The Dance Foundation teaches hundreds of children each week in skill-building dance classes through our extensive Community Partnership Program. This is the hallmark of our mission and is only possible with donations and grants from individuals, corporations and foundations.
We teach dance at social service agencies, child development centers, preschools, and elementary schools in Greater Birmingham. All sites are subsidized with community support and some are provided classes for no fee. All students in a class participate together. No child pays to participate. Our Community Partnership Program has four elements:
Dance for Pre-K: Our dance teachers and musicians teach our uniquely developed Movement to Music curriculum which engages young children to gain developmental skills that they will need in elementary school. Working as a group; taking turns; offering ideas; and learning to hop, skip, jump, and gallop – all are skills taught with stories, songs, and colorful props. All children in a class dance together through the school year in weekly classes, and some sites dance with us for the summer months, too.
Dance for Children with Disabilities: Every week, we teach children who have physical and cognitive developmental delays, Downs Syndrome, Autism, and Cerebral Palsy. We teach children at sites which serve children with disabilities using our Movement to Music curriculum. These classes have joy and individual growth at their core. Every week we see them participate more, walk and jump on their own, find balance and coordination – all while singing and having fun! These classes are taught with live music, which is key to engaging children with learning differences.
Brain Body Balance is a new curricula designed to promote wellness, integrating mind, body and spirit to develop a healthy sense of self and social – emotional connection with others. Launched in Summer 2020 with Hall Kent Elementary’s summer academic intervention program, this integrated curriculum responds to educator requests for ways to encourage healthy communication skills and social-emotional learning. Body Brain Balance provides fun and interactive ways to meet these goals: improve student attitudes, behaviors, individual responsibility, confidence, engagement, emotional awareness, and communication skills such as active listening and mindful response.
Dancing With Words: academic support for Language Arts: Children learning English in the K-2nd grades dance with us using our curriculum designed to build language skills in tandem with dance skills. These students have little or no arts education in their school. Students in several area elementary schools participate in weekly 30-45 minute dance classes for a series of weeks as part of the school day. The curriculum is designed in collaboration with classroom teachers to support language arts goals: As they dance, students physicalize language elements such as prepositions (over/under); reading, comprehension, demonstrating language skills; and movement patterns. Click here to check out our NEW on-demand, digital teaching tool for Dancing With Words…
Dance for Children Who Live with Challenging Circumstances: During our school year and for a few weeks during the summer months, we partner with several community agencies to teach children in our who are experiencing homelessness or live in transitional housing, live in poverty, or live away from their families for their health and safety. Dance offers a safe and affirming space to explore creativity and gain healthy social skills.
RECENT COMMUNITY PARTNERS:
MOVEMENT TO MUSIC
Bell Center for Early Intervention
Brookwood Forest Elementary – early intervention program
Cahaba Heights Elementary – early intervention program
Canterbury Child Development Center
Canterbury Day School
Cherokee Bend Elementary – early intervention program
Crestline Elementary School – early intervention program
Einstein’s Playground – Derby Parkway
Einstein’s Playground – Bessemer
Elizabeth Perry Rushton Child Development Center
Epic Elementary – Pre-K Program
First Church Early Learning Center
Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church Child Care
Holy Trinity Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral Day Care
Hall Kent Elementary – early intervention program
Harris Early Learning Center
James Rushton Early Learning Center
Liberty Park Elementary – early intervention program
Montclair Early Learning Center
Mountain Brook Elementary – early intervention program
South Highlands Child Development Center
St. Francis Xavier Early Learning Center
United Ability / Hand in Hand Learning Center
Vestavia Hills Elementary East – early intervention program
YWCA Child Care Center
YWCA Kids Corner / Child Care for Kids in Distress
DANCING WITH WORDS for English Learners and Language Arts Integration
and BRAIN BODY BALANCE: social-emotional learning through movement
Hall Kent Elementary RISE Program
YWCA (Afterschool Enrichment for Homeless Children)
Alabama Dance Council
Greater Birmingham Arts Education Collaborative
People in Motion
UAB Early Start
We welcome you to contact us to learn more about these programs and how to participate!