Tiny Toones

The mission of Tiny Toones Cambodia is to provide a safe, positive environment for atrisk youth to channel their energy and creativity into the arts and education, empowering them to build selfconfidence in their daily lives, aim for better employment possibilities, and feel supported pursuing their dreams.
Mar 5, 2013

Tiny Toones Dance School Challenge - March 2013

Teacher Fresh leading the dance class
Teacher Fresh leading the dance class

'A Fresh Start'

“I danced two, three years, then my Dad he passed away. And I don't know what to do with my life.”

Fresh first joined Tiny Toones in 2005 when founder KK used to teach break-dancing to the local kids in his front room. Now he is teaching and inspiring the next generation. Watch the film that tells his story at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qhgBNlYlNc&feature=youtu.be.

“Here at Tiny Toones it is my second family. We work together, dance, we show love to each other and always stick together.”

 

Tiny Toones Dance School

Thanks to the generosity of Tiny Toones supporters a phenomenal $5,740 has been donated to our dance classes for children from the poorest neighbourhoods of Phnom Penh.

Using these funds Tiny Toones runs three dance classes every weekday. Since the Dance School Challenge was held in September almost 200 children have come to the center every day and the dance class is by far the biggest draw among our creative classes. The other classes on offer include rapping, DJ, music production, English, computers and Khmer (the Cambodian national language).

 

A Tiny Toones Christmas

Tiny Toones hosted our first Christmas party at the Chba Ampov center. At first we had no electricity (a common problem for those living in the area) which called for some improvised games. Happily the power returned just in time and we were able to fit in all the original Tiny Toones' music we had hoped for, along with break-dancing performances and battles.

To finish we had food, drink and a whole load of presents thanks to the generous support of Randy Sary and Sabay. You can see photos of the day at Tiny Toones website (http://www.tinytoones.org/photos/) and on youtube you'll find video footage of the break-dancing battle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-kPcu-zkRo&feature=youtu.be) and the dance performance (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-pAqqBGZjY&feature=youtu.be).

 

From conferences to computer game championships

Tiny Toones dancers are much in demand throughout Phnom Penh and there have been some incredible performances in the last few months. We kicked off December with over 650 people attending Australia Volunteers International's Forum on Volunteerism and International Volunteer's Day with Tiny Toones dancing and music on both days.

After that it was time to don extra special outfits for a very different show at the National Computer Game Championships, hosted by Sabay. Footage of the performance was posted on Tiny Toones facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=571299892886147&set=vb.100000184252776&type=2&theater.

Most unusually, Tiny Toones trained 200 human rights activists to dance Gangnam Style In preparation for International Human Rights Day 2012. Starting on December 8th, more than 42,000 Cambodians took part in a series of events. This culminated in a mass protest in front of the National Assembly which put the Gangnam Style dance to good use. With alternative lyrics ("stop evicting us") and t-shirts signed by over 11,000 Cambodians, the activists found a novel way of conveying their anger over forced evictions.

Tiny Toones is proud to have been a part of this event and to have been able to support those communities affected. A video of the protest is available on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdeIq4Jh26w.

 

Education for all

In addition to all the creativity, we've desperately trying to raise the funds necessary to continue our education classes through 2013 - please support us on Global Giving (http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/tiny-toones-education-for-all/) or, If you are living and working in the UK, your donation can go even further with Global Giving UK (http://www.globalgiving.co.uk/projects/tiny-toones-education-for-all/)!

Tiny Toones perform at a conference on education
Tiny Toones perform at a conference on education
Tiny Toones dance studio
Tiny Toones dance studio
Tiny Toones at Christmas
Tiny Toones at Christmas
Dance off at the Christmas party
Dance off at the Christmas party

Links:

Dec 3, 2012

Dance School update November 2012

Dance School in action
Dance School in action

Tiny Toones Dance School Challenge concluded on 30 September 2012 having raised a phenomenal $5,230. All of these funds will go directly into providing Tiny Toones dance classes for children from the poorest neighbourhoods of Phnom Penh.

Using these funds Tiny Toones ran three dance classes every weekday throughout October, pausing only to respect the week of mounring that followed the passing of the King Father in Cambodia. Almost 200 children came to the center every day, with 107 attending the dance classes including 19 kids who were completely new to Tiny Toones.

Empowering Cambodian Girls

The final class of the day is in many ways the most interesting. Established as a ‘girls only’ breakdancing class it is intended to provide a more welcoming and less intimidating atmosphere for girls as Cambodia is a traditionally repressive society, where individual expression is too often actively discouraged.

This class is led by Keo Srey (aka “Diamond”), Cambodia’s first B-Girl and the only female dancer in Tiny Toones ‘A-team,’ famous in Cambodia and beyond (they have performed in Melbourne, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand in 2012 alone). Diamond was herself forced to live and work on the streets during her adolescence and provides a role model and an inspiration for the vulnerable and at-risk young women that come to Tiny Toones.

There are now 50 girls regularly attending break-dancing sessions on average, almost half the total number of dancers and many are starting to participate in performances that would have been unthinkable a short while ago (see pictures below).

Performances and videos

As well as performances in the center and in the community, October saw a very special performance by Tiny Toones very best dancers. Tiny Toones performed ‘Carnet de Voyage’ (“Travel Book”) at Chenla Theater alongside French dance company Racine Carrees and under the guidance of choreographer Nabil Oeulhadj.

As well as being an incredible experience for those involved the show was free to attend which meant many of our kids could see their peers and role models in action. The performances were a huge source of pride to everyone at Tiny Toones and showed just what can be achieved with hard work and dedication. You can see footage of the final two scenes on Tiny Toones’ website.

Education for all

In addition to all the creativity, October was a month to celebrate as Tiny Toones directly supported 18 of the kids we've been educating to re-enter primary school alongside a futher six who were joining primary school for the first time in their lives. Aged from eight to fourteen, we're excited to be helping them on their way. We've launched a new campaign to help us give 500 children an education in 2013 - please support us on Global Giving or Global Giving UK!

Tiny Toones girls showing some attitude
Tiny Toones girls showing some attitude
Competing in the end of month dance-off
Competing in the end of month dance-off
Another dance off competitor
Another dance off competitor
Tiny Toones giving a talk in one of the
Tiny Toones giving a talk in one of the 'villages'
Tiny Toones performing at Chenla Theater
Tiny Toones performing at Chenla Theater

Links:

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