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The Dance Institute of Washington (DIW) is a dance education institution committed to providing children and youth the opportunity to develop artistically, socially, emotionally and intellectually through the discipline of dance. To deliver on that commitment, DIW operates a studio school, education outreach, the Youth Repertory Ensemble, and a professional dance company, Washington Reflections Dance Company. Each of these programs uses dance education and performance to grant children and youth from diverse backgrounds a chance to experience the performing arts and develop important skills needed for a successful future--in dance and beyond
The Dance Institute of Washington has contracted with the Department of Employment Services to provide year round life-skills workshops and dance instruction for 30 DC high school students from low income households. The students attend the "Positive Directions Through Dance" program from 5-7 pm Monday through Friday where they learn dance technique, history and styles along with workshops in nutrition, financial literacy, conflict resolution, communication and hygiene. Students’ academic progress is closely monitored and tracked through a series of CASAS tests administered throughout the program. Tutoring is offered for those who need assistance; communication with wrap around service providers is on going and daily records are kept by teachers regarding behavior, progress, and reoccurring issues that may develop. Many of our students come to the Dance Institute directly from school at 3:30 pm to either work on homework or practice dance on their own or with their peers. We provide each student with opportunities that they never thought were open to them. To have them in a safe environment instead of on the streets, and to use dance as a way to get a way, release and be themselves.
This is a detailed, comprehensive program that deals with the whole child as they work their way through high school and prepare for their next steps, be they applying to colleges, trade schools or advancing to work. The Dance Institute is providing a safe harbor as well as instruction and guidance for 30 of the District’s most vulnerable students.
- Teon Henderson
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