Mission and History

Our Mission

To teach the art of dance to all, inspiring creativity and confidence.

Dance is a joyful, transforming experience for all ages, abilities and circumstances.  It speaks to the spirit and invites exploration and purpose.  The Dance Foundation, a non-profit located in downtown Homewood, has been engaging the Birmingham community through dance since 1975.  The Dance Foundation’s unique approach to teaching inspires imaginative learning in young dancers and cultivates technique and artistry as they mature.  Live music is an essential element to the experience for young children.

Almost 900 students, age one to adult, participate in The Dance Foundation’s studio classes  and summer camps.  Each studio has two-way glass that allows for parents to witness their child’s growth and discovery.  Financial assistance is generously provided through community support to more than a dozen students in need each year.  Through the Community Partnership Program, The Dance Foundation teaches an additional 1,000+ children each week at dozens of social service agencies, child care centers and schools throughout Birmingham.  These children are very young, have special needs or are living in poverty.  This program is generously supported by government, corporations, foundations and individuals.  The Dance Foundation’s studio space and 100-seat theatre are also home to dozens of artists and arts organizations for classes, workshops, rehearsals and performances.

Our programs include:

Community Partnership Program
Studio Use for community artists and organizations
Dance and Acting classes for all ages
summer camps

Our History

The Dance Foundation was founded in 1975 by Jennie Robertson, Virginia Samford Donovan, and Mary Conyers Cooper.  Today, our work continues to embody our founding mission of providing opportunities for students of all ages and abilities to learn through the power of dance and the arts.

What began in the mid-70’s as age and developmentally appropriate dance classes for small groups of young children and those with challenges has flourished into something extraordinary. The Dance Foundation is an organization now serving more than 2,000 students each week.  The Dance Foundation has a professional staff of dancers and musicians to share our mission. Less than 10% of our budget is for management and administration. Programs are provided virtually every day, year-round.

As a not-for-profit dance education organization, The Dance Foundation is able to provide unique, creative programs and services through the strong partnership of professional staff, a committed board of directors and a diverse collection of supporters.

“Dance is a celebration of life,
a widening of horizons, an exercise in communication,
an exploration into self-awareness.
Through this discipline all the arts come into focus.
Let us journey together.”

– Jennie Robertson, Founder

jennyrobertson MaryCooper VirginiaSamfordDonovon
Jennie Robertson Mary Conyers Cooper Virginia Samford Donovon