After School Dance Programs for Youth at Risk

by DEA Educational Foundation Youth Dance Program
Vetted
Breaking Ground
Breaking Ground

The DEA Youth Dance Program celebrates another stellar year bringing free dance classes to under-served, at-risk youth across the country! This year, the YDP had programs running in 40 cities, serving 3,500 students with long-term dance classes, and reaching approximately 75,000 children, parents, and community members through assemblies and performances. Following a presentation at The International Drug Enforcement Conference in Cartagena, Colombia, The Youth Dance Program received programming requests from three South American countries, and is currently working on launching programs in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Summer scholarships are running throughout the country with DEA YDP students participating in youth camps, studio classes, after-school summer programs, and more!

For the third straight year, The DEA Youth Dance Program was the recipient of the University of Iowa Dance Club benefit concert funds. This year’s event took place on April 24th, featuring many of the 200 dancers in Dance Club who performed 16 lyrical, jazz, tap, and hip-hop pieces, as well as other dancers at the University, and an all-male University a-capella group. Thanks to their fundraising efforts, this year The DEA YDP will direct funds to Liberty Elementary school in Sioux City Iowa to keep this donation close to home. “Two years ago, Dance Club’s President at the time read about the DEA YDP and loved everything it stands for,” said Kaitlyn Reif, President of Dance Club at the University of Iowa. “We selected the DEA YDP as that year’s recipient and have selected them ever since then. It’s been really awesome to help kids dance who otherwise may not be able to dance.”

Mt. Vernon Breaking Ground Dance Studio also raised funds for a new, important programs in their community. Since the fall of 2014, youth dancers at Breaking Ground Dance Center have raised over $5,000.00 for The YDP. “I was completely blown away by the girls’ pure hearts and passion and what they had accomplished,” said Cristine Dhimos, DEA YDP Regional Manager. “They were totally organized, had tons of fun, and raised a lot of money at their fundraisers.” Due to their generosity and hard work, the DEA YDP now has a class of eighteen 5th graders running at Graham Elementary in Mount Vernon, New York. The Dance Team members from Breaking Ground Dance Center donate their time by attending the classes to assist the professional dance teacher.

Finally, DEA Youth Dance Program is proud to have been selected as a community partner for the 360 Strategy, a national initiative piloted by the DEA. The 360 Strategy is designed to be a holistic approach to combat the heroin and pharmaceutical opioid epidemic, as well as accompanying violence. As part of this partnership, The YDP recently launched free after-school dance programs in Pittsburg, Milwaukee, and St. Louis.

The DEA Youth Dance Program approach to tackling the challenge of drug-abuse in our country with the positive, healthy art of dance has been vital to our communities and we are thankful to our partners and donors for supporting this cause. This summer,  student dancers from The Youth Dance Program will perform in National Dance Day events in both LA and DC, to raise awareness for the importance of dance and arts education. The DEA Youth Dance Program remains grateful for the support of this vital program, giving thousands of students access to free dance classes.

DEA YDP Students
DEA YDP Students
DEA YDP Venice, CA
DEA YDP Venice, CA
Chicago YDP Students
Chicago YDP Students
University of IA Dance Club
University of IA Dance Club

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New York
New York

The Youth Dance Program is proud to be in nearly 40 cities nationwide as we enter into spring of 2016. The program continues to reach children on the growing waitlist throughout the United States and plans are now underway to bring The DEA YDP to at least two South American countries. Excitement is evident as the program expands to include an international community of student dancers along with thousands of U.S. dancers already enrolled. 

The DEA YDP is thrilled to be included in The 360 Strategy, a national initiative piloted in four metropolitan areas by the DEA. The 360 Strategy is designed to be a holistic approach to combat the heroin and pharmaceutical opioid epidemic, as well as accompanying violence. The strategy leverages existing federal, state and local partnerships on three different fronts: law enforcement, diversion control and community outreach. The Youth Dance Program, a community partner in the 360 Strategy, will be launching new dance programs in Milwaukee, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and West Memphis as a positive, healthy after-school alternative to drugs and violence.

The DEA Youth Dance Program students across the United States are preparing for their end of the year assemblies and will soon be performing for their classmates, teachers and parents. At least one student per school will be eligible for scholarship at a local studio. The DEA Youth Dance Program applauds DEA’s continued support of the program, where local field office special agents visit the schools to speak to kids about healthy and positive choices and the dangers of drug use. 

