Dance to Unite is partnering with eight after-school programs in Manhattan's Lower East Side, Chinatown, Brooklyn and the Bronx for the 2018-2019 school year. Free dance classes are offered to students from first to eighth grade weekly throughout the school year (October to June).
Since 2009, Dance to Unite has taught over 1,400 students. This school year, 212 students are participating. Dance styles include hip hop, contemporary, ballet, Bollywood, ballroom, Bharatanatyam, lyrical, Latin, fusion, jazz, and belly dance.
Teachers choose clean music that holds a positive message.
There are an estimated 176 languages spoken by students in the NYC public schools, and approximately 1/3 of all New Yorkers were born in another country. Dance to Unite provides opportunities for children to experience and learn the value of cultural diversity.
Circle talk is the core aspect of each Dance to Unite class. This is so much more than dance! Teachers guide students in exploring 13 Steps to Unity which are positive concepts that help students understand, accept, and celebrate cultural diversity.
13 Steps to Unity
Dance to Unite, Culture, Unity, Acceptance, Compassion, Respect, Positive Intention, Giving, Kindness, Caring, Bonding, Love and Peace.
These concepts are woven throughout the one-hour classes each week. Students live out the concepts when they help each other, offer support and kindness to others, and respect others’ differences.
Each class receives one workshop per year conducted by a special guest artist. These workshops bring Circle Talk concepts to life by celebrating additional cultures through different dance styles, art presentations, or other unique programs. See the Gallery page and our Guest Artists page for examples of past workshops.
Every class rehearses a dance routine throughout the school year and holds an end-of-the-year performance for parents, school staff, fellow students and members of the community.
Partner Agencies and Schools
Partner agencies and schools are chosen each year based on availability of space, staff, and volunteer teachers in the area.
Current Partner Agencies:
Educational Alliance / Manhattan's Lower East Side (2013 - present)
Chinese American Planning Council (CPC) / Chinatown and Brooklyn (2016 - present)
University Settlement / (2017 - present)
International School for Liberal Arts / (2017 - present)
Current Participating Schools / Community Centers:
P.S 140 / Manhattan's Lower East Side (2013 - present)
P.S 2 / Chinatown (2013 - present)
P.S 42 / Chinatown (2013 - present)
P.S 63 / Lower East Side (2017 - present)
P.S 64 / Lower East Side (2016 - present)
P.S 134 / Lower East Side (2017 - present)
P.S 153 / Brooklyn (2016 - present)
M.S International School of Liberal Arts / Bronx (2017 - present)
Past Partner Agencies and Schools:
Grand Street Settlement - Beacon Center / Manhattan's Lower East Side (2009 - 2012)
Grand Street Settlement - Bushwick Hylan Center / Brooklyn (2010)
The Youth Success Network / New Jersey (August 2014)
Encore / Brooklyn (2013 - 2015)
Simpson Street Development Association (SISDA) / Bronx (2014-15)
Harlem Center for Education / East Harlem (2015)
Harlem RBI / East Harlem (2015 - 2016)
Bronx Community Charter After School / North Bronx (2015)
McBurney YMCA/ Chelsea (2014 - 2016)
Immigration Social Services (ISS) / Chinatown (2013 - 2016)
Wediko Children's Services / Bronx (2015 - 2017)
Union Settlement with Rising Stars After School Program / East Harlem (2015 - 2018)
P.S 188 / Manhattan's Lower East Side (2013 - 2014)
Brooklyn's Endeavor Middle School / Brooklyn (2014 - 2015)
P.S 171 Patrick Henry / East Harlem (2015)
116 Rafael Hernandez School / Bronx (2014)
Harlem RBI's Community Space / East Harlem (2015)
P.S 33 / Chelsea (2014 - 2017)
P.S 142 / Lower East Side (2017)
Washington Houses Community center / East Harlem (2015 - 2018)
M.S 363 / Bronx (2015 - 2017)
P.S 130 / Chinatown (2016)
Bronx Community Charter School / North Bronx (2015 - 2017)