The Art of Confidence


Focus, Rise, Educate, Empower! 

The Art of Confidence Grand Opening - 2011 

The Art of Confidence (AOC) began in 2011, in Atlanta, GA. The Founders of the AOC, LeJon Payne, Shanequa Dasher, and Summer Blackmon, began their partnership as school teachers in the Atlanta Public School system. These three dynamic teachers shared a passion for education and the arts. They worked together closely to provide students in the Atlanta Public Schools system and Metro-Atlanta cities with artistic opportunities to enhance their creative skills. These efforts soon lead to the grand opening of the Art of Confidence Performing Arts Alliance in the Atlantic Station area in 2011.

Performing Arts Camps 

The AOC began their grand opening with a Summer Camp. The founders realized that there was a significant need for affordable full day camps for children who were passionate about the arts. The AOC created a summer camp program where students would spend a full day learning how to act, sing, and dance. Students had the opportunity to explore costuming, makeup, photography, and visual art projects. The summer camps were a huge success and the foundation of the AOC. 

Saturday and Weekday Program

As the AOC began to expand there was a need to implement Saturday and weekly classes. Weekly classes allowed young performers ages 3-18 years old, to learn and enhance their performing arts skills. Young performers were able to take dance classes, competition classes, drama class, voice, and pageant classes. Each group worked together to produce a production for the Metro-Atlanta community 3 times a year. Students were able to manifest the goal of the AOC, which was to provide young performers with the opportunity to get on stage and to express their unique artistic abilities to the community.  

Theatre Performances

AOC performers have had many amazing opportunities to perform on the stage at the following venues. 

  1. Philips Arena (Atlanta Hawks)

  2. Gwinnett Center (Stage One Competition) 

  3. YWCA

  4. Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Parade

  5. Centennial Place Elementary

  6. Fabrefaction Theatre

  7. BEST Academy Theatre

  8. Georgia International Convention Center (KAR)

  9. Gatlinburg Convention Center

  10. Coretta Scott King Young Women's Leadership Academy

  11. Bolton Academy

  12. People Television Network

  13. Philips Arena (Atlanta Dream)

  14. Atlanta Technical College 
  15. Greenbrier Mall Performance Stage 
  16. Downtown Atlanta

  17. Fairburn Arts Festival

  18. Morris Brandon Elementary

National Competitions

AOC performers have had the awesome opportunity to compete in National Competitions. Were we have won lots of awards and trophies!  

  • KAR National Dance Competition 
  • Stage One National Dance Competition 

Community Partnerships

The AOC has built many community partnerships since 2011. AOC young performers have had the awesome opportunity of working with:

  • Bikes and Bites
  • Hands on Atlanta
  • My Sister's House 
  • YWCA
  • Dasher Creations
  • YMCA
  • Sheltering Arms
  • Metro-Atlanta Schools

Youth Movement 

The AOC began their Youth Movement Program by partnering with the International Preschools in Atlanta, GA. The purpose of our Youth Movement Initiative and Summer Program was to take a proactive stance against childhood obesity. Our initiative was in alignment with First Lady Michelle Obama’s, Let's Move Initiative, which focuses on what families, communities and the public and private sectors can do to help fight childhood obesity. The Youth Movement Program became a huge success and allowed us to partner with over 15 organizations in the Metro-Atlanta area. 

Youth Leadership 

The AOC has always empowered young performers to take a leadership role. AOC classes during camps have been supported by youth leaders who want to make a difference in their community. We continue to offer leadership opportunities to youth around the world to grow and advance their skills. 

AOC Foundation

In 2014 the Art of Confidence revised their focus. The AOC began to focus on the need for more national and international service performing arts projects. The AOC continued their efforts in providing performing arts opportunities to young performers with their partnering schools. The foundation began to focus on creating new partnerships and relationships in America and abroad that would help build performing arts communities for groups that were in poverty or considered underprivileged.  

fREE Project - Outreach

The AOC fREE project is now the focus of the organization. The AOC Foundation, INC, FOCUS, RISE, EDUCATE, EMPOWER, fREE project seeks to enhance national and international communities by providing free performing arts and educational classes to students who live in low 

socioeconomic environments. Our vision is to work with communities around the world to provide a cultural exchange that will help poor communities to grow and to enhance their academic skills through performing arts.