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MECCA M-POWERED x L2R ... Creating Community Through Dance

Updated: Mar 21





Our founder, Jacinda Richards, was interviewed by Mecca about her vision to create a unified community through dance. It is part of an interview series spotlighting fearless women from around the globe and sharing their incredible stories – from overcoming adversity to following their passions and inspiring a future generation of female changemakers.


Here are a few excerpts from this exceptional article


Jacinda learned from a very young age that dance had the power to change lives. At school, dancing was the only thing that made her feel empowered. “Dance was something I excelled in,” she reflects. It was the mentorship of a single teacher that changed everything for Richards. “She saw the potential in me. She saw that I wasn't a naughty kid, I just needed different ways to learn. Her impact made me question how I could have that influence on other kids’ lives.”



Years later, she’s making an impact far greater than she ever imagined; Richards’ social enterprise L2R Dance started in 2009 in Melbourne’s west, with community-based hip-hop dance workshops for young people. L2R’s offering is vast – the organisation provides free dance programs, Arts leadership opportunities and employment pathways for children and young people who are traditionally underrepresented or absent from mainstream Arts and culture.


L2R works with its artists to foster confidence and courage. “Once young people start to gain skills, they build their own confidence, which is demonstrated in so many different ways. Creating new friendships, dancing in the park, dancing in front of their parents. Dance helps people find their own identity – it’s a vehicle for self-expression"





Of the young people that she’s helped over the years, Richards is humble: “They've changed my life,” she says. “L2R wouldn't exist without them – they’re the voices of L2R. My leadership journey is [about] always opening doors for people to be at the table. It's not about me, it's about them.


“I've built the organisation from the ground up, but so many of them have been on that long-term journey with me, and they're now professional artists. They're in the M-POWER X MECCA MAX campaign. We're all working together for a brighter future.”







‘Joy’ also happens to be the name of one the six shades in the new M-POWER X MECCA MAX eyeshadow palette. Each shade is named after character traits M-POWER wants to inspire in girls – alongside ‘Joy’, there’s ‘Confidence’, ‘Courage’, ‘Passion’, 'Strength’ and ‘Pride’ – and 100% of the proceeds from the palette go towards MECCA M-POWER, our social change initiative which supports over 20 organisations working to champion gender equity.


WATCH THE VIDEO:





L2R Collaborated with MECCA MAX and M-Power for International Day of the Girl 2023 with an all-female cast & crew! The 'Find your Power' Mini Mix Eyeshadow palette is a pretty palette with a BIG mission! M-Power is a social change movement. They exist to champion equality and opportunity for women and girls.


Dancers:

Hëna Memishi @honmemishi

Emily Zdravevski @emzdra

Nolly Zaa Thang @nollyikonic

Stephanie Dixon @steph.s_dixon

Abul Deng @uhhbul


Choreography: by Hëna Memishi @honmemishi

Movement Direction: by Jacinda Richards @jacindamay

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