With the beginning of the school year underway for teen students what better way to culminate the summer than with a rousing high energy, explosion of gifted, talented teens, live on the magnificent stage at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, Downtown.

Bravo’s go out to Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Lee Davis, Patrick Latouche, Brad Sommers, Spud Taihoa and School Board member Mark Brentley for sponsoring the best of Pittsburgh’s talented teens.

UNDALRDS (Photos by Rossano P. Stewart)

Kid Nation, “You Gotta See It To Believe It” benefit concert, featuring the Undalrds and special guests, was hosted by 17 year old Nigel Ash, aka “Z1 Nation,” the leader of the group UNDALRDS. Nigel, has been performing since he was 7 years old, both acting and singing. He has appeared in the Universal Studios Production, “The Haunting Hour: Don’t Think About It,” with Emily Osment and opened for such acts as Souljah Boy, Jeremih, Christina Milian and The Dream.

“When my family and I first started out, we were putting on shows, but my brothers and I soon realized that the kids that we wanted to reach, often could not afford to come to our shows, so we started performing free shows in neighborhood recreational centers and playgrounds,” Nigel said. “Meeting kids from the same types of neighborhoods like ours made us realize that most kids don’t have anything to do, without any motivation to do anything, so in our shows we hold dance battles and the same kids watching us get a chance to display their awesome moves and lyrical flows themselves.”

Kid Nation Inc. is a non-profit corporation founded by Nigel Ash and his brothers with the goal of reaching other kids with the message that, The Future is Now!

The evening performers “ripped” the audience with so much raw energy that they never had a chance to sit very long without a standing in ovation. Performers such as South Side Family, Continuum Dance Theater and Dance Unleashed began the show with lots of high energy. Tru City, moved the crowd with soulful harmonic vocals. Young Royal, BG One and Lhagit, sent positive messages out in their lyrics.

Lee Davis, of Community Empowerment Association, gave respect to the Brentley/Lantry Family for support on the evening’s production and thanked community activist Paradise Gray and author Steve Johnson, as well.

The second part of the show was electrifying as dance troop, “KG DYNASTY” took the stage. This dance company is truly something to behold. As they performed their signature piece, “Until We Bleed,” many, if not all the young people in the audience charged the stage. However, it was the never before seen piece entitled, “3rd Round Knock Out,” that “Wowed” the crowd. The young dancers extraordinaire interpretive movements sent bolts of lightning through the seats as they performed. Last, but in no way the least, the amazing UNDALRDS, tore the roof off the house, with beautiful poetry, dynamic dance moves, spiritual lyrics and a positive message to our youth. This truly is what our young folks should be about in today’s world.

(Kid Nation Inc. can be found on the Web at: http://www.kidnation­foundation.com and http://www.UNDALRDS.com.)

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