TREVOR MILES WITH AWARD (Photos by J.L. Martello)
Trevor C. Miles is on a crusade to enhance the dance community in the City of Clairton.
“My personal goal is to enhance the Clairton art community. We have people in the city who are talented and interested in other things than sports. I want Clairton to be passionate about dance and the arts and I want to help the city of Clairton,” said Miles, 23, who resides in Clairton and works in the Clairton City School District.
Miles is doing that one child at a time thanks to the CHANCE after-school program.
CHANCE, which stands for Creating Hope And New Found Courage Everywhere, was created during the 2007-2008 school year and began as a fundraising group at the Clairton City School District. Its mission is to improve the world and the community through various fundraising, volunteer and prevention education activities.
CHANCE chooses various charities to donate to annually and has raised more than $10,000 for charity since its inception.
Miles came up with the idea to hold a dance contest during the group’s inaugural year and the rest, as they say, is history.
“We did four dances in that show and we raised money for the charity and I knew I was on to something,” said Miles who serves as director and head choreographer of CHANCE.
Now the group has extravagant two-hour dance shows that showcase the talents of 27 team members ranging in age from 8 to 18.
“They all have to live in Clairton and be enrolled in the Clairton City School District,” Miles said. “They also have to have good grades. If they don’t keep their grades up they can’t be a part of CHANCE.”
One thing eager students don’t need to be a part of CHANCE is a dance background.
“I can teach them the steps and I can teach them timing. But I can’t teach them to have heart,” he said. “They need to have heart and that spark.”
Miles, who has no formal dance training, has instructed weekly youth community dance classes at the Thelma Lovette YMCA in Pittsburgh. He also instructed the center’s campers ages 7-14 and hosted its first ever “End of the Year Celebration” dance performance.” Miles has taught hip-hop classes to more than 120 students at Urban Pathways Charter School.
“I came to dance as an old man and I didn’t have confidence or rhythm and I still get nervous on stage,” explained Miles, who began dancing at 17.
While a student at Clairton High School, Miles was inducted into the National Honors Society and Who’s Who Among American High School Students.