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The Hip Hop Remix Program

A powerful 16 week behavioral intervention program combining the best of Hip Hop Dance and Counseling to create a transformative experience for at risk teens

The Berkshire Project's Hip Hop Remix Program (HHRP) is a 16 week creative behavioral intervention program designed for teenagers involved with the Juvenile Court System. Focusing on building trust, teamwork, and emotional honesty, the HHRP offers an effective and innovative option for improving the self-esteem and life skills of disadvantaged teenagers in America's Juvenile Court System.

Groups sizes average 8-20 individuals. While the program is challenging on several levels, physical, emotional, and intellectual, there is no experience necessary to attend. All shapes and sizes are welcome. Meeting twice a week for eight weeks, participants learn the fundamentals of hip-hop dance techniques, styles, taught by a professional dancer and set to culturally relevent music (often without lyrics). In addition, teens are asked during each session to participate in group therapy and leadership training exercises. The program moves between dialouge, inquiry, and learning. At the end of eight weeks, participants give a performance for their invited family and friends as well as for Juvenile Court officials. Graduates of this program are then invited to mentor other teens in future eight- week programs. All programs are taught with the highest standards of decency in relation to the Hip Hop Culture and Music.

The HHRP strives to address fundamental questions of how positive behavioral changes occur for "delinquent" teens, and the role our judicial system plays in directing new and innovative initiatives. The program offers teens a chance to build life skills that provide new and enduring inner strength, using dance as the non-liner means for change. Our work as a group incorporates a number of trust building and communication exercises, whereby the participants learn to work together and support each other, often around the challenges of the dance.

Incorporating current research methodology for at risk girls (in particular the work of Marsha Linehan), the HHRP utilizes a number of cognitive behavioral techniques for controlling anger and impulsivity. In particular mindfulness-based stress reduction. In addition, personal journals are used to deepen self-reflection skills. The last group who completed a program spoke about this at the end of their performance in front of friends, probation officers, and court officials. When asked what they got out of the program, several spoke of learning to cooperate and come together when times got tough.

Authentic Change

Utilizing behavioral theory and the power of performing art, each Program Session works with developmental themes while creating a unique and authentic relationship with participants, including:
  • Developing trust through collaboration and teamwork.
  • Improving the ability to regulate emotions and communicate effectively.
  • Developing a positive sense of one's unique and unquestionable creative Self.
Language is also a big part of our work together. Through group discussion and creative writing, participants are asked to find the words that give meaning to what is important in their life today. Journals, which are kept throughout the program, are often powerful and potent vehicles for authentic expression and opportunities to share.
The Berkshire Project | 33 Saint Anns Ave |Lenox, MA 01240 | 413-358-5755
Marc Aronoff | Executive Director

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