METRO EVENTS – Westfield Wheaton Mall hosts anti-bullying dance party


By Nina Glick, Photojournalist

July 22, 2023

Photos by Nina Glick and DC Spotlight Newspaper

Coinciding with International Anti-Bullying Month, The Music in Me Foundation hosted their PeerPositivePOWER CommUNITY Dance Party at the Westfield Wheaton Mall. The event brought together senior citizens, children, patrons of the mall, and even a dog for an hour of performance and dance in the spirit of unity and inclusion. Along with the dancing, there were performances from Side-by-Side, the go-go band from the Washington Metropolitan Police Department, and Philoy Williams, the Magic Music Man, and music from DJ Joe Cat Daddy as well as giveaways for the audience. Danny Soto, the foundation’s artistic director and a former Broadway dancer, led the dancing with assists from Jane Pinczuk, the Founder and CEO of The Music in Me Foundation. 

Jane Pinczuk

Philoy Williams

The Music in Me Foundation’s mission is “to stop bullying through peer intervention by inspiring a sense of community, leadership, team building, self-esteem and positive thinking and doing—using music, storytelling, literacy, STEM and the performing arts as tools in discovering inner strengths (or superpowers) to achieve immediate and long lasting brighter futures [and]to create safe, accepting and engaging learning and living environments for multigenerational populations.” It runs The Michele Amira Performing Arts Academy which is headed by Soto and named after Pinczuk’s daughter who passed away at 27. She struggled with being bullied and battled insurmountable pain and isolation due to a rare auto-immune disease and autism, as well as being illiterate at 11 years of age and found refuge in music, dance and the performing arts. Soto and Pinczuk took the opportunity to announce at the event new MAPAA classes at Cardozo Education Campus, on Saturdays, starting in October. A full schedule for these classes can be found here


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