Dance4Liberation Presents: La Vie

Isn't life sweet, simple and sexy? We think so too.

Dance4Liberation is putting on La Vie: A Fashion Show in Raleigh, NC June 3, 2011. The proceeds will benefit Art Access, Inc. A nonprofit that aims to "encourage and enable people with disabilities to have full access to arts programs and facilities and participate fully in the cultural and artistic life of Raleigh and the Triangle area."


Check out our La Vie blog, here, to be in the know on all things fabulous and up to date on Dance4Liberation's newest creation, La Vie: A Fashion Show. See all you beautiful people there.

Much Love,
Mackenzie D4L


Candy is SO Sweet, Making New Orleans Pretty

Candy Chang:

prettying-up New Orleans

I blogged awhile ago about a project in Hampton Roads, Va that is trying to make their area a more beautiful place to live by allowing local artists to express themselves on boarded up and broken homes and buildings. Well, after I blogged about it I was introduced to an artist who is doing something similar in New Orleans.

Candy Chang (hip name, no?) is a public instillation artist, urban planner and designer which means basically takes the streets on New Orleans and transforms them into something to stop and take in. There are many GREAT projects you can check out on her site HERE but one that caught my eye was Before I Die. She took an abandoned building and transformed in into a public chalk board where people were encouraged to share their hopes for the future and what is important to them by admitting what they want to do before they die. The house holds confessions such as,
"before i die, i want to look into the eyes of my soulmate, live in mexico, and find my calling."

The link to the Before I Die project is here with many pictures of the project like the two at the top of the page which was shot by Candy Chang.

Another interesting project she did was I Wish This Was where she, with the help of the Du Mois Gallery, created stickers that resembled name tags. You know those awkward ones you have to wear at weird gatherings you don't want to be at. "Hello my name is..."? Well, these are far more rad. They read "I WISH THIS WAS..." and the blank spot is up to you.

She made the stickers for sale to all New Orleans folks allowing them to fill out what they desired to be built back up in the rubble. The one above simply reads "a home." The project was started because the city is still vacant and very badly needs things.
Candy Chang reveals that the city is STILL without a full-service grocery store. Awful.
People left these (easily removable) stickers all over the city expressing what they wish they city would build back up in place of the abandoned homes and shattered streets. All the proceeds go to the neighborhood projects in public place for New Orleans. Check out that project page and more pictures of what New Orleans wants here, including "Brad Pitt's home" and "a comic book shop."

All her projects are well thought out and many politically empowering. Check her out, you will not be disappointed!! Trying to keep your eyes open to the beauty and INTERESTED in people, art and culture!!!



PAW JAM 2011

Dance4Liberation likes to bring light to extraordinary causes and commendable non-profits. There is one coming right to Wilmington that I have supported whole heartedly for the past few years I have lived in Wilmington, NC. I love animals and I ADORE dogs but am OBSESSED with the people who save dogs, cats or any animal that is in need of a loving home or some food. So, I will educate you wonderful, big hearted folks about it.

is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to "raise funding and awareness for no-kill, non-profit, animal rescue organizations in Southeastern North Carolina through the education and empowerment of the people" according to their mission. Their mission is an important one. Let me try end educate you on why...

According to the NC Department of Health and Human Services 225,746 animals were put down by shelters across North Carolina in 2006. No matter what bread or age dog or cat you are looking to make a member of your family their is a doggy, kitty or puppy that matches your desires waiting patiently for a home and someone to love them. FIND THEM. Instead of buying from a breeder; do your research and find one that needs a home... they will repay you for it with love and attention.

Paw Prints Magazine keeps a list of local shelters and organizations that helps the helpless find loving families. Check it out. You may find your match.
The American Kennel Club helps you find your breed specific match near your area.

Check out their website for education on Spay and Neutering your little guy or girl, saying NO to puppy mills and why, summer heat and safety for the fuzzy friend and heart worm prevention. Just go here for all the information.

Now your thinking, WOW, this organization sounds great but HOW can little old me help out?
Well, do you like sun and being outdoors?
Do you like live music?
Do you like great food and beer?
Do you like shopping?
Do you like hundreds of adorable animals all in one place?

Then come and take your furry friend, steal a friends furry friend or just bring a friend/friend and come to
PAW JAM 2011
May 7th
11am- 5pm
at Battleship Park!!!!

