Happy New Year 2019!
Thank you to our donors, site partners, parents, staff, students, sponsors, and community members for supporting Everybody Dance Now! this year! Your support has helped us provide over 3,000 hours of classes to students across the US, giving youth a safe, positive environment to explore their creativity and build community. Your willingness to give back is driving the expansion of our work. Because you believed in us, we are now in the midst of launching four new chapters in 2019. You’ve helped us build capacity, invest in hiring talented local teachers, and find new ways to track classroom outcomes. Thank you for being part of our family. We look forward to sharing the stories that emerge in our programs as a result of your gift. Please find our national Fall 2018 programmatic update report below. We plan on creating these reports to share with you at the end of each quarter to keep you posted on our progress of expansion, teacher trainings, community events, and more!
Fall 2018 Programmatic Updates
The Everybody Dance Now! National team took this Fall 2018 to establish many of our processes and lay a strong model for new pilot chapters (Inland Empire, Portland, Los Angeles County, York). We have streamlined our technology and software infrastructure to prepare for growth, increase efficiency in team communication, more accurately track outcomes. We will also begin to evaluate student process along Social and Emotional Learning based standards.
National Staff Updates:
Jordan, EDN! Chicago Chapter Director, is also overseeing organizational strategy as our National Operations Director. His attention to detail will be a key piece in helping new chapters create internal systems.
Jared Fischer, our grant writer, is increasing his workload as EDN! expands into new markets. His experience with raising funds for dance organizations as well as theater companies and visual artists is a huge asset.
This Fall our National Director, Kelli Forman, transitioned from Santa Barbara Director to National Director, overseeing chapter expansion. Kelli has been focusing her energy on building chapters’ programs, goals, fundraising efforts, partnerships, and workflow. Although Kelli is abroad with her husband this year in India (due to his PhD work), she has been able to continue her remote work without much difficulty. Kelli will be visiting the States, and most of our chapters, during the month of June 2019. She looks forward to visiting with our donors, community partners, students, families, and staff.
This month, we will onboarding National Marketing Director Kelsie Jeffords to work 5-10 hours each week in keeping our social media and online presence going strong.
Our National Program Director, Cebo Terry Carr, created new teacher onboarding processes including surveys, audition rubrics, and supporting training materials. With his experience in opening a studio in Japan and teaching the fundamentals of street dance for over ten years, Cebo translates his expertise into what he describes as the EDN! Way: a programmatic focus on Cultural Dissemination, Social and Emotional Learning, and Classroom Management. He will be spending time with each of our chapters to make sure our teaching teams are performing at the highest standards.
This Fall our Executive Director, Kunle Oladehin, invited a new member into his family! Tobi Oladehin was born September 15th, and Kunle went on paternity leave until the end of October. Kunle passed the torch of New York City Director position to Michele Byrd this Fall so that he could focus on National development and strategy.
We are excited to announce Adesola Osakalumi as a new board member. Adesola is an award-winning actor, choreographer, singer, and dancer whose talents have garnered him successes in film, television, and on Broadway. He is perhaps best recognized as a lead in the National Tour of the Broadway hit musical FELA!, which won three Tony Awards in 2010. To rave reviews, Adesola was the lead during the musical’s first national tour as well as when it returned to Broadway the following summer. He has the distinction of having co-created and co-directed the Off-Broadway hit Jam on the Groove, the first ever hip hop theater production. It received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Best Choreography. Adesola is also co-founder of the legendary GhettOriginal Productions Dance Company. His work has earned him a Bessie Award, a Drama Desk Award nomination, and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Adesola also teaches and lectures about his craft at places as distinct as the Urban Assembly of Music and Art in Brooklyn, the International TANZWOCHEN in Vienna, The Bronx Lab School, OBS in Taiwan, and the Artcaval Festival in Paris. In leadership, Adesola has served as Artistic Director for Hip Hop Kung Fu at The Asia Society (featuring hip hop artists from Japan, China, and the US), a Board Member of Dancing in the Streets, and has been a choreographic mentor for Pentacle.
Santa Barbara Programmatic Updates:
Bethany Sutherland joined our team this September as the new Everybody Dance Now! Santa Barbara Chapter Director. Bethany is a multi-creative artist, engineer, and designer who currently resides in sunny Santa Barbara, California. In 2012, she graduated with a BS in Engineering Physics and a minor in Art from Westmont College. Since graduating, she has dabbled in many entrepreneurial and creative areas out of a passion to integrate form and function in different facets of her life. Beyond her engineering and design endeavors, Bethany enjoys performing and teaching dance in the community. She was teaching for Everybody Dance Now! when she applied for the position, so her understanding of our mission is something that she understands on multiple levels. This Fall Bethany facilitated some of our largest programmatic outreach yet: 33 classes per week this quarter in Goleta, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Isla Vista, Carpinteria, and surrounding areas.
