| Dec 23, 2015
The DEA Youth Dance Program Fall Finale
By Jill L. Roberts | National Director, DEA YDP
Student speaks about impact of the YDP on her life
On October 8th, 2015, the DEA Educational Foundation held an event at the Jonathan Beach Club, Santa Monica, CA called “The DEA Experience." Guests had the opportunity to visit various stations to learn and engage in hands-on experiences to see the daily global work of the DEA and the DEA Educational Foundation in their community. The stations included: The Threat Next Door: Emerging Trends; Do You Have What it Takes to be a DEA Special Agent, The DEA Youth Dance Program, Lives Lost Too Soon; Costs and Consequences; Exploring Science; Hope in Recovery; Real Facts about Drugs and a community chat room where they provided feedback and ideas to us.
DEA Youth Dance Program students from Emerson Elementary School led by teacher Stephanie Reed were on hand to showcase their dancing and to talk about what the DEA YDP means to them. Fancy Feet Dance Studio, who assisted with a fundraiser early in 2015 to sponsor an entire school program in Los Angeles, attended with their youth dance company who performed throughout the evening. Also, DEA YDP partnering dance company Culture Shock LA amazed guests with their precise and athletic hip-hop choreography. American Crime actress Penelope Ann Miller attended the event to show her support of the DEA Youth Dance Program. Because of this event the community learned a great deal more about the impact of the DEA Youth Dance Program and many contributed to assist with 2016 programs.
Also, this fall, the DEA Youth Dance Program launched programs in 35 cities nationwide, bringing dance to thousands of students as a positive alternative to drugs and violence. Although each state has its own unique story, The DEA Youth Dance Program has had an exceptionally exciting fall in Texas. The program welcomes a new Regional Manager, Dance Educator Jodi Obeid, to the state. The Youth Dance Program has been working to put great dance companies in place in Austin, Houston, and Dallas. In Austin we are now working with a Contemporary Dance Company- the Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company. The company kick off performance at Northwest Elementary School was so well received by students and staff, the school has asked us to teach two classes per week for their school to meet student demand and seeking funding to help us implement two classes permanently. The first class is with our 3rd and 4th graders is up and running and the second class will start with 5th and 6th graders in early 2016. The principal of this school is so excited and supportive of this program that he would like to help us find more funding in the future!
In Houston this year we are working with two wonderful dance companies that are new to the DEA YDP. Intuitive West African Dance and Drum Culture is a dynamic African dance company, who launched for us our first professional company performance with our students in Houston this year. They were so well received! The second company is the Houston Ballet. We will begin to work with their dynamic outreach instructors this spring. The Houston Independent School District is assisting the DEA YDP to locate new schools to build the program this spring and next fall. We also hope to develop scholarship programs in this region this year. Stay tuned for spring updates about the Dallas region as well!
As we near the end of the year, we thank our Global Giving donors for helping us to bring the DEA Youth Dance Program to so many deserving children across the United States in 2015. In 2016 we will reach even more kids as we continue to expand to new U.S. cities and South America. More information to come! Thank you for your support and Happy New Year!
Student performers at "The DEA Experience" event
Emerson kids perform at "The DEA Experience"