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Student speaks about impact of the YDP on her life
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
Student performers at "The DEA Experience" event
Emerson kids perform at "The DEA Experience"
Emerson kids perform at "The DEA Experience"

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DEA YDP Students Perform at National Dance Day
DEA YDP Students Perform at National Dance Day

The DEA Youth Dance Program had a fun and productive summer building new programs and strengthening current ones. We are thrilled to be launching programs in 35 cities this year, reaching thousands of students nationwide. This fall, students will be treated to a performance by local, professional dance companies, inspiring these students as they begin their own dance journey through The DEA Youth Dance Program. We can’t wait to see how these children thrive and grow with the opportunity of a positive after-school alternative to drugs and violence.

Once again, the Dizzy Feet Foundation invited The DEA YDP to participate in their incredible homage to dance on National Dance Day on Saturday July 24, 2015! Students from Tyler Elementary, under the helm of our DEA YDP partners ClancyWorks and Culture Shock D.C., did an incredible performance at the Kennedy Center. Across the country at Grand Park in Los Angeles, DEA YDP instructor Stephanie Reed led students from Emerson Elementary in an equally phenomenal performance. The DEA Youth Dance Program is very proud of all our dancers for sharing their talents. Thank you to the Dizzy Feet Foundation for featuring our program, and for all their work bringing attention to dance as an expressive, positive way to stay healthy! 

On October 8th, 2015, The DEA Youth Dance Program will be participating in The DEA Experience, led by The DEA Educational Foundation and the DEA LA Field Office. This fun community event at the Jonathan Beach Club in Santa Monica will feature many aspects of The DEA Educational Foundation’s important work, including The DEA Youth Dance Program. Dancers from a local school, Culture Shock Los Angeles, and Fancy Feet Dance Studio will perform at this event to show how our program is one key in the prevention of drug-use and violence.

As always, we are so thankful to you, our donors, for helping us bring our message and the power of dance to students across the country. With your support, we will continue to meet the growing waitlist of over 100 locations eager to expose their impressionable youth to the art of dance! 

DEA YDP Students Perform at National Dance Day
DEA YDP Students Perform at National Dance Day

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Scholarship Student Shaun, WA
Scholarship Student Shaun, WA

The DEA Youth Dance Program has just finished another successful school year ending in 35 cities nationwide with thousands of children culminating their programs with schoolwide and community assemblies. Scholarships at local dance studios were awarded to students who exemplified dedication, teamwork and improvement.

A young student, Shaun, of Auburn, Washington is a stunning example of how the DEA Youth Dance Program can inspire change through its programs. Shaun was once an introverted kid who shied away from most social interactions, until that is, he found the DEA Youth Dance Program. As a 5th grader, Shaun decided to sign up for the free after school dance classes and after finishing the program he received a generous scholarship from DEA YDP and the local dance company, Auburn Dance Academy. Shaun continued with his classes, taking a class once a week at the studio. In time, with his newly found confidence, he auditioned for the company's youth performance team, and he made it! Shaun, now 13 and in 7th grade has performed for thousands of people, including hundreds of potential DEA YDP students in Washington state and at Nationals in Las Vegas. Shaun’s mom shared, “He has found a passion that I have never seen in him before, this will change his life forever. He wouldn't have done any of this without the program."

In other exciting news, The DEA Educational Foundation and DEA Youth Dance Program was highlighted in front of 100 countries early in June at the 32nd International Drug Enforcement Conference, hosted by DEA and the Columbian National Police in Columbia, South America. The program was shown as a positive and healthy alternative to drug use and key prevention program for youth and within schools. Since the conference, several countries have shown interest in implementing the DEA YDP program abroad.

The DEA Youth Dance Program also looks forward to participating in National Dance Day on July 25th with Dizzy Feet Foundation who started National Dance Day as a campaign to encourage Americans to embrace dance as a fun and positive way to maintain good health and fight obesity. Dizzy Feet (A non-profit established by creators and judges of So You Think You Can Dance) has invited DEA YDP to perform at the Music Center in Los Angeles and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. National Dance Day was established to bring communities together by allowing audiences to see, learn and participate in choreography and movement and to bring public awareness of the importance of dance to the United States and beyond.

YDP at IDEC
YDP at IDEC

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Organization Information

DEA Educational Foundation Youth Dance Program

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.deaeducationalfoundation.org/​
Project Leader:
Jill Roberts
Santa Monica, CA United States
$21,268 raised of $75,000 goal
 
125 donations
$53,732 to go
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