Harlem Youngsters Participate In PAL “Showstoppers” Competition Exploring Hip Hop Through The Decades

May 6, 2024

By PAL Harlem

On April 24, 2024, over 500 PAL youngsters from throughout the city competed in the Police Athletic League’s (PAL) annual Showstoppers event held in The Theater at City Tech in Downtown Brooklyn.

This year’s theme celebrated “50 Years of Hip-Hop” as young people, representing PAL Centers throughout the five boroughs, teamed up to display their talents with choreographed performances, using creative costumes and props.  Performing for a jammed-packed audience of their peers, families, community officers, local officials and a panel of special guest judges, winners were announced in this city-wide showcase and fun-filled day of dance, music, poetry, singing, rapping and spoken word.   

“… try our best and hope for the best!” 

“We put together a dance using old-school moves and made our own hats for the occasion,” said Ross Anderson, 11, of the PAL Harlem Center. “What we want most is to put on a great show for people in the audience, try our best and hope for the best!” 

Winners of PAL’s 2024 Showstoppers were: 1st Place – PAL’s Pathways Prep Dance Team; 2nd Place – PAL’s Pathways Prep Drumline; and 3rd Place – PAL’s Goldie Maple Academy.  Winning PAL Centers will have plaques engraved for their centers, and the 1st Place winner will receive a $500 experiential award. 

The 2024 theme “50 Years of Hip-Hop” demonstrated each PAL Center’s vision of artists who inspired the genre over five decades. Co-ed teams of up to 15 PAL kids of all ages participated. PAL kids received custom PAL Showstopper Hip-Hop bucket hats and t-shirts, and DJ Smooth highlighted the event with turntable skills.  

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“… to center the passions and joy of our young people.”

“Showstoppers provides an opportunity to center the passions and joy of our young people. It is so incredible to watch their creativity and talents come to life on the big stage,” said Meredith Gray, PAL’s Director of Program Development & Partnership. 

Founded in 1914, New York City’s Police Athletic League is a nonprofit organization that provides recreational, educational, cultural and social activities to 15,000 children and teens annually.

For more information, please visit www.palnyc.org.

Photo credit: PAL Harlem. 

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