There will be live music, tons of great people and pets, food, beer, gifts and treats and events for the four legged friends!!! Donate here. Buy your tickets at the door!!! I look forward to meeting you and I am sure Bella Marie will be ecstatic to sniff the butt of your dog, or your cat or you. Look for her. She will be the black badass rocking a mowhawk and a hemp necklace... (yeah thats my baby girl at the top and her big sister Layla below her, I knoww, I know.. adorable)

Thanks for being such great people.
xoxo D4L



get your butts to the Dance4Liberation's Model Call for the upcoming fashion show in Raleigh!!!

last call to contact Dance4Liberation for a spot in the show!!!!

Designers are asked to contact Dance4Liberation at
dance4liberation@gmail.com or contact Aileen Haugh through Facebook. You will need to provide pictures or a website showcasing your work. All designers must have contacted us by : APRIL 16th!
DESIGNERS we ask that you attend the model call to snag your models! Read on to get details of the model call.

Now, MODELS, we will be having a model call in Raleigh APRIL 17th from 1-3pm at Dapper House located at 317 W Morgan Street, 27601. If you are unable to attend the model call, don't panic, just send a head shot and full body photo to dance4liberation@gmail.com. We will need MEN and WOMEN all shapes and sizes, experience preferred and alluring looks are a must.

The show is filling up fast so please, designers who are interested, HURRY and contact us if you would like to be considered. Designers must be fabulous and the models must be dangerously fantastic with a great attitude and professional demeanor.
I am looking forward to meet all you wonderful designers and models Sunday, APRIL 17th 1-3pm at Dapper House in Raleigh. Feel free to contact us for any questions or concerns ladies and gents! See you in Raleigh, you beautiful people.


Hampton Roads: The Canvas

I thought I would bring it back home for a bit. Interesting things are happening everywhere and this one is pretty neat back where I am from...


"It's a disease, anytime a government lets a disease spread like that it's up to the people to stop it.... I believe these artists are stepping in to a large degree where the government has failed," Jesse Scaccia defends to the camera about the resistance to the ongoing spread of sad and lonely boarded up buildings where he and so much other creative talent lives. Jesse is the voice behind the documentary Hampton Roads: The Canvas (the Artification of Zedd's Auction House), by director Elyse Lovelace, as well as a writer for ALTDaily.com, a website devoted to all things creative and pressing in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.

ALTDaily.com is behind a beautiful project in Hampton Roads set out to make the area alive again. If you walk through the streets of Downtown Norfolk, VA the site would never give wind to the thriving culture that lives there. Boarded buildings, forgotten stacked bricks and nailed wood linger solemnly on the streets for the commuters to blend into. The streets of Downtown Norfolk and the scenery that accompanies them is putting a damper on the creative souls and underground art scene that live there. So, they are going to make it look alive again, make people recognize that Norfolk is not as depressing, isolated, and grey as it may look when you walk down the forgotten streets.

The first building that fell prey to the project was The Zedd's Building on Granby Street in Norfolk, VA. The four artists James Davis, Elizabeth Cook, Asa Jackson, and Chris Ranes set up to "artify" the building that has been abandoned for over 2 years. An outdoor, free art gallery of sorts.
The artists and Altdaily.com, with help from The Chrysler Museum of Arts, the Art Department at ODU and the Downtown Norfolk Council, made this kick-ass project possible. I wish they would spread the love and creativity our direction. This project is amazing and I support it 100%. Tell people about this project; not only to show your support but to spread an idea that is so beautiful. If the big buildings we build go to shit, paint them pretty again so the people in cities like this don't fall into a sad, uninspired existence. I LOVE THIS.

"It's real weird, people talk about art and critique it and criticize it and stuff and all this is good or this isn't; to me art is just art," James Davis says. He expresses himself through stencils and graffiti. He is unique as an underground graffiti artist in he does not want to do it illegally so he focuses on canvas. That was until he was given the chance to express himself on a building... legally. His focus of his art is to just make people think.

Elizabeth Cook's art is cartoon and whimsical but with a deep meaning that is more than the surface gives wind to. Elizabeth thinks, "we can definitely put work out there and have art start to be like a communication between the artist and the whole community not the artist and one little group of people that like to go to the gallery."

"True Face, I mean that's just straight energy right there," Jesse explains. Asa Jackson just paints from his head. I remember taking art classes with him in high school and our art teacher getting so frustrated with him because he would never take a direction. She was worried he was wasting her paints. He never mixed, he never drew out, he just plopped paint on the tip of the brush and a masterpiece just formed. He never wasted paints though; the paintings always turned out unique and purposeful.

