CSTO) has worked with many professional teacher organizations, such as the AECEO (Early Childhood Educators), CODE, TDSB, TCDSB, HWCDSB, Upper Canada Childcare and York Professional Care and Education.  We train educators and child-care workers on how to successfully integrate urban dance into their programming. CSTO's workshops provide meaningful pedagogical links and practical tools, like games and choreography, for the educators to use immediately in their professional practice. CSTO's dancers have also presented at Additional Qualification (AQ) courses under York University.


Summer Camps and Centers

School’s Out and Culture Shock is in!  Culture Shock Toronto (CSTO) has been a part of many camp programs across the GTA and surrounding areas.  We provide dance-based  hip hop workshops for children of all ages, from pre-school to high school aged youth, at many seasonal day camps, as well as afterschool programs run by organisations such as the YMCA.


The Early Years

Before High School and Elementary Schools there is the magic of the Early Years!  Fusing Culture Shock’s unique methods and emergent best practices of Early Childhood Education, preschoolers between 3 and 5 years of age have been able to hold it down on the dance floor!  Imagination and creativity are the pillars of this program.  Fundamental movement skills and community building  set against funky urban tunes! 


YMCA Play It Forward Program – Mississauga, Richmond Hill

In partnership with the YMCA, Culture Shock Toronto (CSTO) continues to train youth, from 16 and 18 years old, to become dance facilitators who, in turn develop dance-based programs for children in their communities. This pay-it-forward program initiative has been made possible through the YMCA organization and their sponsors and allows youth to become mentors in their own community. Culture Shock's involvement is to develop the youth's leadership skills and provide the tools necessary to become dance facilitators, which include musicality, athleticism, and choreography. The youth are then given the opportunity to play it forward and develop their own programs for their younger peers.

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