This Fall, with the support of the Leni Fe Bland Foundation and in partnership with Santa Barbara Dance Institute, we were able to work with our first ever early years students through Santa Barbara Unified School District. Both teaching artists for the Early Years Dance Project were trained in early childhood dance education over the Summer through institutions such as Luna Dance Institute in San Francisco and 92Y Dance Education Laboratory in New York City. Also with the support of the Leni Fe Bland Foundation, this Fall Everybody Dance Now! collaborated with the AHA! Team to create a 60-minute lesson plan merging dance foundation and social and emotional learning skills to offer to those EDN! students at A-OK Programs (Santa Barbara Unified School District) during the Winter quarter.
With the support of the Center for Cultural Innovation, Kelli Forman was able to host two teacher trainings in Santa Barbara with two cultural dissemination experts: TweetBoogie and Professor Moncell Durden. While they were in Santa Barbara, TweetBoogie and Moncell also offered direct consultations to Kelli on curriculum and teacher training methodology.
Our community came together on Friday, December 14th at the Santa Barbara County Education Office Auditorium for the 2018 Everybody Dance Now! Holiday Performance. The night was filled with dance and holiday spirit! Students, teachers, parents, and other local dance companies performed for one another and supported artists of all ages and backgrounds. This annual event is open to the public and donation-based entry. Thank you to the SBCEO for allowing us to utilize your space for our annual event and to our event sponsors: Killer B Fitness & Blenders in the Grass. Thank you to our local and national donors who make this programming possible: The Léni Fé Bland Performing Arts Partnership, The Towbes Performing Arts Foundation, Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation, Center for Cultural Innovation, The Eichholz Foundation, The Jody and John Arnhold Foundation, The Dizzy Feet Foundation, Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture, The City of Santa Barbara, The Fund for Santa Barbara's Youth Making Change Grant, The Kirby-Jones Foundation, The Hutton-Parker Foundation, The Granada Theater, and Santa Barbara Tire and Service Center.
This upcoming Winter and Spring, EDN! Santa Barbara teaching artists plan to attend a west coast teacher training with our National Program Director Cebo Terry Carr, a Santa Barbara teacher training with classroom management expert Diane Duggan, and a teacher training with an expert Chicago Footwork dancer and international teacher, King Charles, during his visit to Santa Barbara for the Day of Movement in June. Santa Barbara instructors also plan on attending the annual USC Cypher in Los Angeles and hold monthly online training calls with Cebo Terry Carr focused on programmatic development and optional online seminars with Michele Byrd focused on personal professional development.
Portland Programmatic Updates:
This Summer Jesus Rodales became the Chapter Director for the newly founded Portland chapter. Jesus started his dance career as a freestyler, specializing in Tutting and Popping. He later joined Element Dance Studio's Competition Company at age 17 expanding his knowledge to other styles of styles such as Hip Hop and House. Having an Entrepreneurial Mindset, Jesus is the Co-founder of “Find A Way Threads," a lifestyle brand dedicated to helping others achieve their goals.
Jesus has been working to reach potential site partners such as Sun Schools, Hillsboro School District, Eastwood After School Programming, The Latino Network, and other community centers/partners. We will be hearing back from some funding proposals in the upcoming months. The chapter is currently creating an action plan towards programmatic and fundraising goals -- reaching 5-8 weekly classes by the end of 2019, acquiring local government and foundation support, and bringing Cebo to Portland in the Spring of 2019 to onboard new teachers.
Los Angeles County Programmatic Updates:
This Fall Alex Almaraz founded the currently forming EDN! Los Angeles County chapter and became the Chapter Director. Alex Almaraz aka “Swift” is a dance educator and teaches Hip-Hop as an action to create social change. Alex has trained in Hip-Hop, House, Locking, Salsa, Chicago Footwork, Modern and other dance forms. Alex since 2011 was apart of Versa-Style Dance Company, a Hip-Hop theatre company and Non-profit organization that served the lower income and underserved communities of Los Angeles. Alex graduated from UCLA obtained his degree in Dance and he wishes to give back to his immediate community while training, battling, and performing. Kelli is currently working intensively with Alex to solidify a partnership with the WRAP Program in Long Beach Unified School District and other entities within Los Angeles County.
