The Rundown on Shorty’s Run the Runway

Shorty’s Run the Runway is an annual fashion event run by young adults, put on for children and young adults and received by all age groups. Ms. Juicy along with other sponsors, such as Wal-Mart, have made this event possibly for the last three years right here in Atlanta. The event showcases talents of singing, dancing, and designing for children and teenagers, by those same age groups. Shorty’s Run the Runway is also more than god fashion; this event shines a positive light on expression of one self’s through their own styles and voices against bullying. In order to help me get a complete sense of the event, I went and peaked in to each section of it. All in all, there were the hosts, singers, models, entertainers, a motivational speaker for young adults, the public relations coordinator, and the presenter Ms. Juicy of the Rickey Smiley Morning Show.

The hosts of Shorty’s Run the Runway were actress, songwriter, entertainer Ajiona Alexus and dj, entertainer Tony “T-REP” Benton, Jr. Ajiona and T-REP were both energized and interactive with the crowd. They both kept the tempo and vibe of the entire fashion show at a fast paced, ATL style vibe. On stage they introduced models, designers, performers and off stage they helped back stage with organizing the next group, taking pictures and giving small advice. As hosts Ajiona and T-REP had a great vibe together and fed off of each other’s energy. Out of the “host” spot light these two individuals are active in other areas of entertainment. Ajiona will be premiering on the new season of The Rickey Smiley Show that will be airing on TV One on Fridays at 9e/8c. T-REP is expanding his love for entertainment and design by branching out to eventually design his own clothes.

YouTube sensation Shanae Jones had a duo of dancers and backup singers behind her while she rocked her single, “Tutus and Tennis Shoes” on the stage. Jones was energetic and the song was completely catchy and pumped full of sass. Jones may be a pre teen but her ego and on stage personality are definitely a 10.

Another performer I spoke with was Mz. Dayday, 16, and her two group members Breezy, 15, and Keantae, 16. The ladies have known one another for about four months and are from Atlanta. This was their first year doing Shortys Run the Runway and given the opportunity all three girls would return next year. Their style was geared more toward the rap/hip hop look with songs and clothes to match.  When asked, they told me they looked up to, and borrowed after, artists like Nicki Minaj and Aaliyah. They did incorporate their own style of what they told me were “fly, energetic, crazy and flashy.”

TGZ singers and dancers were also a popular group within the show. Coordinated in red, white and blue themed jean cut off shorts and tops, each member of the group played a dual role within it. One member, TaDaysha, 17, designed parts of the ladies outfit while another young lady, Uquinta, played a part in the choreography. The rest of the girls, Shantel, Unique, Ianni, Tikeria, and Kolbe-whose ages also ranged from 14-17- came up with lyrics, song choices, dance moves, or outfits. TGZ is only one example of how capable, resourceful and dedicated the younger generation can be when given the opportunity to do something they are passionate about.

I wanted to talk to some performers, singers, designers and rappers so I could get a 360 view of what Shortys Run the Runway was all about. After sashaying down the runway in her Wal-Mart collection green sparkle top and black lacey tutu, I was able to ask Berniya about her part in the show. Little Berniya, 8, stated that she was nervous on stage, but thought about her daddy and then walking on the runway was fun and she want scared. Berniya likes Shorty’s better than school, even though her favorite subjects are Spelling, Reading and Language Arts.

Key_Swag 3000 was a cyclone in his own right. First of all I have to say never have I ever met someone under the age of 16 years old who was as comfortable and as certain of himself as some adults I know. Key_Swag 3000 has been performing for the past eight years and he loves every minute of it. Decked out in white and gold, with jewelry to match the rapper told me how he does not get nervous anymore and focuses on being onstage and connecting to his audience. When asked, he described his own fashion style to me as “turnt up Andre 3000.” Although this year was his first time performing with Shorty’s Run the Runway, he would do it next year too.

[nggallery id=”103″]

Shorty’s Run the Runway is also about giving back to the community as well as showcasing talents of young boys and girls. There was a motivational speaker who educated and enlightened parents and children about bullying. Bullying is not only face to face but in today’s world a huge percentage is done via internet. Social networking gives bullying another angle to come through and sometimes parents do not know the seriousness it can bring. For example, back when my parents attended High School the only bullying they witnessed was in person. They did not have cell phones or Facebook profiles. Therefore, when someone like my younger family member tells me she is being bullied online; my parents may not fully understand why it can be so devastating; simply because the hurtful words are not being said to her face. The speaker, Kenny Pugh expressed the signs and feeling online bullying can result in for young children and teenagers. Pugh was passionate about his speech and people seemed to listen. Shorty’s Run the Runway also had a school give-a-way which included 200 book bag handouts. Along with the back packs, and in thanks to the sponsors like Wal-Mart, Shorty’s gave away supplies such as pens, pencils, paper, etc.

Among the numerous sponsors Wal-Mart was an active sponsor in the show and had its own runway section. The little girls in the Wal-Mart collection were dressed bright and energetic filled designs, from the bows and beads in their hair to the sparkled sneakers and lacey tutu bottoms. These petite models walked in stage with sass, their little hands on their hips, and a 1000 watt smile. It was contagious, the confidence and air of self-worth attitude was everywhere I stepped. That was one positive reaction that I believe Shorty’s was aiming for. There was not one person, young or old, without a smile on their face or a little shake in their walk.

I wanted to gauged the effect Shorty’s was having on the audience, so I spoke with Philana out of Lithonia, GA. Philana commented that, “very important activities build self esteem.” Shorty’s Run the Runway is not only an activity but is an open doorway through which teenagers can gain experience and growth.

Coming full circle, I wanted to speak with the public relations coordinator of Shorty’s Run the Runway. Pashae Williams was the PR Coordinator of the event. The PR rep worked with the young adults during the promoting of the show and she saw firsthand the positive effects an event of this magnitude could have on children even behind the scenes. Williams found working with children and teenagers exciting and surprising. Williams was able to speak with me on how humble the teenagers were. Williams also agrees that Shorty’s Run the Runway is a great platform for kids to express themselves through fashion and style.

Finally, I had to speak with Ms. Juicy herself, of the Rickey Smiley Morning Show. I was very excited to see her response to this event and speak on the positive outcomes a show like this has on children, on their fashion and even in their public school education. Ms. Juicy was a sight to see with her vibrant orange wrap dress and humble-diva look. I say humble -diva because one look at Ms. Juicy and you could see the confidence and love she had for this event. I wanted to ask Ms. Juicy how she felt about the success of Shorty’s Run the Runway on the children involved and what that could mean for the future. Ms. Juicy stated, “Once [children] leave the show they go on to do bigger and better things. One girl, May Ann, is in the stage play ‘Listen’ and does modeling.” Ms. Juicy shared her personal thoughts on the emotional effect of fashion for young adults saying, “Peer pressure makes fashion important. You look better you have fresher self esteem, even for the adults […] with a good attitude you have good style.” After speaking on how Shorty’s Run the Runway has gained so much attention that it now has visitors from Birmingham, New York, Texas, and many more locations, Ms. Juicy did leave off with stating she wants Shorty’s Run the Runway to stay in the A.