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American Idol host Randy Jackson and his wife Erika made a surprise appearance at the Lula Washington Dance Theartre to unveil two newly renovated dance studios.
The renovated dance studios are part of the recent partnership and commitment between Nike and the LA84 Foundation to build and/or refurbish 84 surfaces throughout Los Angeles to benefit young sports enthusiasts. Randy and Erika Jackson are the first family foundation to join this partnership.
The two new dance rooms are named for Randy and Erika Jackson as part of their philanthropic efforts to support dance and physical activity.
Randy Jackson and "America’s Best Dance Crew" Season 3 cast members were on hand to help dedicate the new studios. Season 3 of "America's Best Dance Crew" premieres January 15, 2009, on MTV. Randy and Erika wanted the cast to be part of this unveiling as a way for the show to give back to the local dance community. Also present was the youth from the Lula Washington Dance Theatre who utilized the opportunity to participate in an intimate dance clinic with the show’s cast members.
The Lula Washington Dance Theatre was selected based on demand for additional dance classes and the need for appropriate space to expand. The newly renovated floors incorporate Nike Grind, a material generated from the recycling of manufacturing scrap and worn-out athletic shoes through Nike’s corporate responsibility program, Reuse-a-Shoe.
I got a chance to catch up with Randy Jackson just after he arrived on site for the unveiling. I ask him a few questions about Lula Washington’s newly renovated dance studio and Season 3 of his highly successful MTV series, Randy Jackson presents America’s Best Dance Crew.
Sentinel: How did this partnership come about?
RJ: I’ve been working with Nike for a long time. We always talked about doing something. We started our foundation, my wife and I, Randy and Erika Family Foundation three years ago so I was like God we need to do something with the dance show. The dance show had really taken off, it was doing so great and you know I always wanted to vive back to the community that feeds us. Nike said listen you know lets look around, lets do something. We talked about a playground and then we came up with, how about a dance studio because it gives back directly to kids, it’s a safe environment and you know I’ve always been a fan of Lula Washington, I mean this is like a legendary spot. So it just really, really came together.
Sentinel: Where does your passion come from specifically with dance and what chose you to choose do the show?
RJ: Well you know for me, all the music I’ve ever made you want to know how people dance to it. You want to know what DJ’s are going to play, you want to know what going on in clubs, you really want to know what’s happening because I mean music is an inspiration for people and I don’t care what kind of music it is, it can be country, it can be rock, it can be heavy-metal or whatever, you still want to move to it when you hear it. So from that emotional thing it’s always been in my psyche forever. You know, it always will be. It’s like hand-in-hand. You make music to dance to, you have dancers that need music.
Sentinel: More about the foundation, what are some things that are on the horizon that we can expect in the next year or so?
RJ: Well through the foundation, we have a child obesity wing which is really about kid’s fitness and trying to help kids get fit. You know the school systems in America are really a little down on the whole exercise and diet initiative right now with everything being cut back. But I mean were working on that and as I said we continue our efforts with Save the Children and helping to give families relief that are struck by these catastrophes that happen via it be hurricane Katrina, via the mud slides, via the flooding or whatever.
Sentinel: Final question, season 3 what can we expect?
RJ: The hottest heat available! The only place you can get this on this on TV.