Mission and History

Our mission: To teach the art of dance to all, inspiring creativity, curiosity, and confidence.

We are a non-profit located in downtown Homewood, a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, and have been engaging our 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.  Programs are student-centered and cultivate a sense of community and belonging. As in our beginning days, live music is an essential element to the experience for our classes with young children and those with disabilities.

Our programs include:

Community In Motion
Studio Use for community artists and organizations
Dance classes and camps for all ages
Service to the field of Dance

The Dance Foundation began in the early 1970’s teaching dance with young children and children with disabilities, inspired by the belief that dance is a foundation for learning for all, regardless of ability, income, or background. TDF emerged as social movements intersected in Birmingham – social justice and civil rights, modern dance, and early childhood education of teaching the “whole child”. Over time, programs have reached our community’s most underserved and disenfranchised individuals – children in particular – through extensive collaborations. Our mission is to teach the art of dance to all, inspiring creativity, curiosity, and confidence.

Three creative and formidable women, Jennie Robertson, Virginia Samford, and Mary Conyers Cooper, responded to these forces with a fresh approach to teaching dance with young children. Live music was essential to the experience, enriching the experience of pure joy while dancing.

Today, we remain true to the tenants of our beginnings to expand the idea of what dance is and who is a dancer.  Our non-competitive approach to this art form continues and our teaching artists continue to inspire and plant seeds of creativity in our community.

“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

Jennie RobertsonMary Conyers CooperVirginia Samford Donovon