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Dance DC

Since 1999, The Washington Ballet has endeavored to reach underserved areas of the DC community through DanceDC, a celebrated education and outreach initiative that has served tens of thousands of Washington, DC public school students. DanceDC is an interdisciplinary dance program that provides a 7-week in-school residency to both third-graders and second-graders that attend underperforming District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). Over 700 students are served each year; 68 percent of students currently participating in DanceDC are African-American, 22 percent are Hispanic, 7 percent are Caucasian and 1 percent are Asian. More than 70 percent live at or below the poverty level. As a part of the program, students participate in field trips to see high-quality dance performances by The Washington Ballet and other nationally- and internationally-recognized dance companies. The program’s goal is to create higher achievement through ballet using Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences model. The class is taught by master dance educators, who have extensive training in the arts and degrees in education. Teachers create lesson plans that integrate dance with core-curriculum subjects such as science, math, language arts and history. The DanceDC syllabus is aligned National Dance Education Organization’s standards as well as the District of Columbia Public School standards.

Currently, the schools involved in the DanceDC are:

  • Beers Elementary (since 2014) – Ward 7
  • Bruce Monroe Elementary (since 2007) – Ward 8
  • John Eaton Elementary (2000) – Ward 3
  • J.O. Wilson Elementary (2009) – Ward 6
  • Sitar Arts Center (2000) – Ward 1
  • Orr Elementary – Ward 8
  • Smothers Elementary (2009) – Ward 7
  • Turner Elementary (2000) – Ward 8

The goal of The Washington Ballet's DanceDC program is help students:

  • Engage in a program that supports DC Public School efforts to improve reading test scores and vocabulary comprehension and provides opportunities for creative thinking
  • Learn teamwork through cooperative learning.
  • Develop a greater sense of self-esteem, confidence and discipline
  • Study the principles of dance and gain an appreciation for the arts.

Through DanceDC, an increasing number of students have been introduced to the arts via integrated classroom instruction, fostering a strong relationship between the arts and cerebral learning.

For more information about DanceDC, call Saki Scheller at 202.274.4529

The Washington Ballet wishes to thank its 2013.2014 leadership sponsors: