Laughter and smiles of accomplishment, skipping, moving through space, exploring a story, learning…this is one of The Dance Foundation’s classes in action. This is how we help prepare young children for school and beyond.

The Dance Foundation’s Community Partnership Program inspires preschoolers to adolescents, and provides Movement-to-Music classes, Dance for English Learners classes, and Summer Arts Camps to more than 1,100 children at 26 local social service agencies, child development centers, and elementary schools each week.  By design, this program provides a positive, participatory introduction to dance; harnessing the belief that dance is a foundation for life and for learning. The Dance Foundation is unparalleled in its rich and extensive community service, continuing today the innovative programs started in 1975 teaching children who are living in poverty, who have special needs, who are very young, and who need more of the arts in their lives.

The Community Partnership Program is a core part of our mission, reaching many children who would not otherwise have the opportunity to learn dance and have creative experiences in which to explore ideas and build skills. Many of our partner sites cannot pay any fee for our classes while remaining partner sites pay only a portion of the overall cost of the services they receive.  The Dance Foundation secures grants and contributions to provide these services to our partners at no fee or reduced fee.

Our Community Partnership Program is at the core of our mission and provides skill-building dance classes to 1,100 children each week at 26 social service agencies, child development centers, preschools and elementary schools in Metro-Birmingham, Alabama.  This program has three elements:  Movement to Music, Dance for English Learners, and Summer Arts Camp.

Movement to Music

Movement to Music is a Dance Foundation-developed dance curriculum with live music as an essential element to the experience.  This engaging and consistent investment in young children greatly assists them with the developmental skills they need to be better prepared for entering elementary school.  Our mission and curriculum is grounded in the “whole child” philosophy.

Dance for English Learners

Dance for English Learners classes use dance concepts and skills to help develop language skills as well as artistic ability for children in local elementary schools who are learning English as a second language. Dance classes meet each week and help instill confidence and teamwork as they develop language and movement structures.

Summer Arts Camp

Summer Arts Camps serve children who are considered at-risk and living in difficult situations with a week-long summer arts camp at The Dance Foundation’s Community Arts Center.  These camps benefit children who are homeless or who have been removed from their homes for their health and safety by the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR).  These children participate in a week long summer arts camp and build a variety of school and life skills such as collaboration, concentration, and creativity in these camps specifically designed for these children who are greatly in need of positive, enriching experiences.

For more information or to have our Community Partnership Program at your school, contact:
Blakely  Cottle
Director, Community Partnership Program