@WTPUNKFest, formerly known as Soul Train Experience, is the brain child of founder Christopher Scott Caldwell and the team over at Ovations Global Network INC.
Florida's 1st and only International Gay Urban Dance Festival. WTPUNKFest is a rare and bona fide resource for education and preservation of LGBTQIA+ urban dance cultures born of the 60's, 70's, 80's to today— how they're done, and how to teach them. Our guest teachers and performers are pioneers of their craft. WTPUNK for many, serves as once-in-a-lifetime access to these dance icons, to learn from, and express their personal growth. WTPUNK also serves to offer a global platform to learn the rich history behind the culture, the people, their struggle, and their impact on the arts and society as we know it today.
Since its inception in 2017 What the Punk has employed over 15 LGBT internationally acclaimed artists and performers as part of the festival. We’ve been able to offer affordable payment plan options to over 80 attendees based on extenuating circumstances, and in 2017, we awarded 3 scholarships to certifying educators. As a result, we now have What the Punk Certified Punking educators working and community building in Texas, Tennessee, New York City, Florida, and Puerto Rico.
In 2019 WTPunk partnered with Viktor Manoel on the LOGAN Scholarship. A life changing year-long performance, and pedagogic mentorship with Manoel himself, the world's LAST living original Punker. 2 scholarships will be awarded to groundbreaking LGBTQ+ dance talent currently lacking bona-fide opportunity due to geographic or financial circumstances. 1 domestic and 1 international recipient will receive this all expenses paid scholarship in addition to a spot in the 2022 Punking Teacher Training.
“A lot of people don’t really see why arts programs such as ours require funding. Because the issues affecting the people doing these dances, they don’t make it to Wall Street, they don’t make it to the world of money. These are communities who are historically in the system of built-in oppression. We are talking populations of gay, colored, trans, individuals, who have been left behind. So where do they find their tribe? Where do they find their family? Well guess what, for a lot of them, they find it on that dance floor.” WTP Founder – Christopher S. Caldwell
This festival is curated by Ovations Global Network INC, a 501 (c) 3 non profit organization. All donations are tax deductible.
"WHAT THEY SAY"
"The TEACHERS - to listen, watch and learn from Tyrone Proctor & Kumari Suraj was something that was absolutely necessary for MY life as a dancer and as a waacker. I can write a book about what I learned in class from them. When is it going to be the norm for the community to flood these $10, $15, $20 workshops from LEGIT dancers (not just the IG famous ones). Just gonna leave that there for now"
Last night was a real EXPERIENCE for all of us. I hope everyone embraced it, and allowed last nights festivities to expand their mind. One thing I've learned is that life isn't all about winning & losing but the wonder and awe comes from simply experiencing. Felt really good to pull out the dancing shoes and get the dust off them. Thank you Ovations Global Network for putting on an amazing event for the Florida community
60's 70's 80's
First there was posing. Music was the cornerstone and the engine of the dance. - The Bone
Don't Miss It!
EVERYTHING we used in Inspiration was Literal and had a Subtext or Definition and Meaning" -Viktor Manoel
"Rare chance to learn to greatest moves of the 60's 70's and 80's from the source"
Chris Caldwell CEO Ovations Network
PUNKING has History Whacking has not only a Definition but a Purpose
MAKE PEOPLE SEE THE MUSIC! "