Chris Ranes art is hard to place. His work is abstract, geometrical, abstract functional, realism. He is all over the place. " I hope that Norfolk likes looking at it as much as I enjoyed doing it," Chris says.

The project page can be found on Facebook here :

Credits to:
Shanika Smiley for posting the video on Vimeo.com
Director Elyse Lovelace
ALTDaily.com, Jesse Scaccia and Elyse Lovelace again
Unclw Dro and Asa Jackson's facebook for the picture

Just finding some interesting stuff for some interesting people to become interested about!


Call for Fashion Designers and Boutiques in Triangle Area for Fashion Show

HEY Triangle Area: Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill,

Dance 4 Liberation is taking a break from Wilmington and heading your way. I know, too good to be true. So, gather your friends and gather your foes and spread the word that we are looking for local talented and creative clothing designers and unique boutiques for our first out of town fashion show! Show us what the fashion scene in Raleigh has to offer us!

In TWO months we will shower the people of Raleigh with glamor and great times with a big, fantastic fashion show! We are asking for any boutique or local fashion designer interested in participating to let us know and send us some pictures/ website that showcase your talent.

D4L's staff, as usual, will handle the organizing of the event in full, advertising and promoting the event and your beautiful designs or boutique. Our past shows in the Wilmington area have helped designers increase their sales and promoted their brand immensely.

We just ask that if you decide to commit, please stay in great communication with us and have the number of looks you will have locked down 3 weeks before the show. You will also need to be prepared for a dress rehearsal a few days before the show. D4L will handle the casting call for the models, which we ask you to attend in order to choose the models you will use.
The event is non-profit and will be supporting a local cause which will be revealed very soon.

For more information on what Dance 4 Liberation is look around the website and find us on facebook at:

...and to join the Facebook group ATTEND here :

Please contact us at dance4liberation@gmail.com or contact Aileen Haugh and Laine O’Connor via facebook.
If you are outside of the Raleigh area and still would like to participate still feel free to contact us!

Spread the word ladies and gentlemen, Dance4Liberation is coming to a town near you.


CORPUS: The Case of Justin Wolfe

February 25th, 2011 magic happened. People partied, celebrated, and danced.

February 25th Dance4Liberation put on a KILLER fashion show. Although people came to watch glam and mingle with the beautiful people, the real reason we all gathered that night was support Jeff Reynold's beautiful vision of a not-for-profit documentary to show the world the story of Justin Wolfe.

First of all, thank you Jeff Reynolds for your desire and determination for this project and letting us help you raise the money needed to make this happen. We can't wait for the final result and wish you all the luck on the road to success with support from the documentary in the Justin Wolfe case but also as a famous and VERY sought out director one day in the near future.

So, I hope all you beautiful people I mentioned before knew the good you were doing by coming to the fashion show but those of you that didn't make it...
CORPUS: The Case of Justin Wolfe is a documentary being made on the trial and appeals of death row inmate Justin Wolfe. I sat down with Jeff and picked his brain a little on the film...

Justin Wolfe is a tragic tale of our capital punishment system gone awry.
In short, Justin Wolfe was sentenced to lethal injection after being convicted for conspiracy to commit murder of Danny Petrole over drug related circumstances. The basis of his whole trial that led to the eventual sentence was a testimony by Owen Barber who was convicted for killing the Manassas, VA drug dealer, Danny Petrole. In a plea agreement, Owen Barber testified against Justin Wolfe who maintained his innocence. He claimed Wolfe hired him to murder Petrole.

Owen Barber received 38 years in prison while Justin Wolfe now sits on death row. Since the trial, Barber signed a statement saying his testimony in court was false. Justin Wolfe still sits on death row. It took the jury only a little over an hour to sentence him as guilty and then only five hours to sentence Wolfe to death. Why?

The documentary will take a close look at the death penalty. Looking not only at the innocence of Justin Wolfe but also at the reason the court that day sentenced the young man to death with just the evidence given. PLEASE take a look further into the case on your own but I will also leave you with a link to the documentary site as well as a site dissecting his trial and appeal. There are plenty of ways to help and donate through the DOCUMENTARY SITE and active ways to contact the news media and participate in the Justin Wolfe's writing campaign HERE.

So, why was Jeff Reynolds so interested in the project? He has been working with film for awhile but after working at a VA law office become interested with Virginia's capital punishment system. He has already directed a film that showcases the VA capital punishment system that is an intriguing story as well as incredibly directed. I couldn't tear my eyes away from the screening of the film even though I was supposed to be watching the door the whole time. I am pretty sure I caught everyone that walked in during the film but don't tell on me if I didn't...

