Vertical Essence Dance Company wins Rev-Up MKE 

An icon graphic representing Social Responsibility Through Community Engagement from the Beyond Boundries Strategic PlanCandanisha Bishop, owner of Vertical Essence Dance Company, was named the winner of Rev-Up MKE, an annual small business contest that aims to revitalize commercial corridors in Milwaukee’s Near West Side.

The competition took place on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at the Rave/Eagles Ballroom, where five finalists pitched their unique business ideas in front of a live audience and panel of judges.

Vertical Essence Dance Company was created as a conduit to interact with young people in a positive manner. Bishop will receive $10,000, a package of pro-bono services and a hefty amount of publicity to open the business in the Near West Side.   

Jack Hammerton, research assistant in the Center for Peacemaking and attendee of Rev-Up MKE, notes that the event “was a fantastic way to see all the people in the community come out to support the local businesses. It was fun to see so many leaders as well and interact with members of the neighborhood, hear about their passions and learn about their stories. It was a great turnout and inspiring to hear about the motivation to revitalize the neighborhood.”

The night’s theme, “Taste of the Near West Side,” featured cuisine from Near West Side vendors. In attendance was the night’s emcee, comedian Charlie Berens, who showed his support for the Near West Side.