Darnell Richardson knew he couldn’t pass up on the opportunity when he spotted several police officers riding their bikes past his dance studio in West Philadelphia Wednesday. The 24-year-old founder and CEO of Danse4Ever Studios asked one of the officers to take a picture with some of his students and the officer agreed. Richardson later posted the photo on his Facebook page. It was only one of several examples of the positive impact his company has had on the Philadelphia community.
Richardson, a producer, choreographer, writer and director, created Danse4Ever Studios in 2012. Since its creation, the company has expanded rapidly. It currently has locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Georgia.
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Richardson, who was born in Philly and currently resides in Smyrna, Delaware, told NBC10 the goal of his company is to not only provide affordable dance lessons to young children and teens growing up in rough neighborhoods but also provide a way for them to constructively express themselves and get them off the streets.
During his lessons, Richardson frequently has discussions with his students, who range in age from 2 to 17, about the issues impacting their neighborhood, including the relationship between the community and police. That's why he felt compelled to ask the officer to take a picture with his students Wednesday.
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