He hopes the film does not come off as telling people what to think or what was right or wrong but rather to think about it themselves. He wants to spark inspiration in people to question what is handed to them. For some reason that jury raised their hand to send Justin Wolfe to his death. Why? Why was it so easy for them to write off a life as not worth living in five hours with so little evidence?

So, think about it. Why take something for what it is? Think about the reality of the death penalty. Think about our governments power and what they can say on our behalf. Think about how final a decision like that is... and not only in the case of death penalty and our judicial system but always think for yourself and never be afraid to go against the grain if it feels right to you. Just think guys, come onnn. I know you got it in ya.

Thank you again for everyone involved!!! Thank you Jeff Reynold for doing something amazing for someone and getting people to be involved in something bigger than themselves.. bigger than Justin Wolfe even. THANK YOU for everyone's support that came out.

Now, everyone watch the TRAILER ... and remember to DONATE to a great cause if it moves you to do so.


CORPUS: A Fashion Show

For those of you who missed it, shame on you. For those of you who made it, WHAT A SUCCESS!!! A HUGE thank you to everyone who came out, a HUGE thank you for everyone who participated, a HUGE thank you to Sputnik, and a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Dance4Liberation for pulling off a killer show and raising a bunch of paper for a great cause, the Jeff Reynolds project Corpus: The Case of Justin Wolf.

After all the glitter and glam, I sat down with Aileen Haugh, the brains behind Dance4Liberation, and chatted about the huge success. Actually, the glitter and glam was still in effect. We were dressed to the 10's at a suave Oscars party sipping champagne and mingling with fabulous people. But everything we do is fabulous, what can I say?

Of course, the first thing I asked her was, "HOW DO YOU FEEL!??"
Amazing, inspired, thankful, proud.
She kept gushing about everyone involved. How proud she was of her Dance4Liberation team and their hard work. How thankful she was for this opportunity. Modestly leaving out the fact that she started this organization from the ground up, inspiring those around her and instilling passion and the same perseverance she has into those that began work with her. Dance4Liberation began when Aileen took a feminism course on modern social problems and learned about an organization called Friendship Bridge, which is a non-profit that provides education to help women and their families create their own solutions to poverty in Guatemala. She became passionate about the organization and wanted to help. Instead of sitting on her ass and feeling sorry for the women in Guatemala, she DANCED! And so did many, many others at an event she threw to raise money for the cause and Dance4Liberation was born and quickly grew.

From raising money for causes from the Houston Moore after school program where the kiddies showcased their own art projects from a disposable camera in Bottega art gallery downtown (SO COOL), to LINK a cause that helps ex-prisoners get their life back on track, Aileen and ALL the talent, and there is a ton of talent, at Dance4Liberation has touched lives and raised money for people (and animals) in need.

BUT... back to DAnce4Liberation's CORPUS: A Fashion Show...

When I arrived at Sputnik around 6, the spot was scattered with half naked models (jealous?), bundles and bundles of clothes, hairspray and glitter and a team of stressed magic makers running around with walkie talkies. I was quickly thrown one despite my efforts to hide in the back with the beautiful people. Although it was mad house in the room throwing outfits back and fourth, throwing spray cans back and forth, throwing models back and forth (kidding, just making sure you were paying attention) the atmosphere was surprisingly calm. We were ready to rock. We did our homework. We practiced. We were prepared. We were golden.

When everyone began to arrive I know I got some butterflies in my tummy. If Aileen, Annie, Laine (who not only put the thing on but walked in it, like 6 times???), Joe, Megan, and Ashley, just some of the amazing people who made the night possible, were getting nervous they didn't show it at all. When the lights turned down and the show was about to go on, Aileen calmly took a seat by the runway to watch the show. Annie was across from me behind the curtains of the show dancin' her ass off while I was trying hard to not faint. I don't know how the models do it. Then the magic happened.

Aileen said everything went beautifully and smoothly, I'll take her word on it. I was still behind the curtains finally calming down, loosening up and shakin' my rump with Annie.

Any surprises?
Aileen says the only surprise she had, since the show went so wonderfully, was how many people were there at 8pm on the dot to get in. No surprise to anyone else. The event was HYPED. Everyone was talking about it before (thanks guys) and the place was PACKED once people started filtering in.
Another surprise? Sophia Bush came, no big. Dance4Liberation has grown so much, it is just amazing that it has reached to such a far audience. Sophia Bush, from One Tree Hill, not only came to the event, but she came after she had just came home from FASHION WEEK. Incredible.

