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Northern Quebec hip-hop group invites Indigenous youth to show off dance moves

The idea behind the #showmeyourstyle contest was to give young people stuck at home because of COVID-19 something positive to do, and to give Indigenous youth a platform to showcase their dancing talent.

#showmeyourstyle dance contest winners featured in The Northstars's latest video

Andrew Kitchen is one of the youth featured in The Northstars video for their song Show Me Your Style. The video features youth from Nemaska and across Canada. (Northstars/N'we Jinan Records)

The idea behind the #showmeyourstyle contest and hashtag was to give young people stuck at home because of COVID-19 something positive to do. 

And to give Indigenous youth a platform to showcase their dancing talent. 

The northern Quebec hip-hop group The Northstars asked people to submit a 30-second video of their best dance moves with the hashtag #showmeyourstyle. 

Several of the entries are featured in the group's latest video for their song by the same name. 

The video also includes youth from The Northstars's home community of Nemaska, Que., located a 1,200-kilometre drive north of Montreal.

We wanted to have people inspired.- Gary Jolly, The Northstars

"We wanted to have people inspired instead of being at home feeling like there's nothing to do," said Gary Jolly, one of the founding members of The Northstars.

"Facebook was flooded with [the novel] coronavirus," said Elton J. Salt, the other half of the group. "We wanted to help drown that out and share our music."

Two of entries featured in the Show Me Your Style video come from 17-year-old Makhena Katerie Rankin Guérin, an Algonquin, Cree, Mohawk high school student from Pikogan, in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region of Quebec.

She entered after hearing about the contest from a friend.

"I've been dancing my whole life, so when I saw that it was a dancing video, I got my hoops and I got my LED shoes and I just did my thing," said Guérin. 

One of the dancers featured is 17-year-old Makhena Katerie Rankin Guérin from Pikogan, Que. 'I got my hoops and I got my LED shoes and I just did my thing.' (submitted by Makhena Katerie Rankin Guérin)

Jolly said it's so important to encourage Indigenous youth. 

"We have so many people out here that that could potentially be professional dancers and this is a great way for them to have some promotion," he said.

Several youth submitted traditional dances to the #showmeyourstyle contest, according to bandmate Salt, something he really wants to encourage.

"[We] want to show people that we could strengthen our people by showing the beauty in our culture and strive to reeducate ourselves and our younger generations," said Salt. 

Jolly said they received entries from across the country. 

The Northstars are still inviting Indigenous youth to submit 30-second videos of their dance moves with the hashtag #showmeyourstyle and #northstars. They are promising to feature them in future projects.

Show Me Your Style is off the Northstars latest album entitled Nightmares.

The Northstars. 'We wanted to have people inspired instead of being at home feeling like there's nothing to do,' said Gary Jolly, one of the group's founding members. (Northstars/N'we Jinan Records)

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