CityDance Receives White House Honor

DREAM Alumni take ballet at CityDance's Tenleytown studio.

DREAM Alumni taking ballet at CityDance’s Tenleytown studio in the summer of 2015

CityDance, a non-profit dance organization, will receive the prestigious 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award today in a ceremony at the White House. The award is bestowed upon organizations that offer innovative arts and humanities education to under-served youth. CityDance is being honored for its after-school dance program DREAM, which provides dance classes and performance opportunities to 160 students from six schools across the District where access to arts education is limited.

Founded in 2005, CityDance’s DREAM program utilizes dance as a catalyst for students to achieve success in their academic studies. “One out of three high school seniors in our nation’s capital did not graduate last year,” said CityDance Executive Director Alexe Nowakowski in a statement released today. “CityDance DREAM is embarking on a bold undertaking to address the dropout issue in the communities that we serve. We have witnessed the significant impact of our programs on our student’s lives. It is a huge honor for us to be recognized by the First Lady and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.”

DREAM participants receive professional quality dance instruction, take part in community service projects, attend performances in the District and New York, and participate in the DC Summer Youth Employment Program. This summer the CityDance POP! studio in Tenleytown hosted the DREAM Alumni dance program, where students participated in a variety of weekly classes from ballet to hip-hop.

Over the next three years, CityDance plans to expand its dance and academic support programs to reach nearly 500 District youth through the opening of the DREAM Center for Dance in Cardozo. As a NAHYP award recipient, CityDance will receive a $10,000 grant and a year of technical assistance to help it reach this next milestone in the DREAM program.

photo credit: Barbara L. Salisbury Photography