Soo... any last words for the audience, Aileen?
"I have the best team in the world. This has personally been an amazing experience for me and I hope everyone else enjoyed it as much as I did. This opportunity is more than I could ask for, being able to combine a worthy cause and artists' passion just is a dream come true."

Keep checking into the blog, I'll be updating with pictures, some more about the show, more on the great cause we raised money for and everything Dance4Liberation. Keep an eye out for more events, and SUPPORT LOCAL TALENT!


Featured Designer: Minela Subasic

I love this girl. I've know her for a few years casually and then we shared an epic concert experience this past Halloween and I can't get over her. Besides her charm, undeniably good looks and sweet and upbeat disposition, I've noticed one thing about her above all else...the girl is OBSESSED with animal print.

The first time I really hung out with her was in Asheville for Moogfest and she rocked a cheetah costume for Halloween. I thought it was a costume but apparently it's a way of life. I ran into her quite often after the concert around Wilmington and every time I spotted spots. A fabulous faux fur leopard jacket, a tight cheetah print mini dress, a chic shirt spotted with jaguar print... I started to get the picture. And Minela cleared it all up for me when I sat down with her last night at the CORPUS: A Fashion Show dress rehearsal. She is, after all, undeniably obsessed with animal print. Right on! I'm all for it just so it's faux fur, which she says all her designs from Minela Exotics are 100% cruelty free and celebrate the beauty and luxury that comes from wearing animal print while recognizing and respecting animal rights.

Minela got into designing because she is TINY; she was fed up with not finding fashions in her size. They were either non-existent or sold out at places like Forever 21. So, she took charge and made her own clothes... inventive. She has been designing for about 7 months and hopes to some day see her clothes hanging in a store but for now she is focusing on PA school and designing for a hobby.. and so she has something to wear. Actually, she was wearing a skirt she had designed while I was interviewing her. She says she makes the majority of her wardrobe. It's like second nature by now, a piece of cake, she says. Minela even offered to whip me something up for the show THIS FRIDAY AT SPUTNIK 8PM, there is her sweet disposition showing!

Her line is focused on celebrating and embracing the beauty of a womans body. Curves, lines, bumps and all. "Have fun with it!" she says. Don't conform. She took the initiative to just make her own wardrobe when she wasn't happy with what the stores were coming out with and came out with a fresh line that is sexy, fun and wearable on the runway and off. I'll take that skirt please, hell, I bet I look fierce in cheetah.


Featured Designer: Mckenna

I phoned Mckenna to chat about CORPUS: A fashion show, THIS FRIDAY AT SPUTNIK 8PM, TICKETS ON SALE AT EDGE OF URGE $5, and her collection from the line Doll Face Deconstruction.

I chatted with her on the tele but I got to meet her last night as well and she is adorable! Her collection, Super Fly, is far from "adorable" though. The pieces are rugged but still beautiful. Not a piece to be thrown on and have blend into the outfit, the pieces are bold and speak for themselves. They are unique and catching. Not "Oh, that is just adorabbbbllleee!" No, more like a piece of artwork.

I'm gonna start by telling you HOW she came up with the name Super Fly for the collection besides the fact that the pieces are just that, super fly. She has been making jewelery since she was old enough to climb on to her dads work bench and steal his fishing wire from his tackle box to string beads on. She dropped the wire and moved to some heady hemp. A little longer down the road a good friend asked her to make him something. She was not versed in dudes jewelry but this kid was a good friend and he was "super fly". So she dropped the hemp (or whatever she had moved on to at that point) and picked up zippers. Get it, pun on words? Super Fly, fly on your pants, zippers...

And Super Fly was born! Badass!!!

Mckenna mixes the zippers with old vintage jewelery she finds at her favorite vintage store, Just Like New (I'm a regular there as well, see ya by the jewelry bin!) or pieces donated by friends who can't stand to see a beloved broken gold necklace be discarded. She breaks them down and zips em up.
The cool thing about these pieces is that some of the necklaces can be transformed into a headband or broaches for clips. So you never have to take it off, just slip it onto your favorite sweater or over your messy up-do!

Favorite quote?
“every act of construction is first an act of destruction” –A slightly altered Picasso quote she changed to flow with her designs. Her pieces can be found at Rockin' Roller salon where she also does hair, a Jack of all trades I guess? SEE YOU FRIDAY LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! Be prepared to get blown away by local talent.