Child of this Culture's Story: A Passport to Hip Hop
In 1998 Candy Foelix and sister Cindy Foley were introduced to Hip Hop dance in a smokey-filled club in Orlando, FL. They quickly began to hone their skills as breakers and broke boundaries in the late 1990s, and early 2000's establishing the first all-women breaking crew in Florida called "FloorAngelz." Soon after, inspired by her new Hip Hop journey, Candy wrote a poem called "I'm a Child of this Culture" that depicted her novice journey as a breaker and Hip Hop artist. After college, both sisters pursued separate careers with Candy working as a licensed sports therapist and Cindy as a USAF rated officer while dancing, promoting events, competing, and later judging.
In 2010 Candy began to teach local breaking workshops for children after many requests from parents in the community, which inspired a t-shirt idea that she could make to have the kids wear during the workshops. Candy called her sister, Cindy Foley, a decorated combat veteran who had recently departed from active duty to support her family while her husband still served. The timing and transition from military service were not easy, and as she received the call from her sister, Cindy responded, "That's all you want to do is make a t-shirt? "
This opportunity inspired Cindy's vision to share and develop breaking pedagogy for breaking teachers collaborating with Candy. Together they created workshops on various Hip Hop related topics and facilitated community arts engagement projects connecting local teaching artists directly with the community.
In 2012 they incorporated the Child of this Culture Foundation who in the last nine years, served over 4,000 kids across the US, Germany, and South Korea with over 278 volunteers and invested over $120,000 to underserved and military-connected communities!
Candy and Cindy's passion for contributing to society through Hip Hop enabled them to develop pathways for artists and athletes. Like many nonprofits, the pandemic affected more than just financial capacity. Child of this Culture's in-person workshops and annual programming stalled due to the COVID-19 restrictions in 2020, and the organization still feels the effects of the financial loss. As a result, COTC directed its limited resources and a fantastic team to evaluate the Hip Hop landscape, especially in the development of Breaking in the US. They invested in partnerships and resources to launch the "COTC Safe" initiative. The initiative provides safety assurances to dancers, dance event producers, and programs to commit to best safety practices, awareness training, and commitment to safety. Candy and Cindy's vision to change behavior within the Hip Hop landscape is vision and mission-driven to foster a positive image of Hip Hop culture.
"We believe any exposure to arts and Culture awakens a person's intuitive creativity. We also think self-expression in any form, when properly nurtured, breaks down barriers and equips people of all ages with the ability and freedom to tap into their highest potential. This freedom also allows a person an opportunity to manifest unforeseen growth in themselves and their community."