DanceDC Residencies

DanceDC is an innovative education program that provides in-school workshops and residencies to schools serving pre-k – eighth grades. Since DanceDC’s inception in 1999, we have partnered with 23 Washington, DC schools giving approximately 10,000 students the opportunity to participate in this celebrated program.

DanceDC Goals

The program’s goal is to use integrated movement and dance to create higher academic achievement in core curriculum subjects including language arts, math, science, and social studies. Using the National Core Dance Standards, the program also aims to cultivate creativity and collaboration skills, ultimately improving every student’s self-discipline, physical health, confidence, and self-esteem.

Introductory Workshops

These interactive workshops introduce students to the cultural history, music, and fundamental movements of each dance form. Dance styles offered: African Dance, Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Salsa, and Hip Hop. Available for grades pre-k- eighth.

DanceDC Residency Descriptions

Residencies can be customized to meet your curriculum goals and grade level standards. We recommend residencies meet twice a week for a minimum of seven weeks and culminate with a sharing or performance. However, we can customize residencies to meet the needs of your students, curriculum and budget.

Creative Movement Residency

Designed for pre-k or kindergarten students, this residency will introduce young children to creative movement explorations using pros, movement stories, and guided improvisation. Children will develop body awareness, increased strength and motor coordination. Students will exercise creativity, imagination, rhythm and motion as they explore early dance concepts in a nurturing environment.

Arts Integration Residencies

Infuse your curriculum with kinesthetic learning by incorporating dance into a core unit of study. Our lesson plans are customized to meet your unit learning standards and the National Core Arts Standards for Dance. The residency will culminate with a dance performance inspired by the unit content and demonstrating the students understanding of dance techniques and the unit’s concepts. Available for grades kindergarten – eighth and all subjects.

Sample Arts Integration Residencies:

  • Dance Counts & Math Moves: Place Value, Multiplication/Skip Counting, Shapes
  • Dancing Scientists: Life Cycle of a Butterfly, The Life of a Tree, Tornadoes, Sound & Vibration
  • ELA & Dance: The Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Peter & The Wolf, Romeo & Juliet, or any book, fable or fairytale
  • Poetic Dancing: The Sunflower, The Lion, Acrostic Poem about DANCE
  • Geography: The Compass Rose, North America
  • Government: What is Democracy?
  • Social-Emotional Learning: The Skin I’m In by Pat Thomas, The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler

The World of Dance Residency

Explore a variety of world cultures through their music and dance. Students will be introduced to the people, location, rhythms, music, and dance genres throughout the world.

Sample World of Dance Residencies:

  • Introduction to the World of Dance: Choose your own series of introductory workshops
  • Dancing through the Ages: 1920’s to present day American dance styles
  • African Dance Residency: Intro to African Dance Styles, South African Boot Dance
  • Asian American History: The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
  • Black History: If the People Could Fly by Virginia Hamilton, Harriet Tubman, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have A Dream Speech,
  • Latin Dance Residency: Introduction to Latin Dance Styles such as Salsa, Merengue and Flamenco,Celebrating Cinco de Mayo, Cuban Folktale: The Bossy Gallito
  • Native American History: Pow Wow Native American Dance, The Legend of Bluebonnet

Ballet Residency, Kindergarten – Second Grades

Young students will explore basic ballet posture, positions, classical movement concepts and classical music. Class begins with stretch and strength exercises. Students will develop gross-motor abilities through movements like skipping, galloping, marching and jumping as well as formal ballet steps such as plié, relevé, tendu, and chassé. Students will also learn dance sequences as individuals, in pairs, and as an ensemble as they develop their self-discipline and ability to work together as a group.


Ballet Residency, Third-Eighth Grades

Students will be introduced to the foundation of classical ballet. Technique at developmentally appropriate level. Class begins with stretch and strength exercises. Classical ballet postures, positions and movements are practiced in place, moving across the room and at a barre if available. Students will develop and strengthen gross-motor skills, coordination, balance, muscle strength, and confidence. Students will learn to collaborate as they memorize and perform dance sequences to a mix of modern and classical music.

Let’s Move! Residency

Inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative, TWB’s Let’s Move! Residency aims to reduce childhood obesity in our community by infusing dance into the daily lives of students. Let’s move students learn the art of ballet, as well as strength and conditioning techniques. They will also learn about nutrition, making healthy eating choices and the importance of moving every day. Available for grades pre-k – eighth.

Excel! Scholarships

Participants in our DanceDC residencies are eligible to receive a full, merit-based scholarship to attend The Washington School of Ballet for a full year.

DanceDC School Partnerships:

  • Beers Elementary
  • Bishop Walker School for Boys
  • Bruce Monroe Elementary
  • KIPP DC Arts & Technology Academy
  • John Eaton Elementary
  • O. Wilson Elementary
  • Moten Elementary
  • Malcolm X Elementary
  • Randle Highlands Elementary
  • Smothers Elementary
  • The Washington School for Girls
  • Turner Elementary

If you would like to bring DanceDC to your school, please contact Vanessa Hope, Community Engagement Manager.

Contact Karen Shepherd, Manager of Institutional Giving, to learn how to sponsor a DanceDC residency.

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Meet a Dancer Lecture Demonstrations

Meet a Dancer Lecture Demonstrations

The Washington Ballet Meet A Dancer lecture demonstration is an opportunity for students to meet two professional ballet dancers in costume, see a short performance, and demystify the art form without leaving their school. These can be programmed as classroom visits or as an assembly, allowing for as many students to participate as your space allows. Students will discover what classical ballet is, what it’s like to train and work as a professional dancer, why they wear tutus, how those shoes work, and how they can learn to dance too.

If you would like to bring a lecture demonstration to your school, please contact Vanessa Hope Community Engagement Manager, vhope@washingtonballet.org.

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Student Matinees

Student Matinees

The Washington Ballet student matinee program invites middle school students to experience the joy and artistry of a live ballet performance. To ensure this opportunity is available to all students DC public school students, we offer free tickets and buses through the DC Collaborative’s Arts for Every Student Program.

Our student matinees are one hour experiences, curated for middle school students. They include an narratated introduction, a live ballet performance, and a Q&A with our company dancers.

We also offer free, in-school workshops to give students a more in depth understanding of the performance and chance to dance themselves!

2018.19 Student Matinees

Contemporary Masters
The Nutcracker
The Sleeping Beauty

2019.20 Student Matinees Coming Soon

Apply for tickets.

To learn more about The Washington Ballet Student Matinees, contact Vanessa Hope, Community Engagement Manager, vhope@washingtonballet.org

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