Digital Dance Culture is moving quickly to solidify itself as a mover and shaker in the dance industry. A recent partnership with Legacy Garden Park (former Tupac Shakur Center) in Stone Mountain, GA has given the green light for DDC to host the Inaugural Southern Hip Hop Dance Summit, slated for January 14th, 2018. The annual event will host some of the most recognized names in dance from around the country in a complete exhibition of cultural exchange and competition. DDC exec, Jerone Dodd Jr noted “We have a real big surprise that we are working on for the SHHD that will be announced soon. Our goal with DDC is to actually empower street or urban dancers and level the playing field of stakeholders in the entertainment industry. We also aim to preserve authentic American Urban Dance Cultures as a trust and unified body which inspires innovation.”
UPG has always been on the cutting edge of Entertainment Technology via Menfes Interactive and now has partnered with Charles ‘Lil Buck’ Riley and others to form Digital Dance Culture, a digital content production company dedicated to releasing quality content globally. DDC is a syndicated platform that gives space to all things dance in the digital era and promises to reach new heights with the tandem of UPG Execs at the helm. Follow DDC online at www.digitaldanceculture.com
STEAM Teams Academics, LLC was officially formed in 2017 after an incubation process within UPG allowed it to grow to support its own operations. Continuing with its pilot courses (Animation / Solar Energy) in 2016, the company has acquired an Agreement with Dekalb Academy of Technology & Environment to roll out a full year’s worth of STEM instruction, including Robotics for K-4th grades and 3D Animation, Solar & Electric Energy and Digital Media for 5-8th grades. STEAM Teams plans to ramp up its Career Discovery initiative by bringing in Industry professionals and exposing the students to behind the scenes situations in STEM Industries. Follow STEAM Teams at www.steamteams.org
STEAM Teams has announced a timely and promising relationship with D.A.T.E. (Dekalb Academy of Technology & Environment) to roll out two pilot courses, Introduction to Pixel Art and Animation, along with Introduction to Electrical Theory and Photovoltaic Systems.
In sticking with its promise of offering innovative STEM-based elective courses and exposure, D.A.T.E. has signed off on two 9-week courses, which offer project based deliverables and industry exploration.
STEAM Teams continues to gain interest for its unique and niche specialty courses, including animation, electrical/solar energy, robotics, gaming and mobile app building.
UPG has been instrumental in the formation of the leadership team and consultations to form a platform called STEAM Teams. STEAM Teams is a movement which offers a plethora of services to all sectors of primary and secondary education organizations that are involved in the STE(A)M disciplines. STEAM, which stands for Science, Technology Engineering, Arts and Math, is a federally recognized and mandated effort to spur innovation and develop expertise in the aforementioned fields. STEAM Teams is comprised of professionals and organizations within the field, as well as community leaders and parent-student committees.
STEAM Teams offerings include after school programming, in school curriculum development, tech services and a host of other freelance and professional development services.
As a natural complement of the Crossover Exposure platform, UPG has partnered with Action Sports Academy to roll out the new Crossover ASA Prep in an effort to further service post graduate students who need more time or development opportunities to advance their careers. With a 3 year track record of successfully operating the program as ASA, Head Coach David Harrison noted the excitement in bringing the operation together. “I think both sides gain a lot in terms of bringing complementary things to the table. UPG is able to assist us on the marketing and international client acquisition side of things. They also bring a substantial network that we will leverage. We bring not only an operational outfit, but a quality program that has competed at every stop.”
UPG via PMG has unveiled its latest platform in alliance with the company’s activities in international recruitment. With a history of helping international student athletes gain entry into the United States primary and secondary school systems, the Crossover Exposure platform offers a plethora of services from NCAA coaches blasts to web marketing and placement services.
Crossover Exposure has partnered with many top prep academies and private schools across the country to bolster its offerings for international student athletes. The platform also services domestic student athletes with consultations, recruiting and placement services.
Victory Rock Prep, headed by former IMG Director, Loren Jackson has agreed to terms with Luxembourg Basketball Academy to roll out a new Post Graduate and High School Program. LBBA was founded and is operated by former European professional basketball player, Darko Ristic.
Located in Bradenton, Florida, also home to IMG, Victory Rock Prep has carved out its own niche and risen to prominence as a nationally ranked team, joining the national tournament the last few years. UPG CEO, Jerone Dodd Jr noted, “I attribute VRP’s success to the experience of Coach Jackson and his ability to not only create the academy, but also consolidating control with his leadership on the academic side of things. He has an ideal location and his own facilities, which makes life easier. He also has a long history working with top players.”
On the other side of the world, Darko Ristic has similarly forged LBBA into a leader in recruiting some of the top talent from all over Europe. LBBA is noted as one of the premier organizations that also runs its own Post Graduate Program.
“We are very excited about LBBA’s business model because they have the ability to recruit many players every year and we were able to identify the type of situations that could bridge the gap. As their official franchisee partner in the Americas, the future is unlimited what we can do together. I think Darko has likewise done an excellent job with the LBBA brand and this initial partnership with VRP will set the foundation for both programs to expand in ways none of us can completely foresee now,” Dodd concluded.
Over the last 5 years, UPG has built its international brand through its exchange and professional service activities in the global market. Good timing and positioning have birthed a partnership with Huntington Prep Academy, one of the top basketball Prep teams in the country, to facilitate and help build their international program. With the plans to form a second team outside of the current team, HPA is looking to follow in the footsteps of more established programs such as Oak Hill Academy, which boasts its own campus and is run as an autonomous entity. Currently, Huntington Prep players are students at St. Joseph’s Central Catholic High School.
“We bring a unique skill-set and access to the type of clients that HPA will need to build not only a solid financial foundation, but also real talent for the program to build upon,” stresses UPG CEO J. Dodd. “This partnership has so much potential because we are still at ground floor essentially and HPA has already amassed some notable achievements, such as helping develop Andrew Wiggins (NBA #1 Draft Pick in 2014), getting primetime coverage on ESPN and stacking their schedule against the country’s best teams. I give a lot of credit to Head Coach Arkell Bruce and the guys behind him for being progressive minded and moving the program forward. ”
Menfes Interactive, in sticking to its original dance and entertainment roots, has just released two new applications: Tonight Life and The Jook Book, available on Android and iOS.
Tonight Life is designed to be the best friend of night goers and vendors alike, boasting features such as GPS Coupons, Main Events, Hot Spots, Talent Search, Where’s My Car and more. It serves as a social media platform for users and a promotional and advertising platform for artists/talents as well.
The Jook Book, a recreation of the original literary canon of Memphis Jookin, The Jook, written by UPG exec, Daniel Price, is Menfes Interactive’s first step to crowdfunding development projects. 70% of ALL proceeds of The Jook Book are donated to UBA Reason Foundation Inc., a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, for the development of youth dance, arts and technology programming in the following cities: