Reaching out to students through music and dance
Patrick “B-Boy Pac Man” Perez is no ordinary motivational speaker.
In fact, the technique he uses to reach teens is a unique combination of dance and speech that brings important lessons on leadership, drug and alcohol prevention, dropout prevention, making good choices, education and setting goals.
Through music and break-dancing, Perez will perform for Magdalena middle and high school students on Tuesday, April 19, at 3 p.m., with a second show at 7 p.m. in the school gymnasium for the community and surrounding communities.
“We’re really excited about it,” said district education facilitator Mary Rains. “I think it will be fun.”
Rains and the school’s librarian, Dora Julian, who is also a co-sponsor, teamed up with student council sponsors Kim Milligan and Amy Gaines to bring Perez to Magdalena. Through funds from the Renaissance program, student council and grant funding acquired by Keri James, Rains said they were able to book Perez, who Magdalena Principal Regina Lane saw perform at the State Student Council Conference.
“She was really impressed with him,” Rains said.
And, with the pressure teens face today, Rains said the sponsors wanted to bring something fun and special to the students.
“There’s so much peer pressure to go the other way,” Rains said. “I worry — and not just for my kids — for all the kids. You want to make sure they have the tools to make the right choices and graduate and go on to college and become successful.”
Perez is from Austin, but now resides in El Paso. He has performed for more than 250,000 people nationwide and in Canada, Mexico and Germany, bringing a message of hope to the youth.
“I desire to use my gift as a dancer and speaker to encourage others to tap into their gifts and live a fuller life,” Perez said in a press release. “Dance is a big craze with all the dance shows on TV right now, but I do more than dance. I help students see how their choices can directly affect their futures.”
Perez graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso and earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies in 2006. He has also won numerous awards including National Speakers Association Honoree in 2004, Toastmaster International World Championship of Public Speaking semi-finalist in 2005, and in 2006 he was named El Paso District Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
He also founded the nonprofit Lead, Encourage and Dance.
“We thought it would be nice to bring this to our kids,” Rains said.
Perez also has a book out — “Mad Skills for Student Success,” Rains said.
While this will be the first time Perez has come to Magdalena, Rains said this type of program is something they would like to continue in the future for the students in the district.
“We will start making it an ongoing thing,” she said.
Contact Jackie Schlotfeldt