Sharlene Bethel and Nicole Percell

Sharlene Bethel started a dance troupe in a living room at the Gowanus Houses. For over 30 years she has been a big sister, surrogate mother and loving support in the community to young girls and boys. Through teaching them to dance, she has given many kids a creative and healthy way for them to express themselves.

One of those girls, was an 8-year old named Nicole Percell. Encouraged and supported by Sharlene, Nicole would go on to teach her own group of girls and lead dance crews around the city. She mentors, supports and provides a stable, faithful and strong presence in the lives of many young people at Gowanus.

Both of these amazing ladies have inspired many others to start troupes of their own and the blessings of their labors are still felt today. 

Portrait by

David Doobinin

David Doobinin is a Photographer and Filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY . Recent clients include Jewel, Juliana Hatfield and John Doe. He is currently working on his first feature film.

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