Inland Empire Programmatic Updates:
This Summer, Nathieli and Chris Bishop founded the EDN! Inland Empire chapter and became the Co-Chapter Directors. Nathieli and Chris are a dynamic duo, as a married couple and artistic partners. We are very excited to have their expertise and passion for the arts on our team.
Nathieli is a Dancer, Community Organizer, and Arts Advocate. Born in Acapulco, Mexico and raised in Santa Ana, California, the rich Hispanic cultural traditions of music, dance and family fiestas inspired a natural dancer in her at a very young age. Her formal dance training began at the age of 9 while attending a summer outreach program hosted at a local performing arts academy. She danced and performed in various genres from modern, ballet and hip-hop, to world dances such as Haitian, West African, Bollywood, Bharatanatyam and Shishi-Mai. Nathieli graduated from RCC in 2012 and transferred to UC Riverside, receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Arts Management and a minor in Dance in 2015. Nathieli is on a journey to utilize her professional skills in administration and outreach to give back to the youth in the community through the arts.
Chris Bishop is a Dancer, Graphic Designer, DJ and owner of his personal brand 3ish. He was raised in the Coachella Valley and began Popping during his senior year at Cathedral City High School in 2008. Since then, Chris moved from the Coachella Valley to attend Riverside City College and transferred to the University of California, Riverside where he received his B.A. in Sociology with administrative studies emphasizing in marketing and advertising. Upon graduation in 2015, Chris joined a collective called the 1212 Sessions which hosts biweekly dance sessions and events for his community. Chris has been fortunate to learn Popping, Animation and Boogaloo from many influential Poppers in the LA/Bay Area dance scenes, and continues to spread the knowledge to the next generation.
Early this January, the EDN! Inland Empire teaching team provided daily classes at a middle school arts intensive through Palm Springs Unified School District. This one-week arts intensive, organized by Mandy Gonzales in collaboration with other teaching artists and community/non-profit leaders, focused on engaging middle school students and sparking their academic interests through exposure of different arts-related disciplines. The goal is to prevent students from becoming completely disengage with school, academics, classmates, teachers, and their community. EDN!’s provided effective Dance Programming each day of the intensive, by having a teaching artist teach for two hours. A dance presentation--cypher circle and open mic knowledge sharing-- took place the last day of the intensive, where kids will were given the opportunity to share and unite in conversation & movement on what they learned during the week.
Then mid-January, weekly classes will commence at Desert Hot Springs High School and Cathedral City High School through our partnership with Palm Springs Unified School District. The week long intensive was such a successful that the district would like EDN! IE to also work with three classes at a middle school and two to three classes at an elementary school starting at the end of January. All students will participate in 10-12 weeks of programming. The programming will conclude in the Day of Movement, a community-building day of dance, artistic exchange, and performances.
York Programmatic Updates:
This Summer Siya Brown founded the currently forming EDN! York chapter in direct partnership with Positive Energy Arts. Siya Brown is the York, PA Chapter Director and an emerging leader in her Community. In high school she studied jazz, ballet, and hip-hop dance but went on to pursue a degree in Communications and PR at Temple University. That experience, combined with her passion for building community and inspiring youth, landed her a small roll at Positive Energy Arts in 2016, which is a nonprofit dedicated to providing arts programming to underserved youth. Siya now serves as the Program Director and she plans to use her platform to creating space for communities and artists to engage, enrich, and inspire others!
Over the Summer three of the York teaching artists attended the New York City teacher training with members from our NYC and National Team. Additionally, Cebo and Tweetboogie held a training in October in York with the teaching staff. This Fall Siya and the existing teaching team hosted weekly hip hop dance classes at a local studio to prepare existing teachers and scout for additional local teaching artists in preparation for Winter and Spring site partnerships.
The National Team has been working with Siya to create goals for the 2019 year including applying for local and state-wide grant funding, increasing presence in the community, and growing programming with 2-3 potential site partners. During the Fall quarter, York teaching artists were also able to reach students at a local girls home as well as the local studio. Also, exciting news that we are starting programming this week at a new site partner, St. Matthews Lutheran Church, with a teacher named Brian Frazier.
New York City Programmatic Updates:
This Fall, New York City chapter was very excited to have Michele Byrd leading the team! Michele is the New York City Chapter Director and a leader in the NYC dance community. Michele earned her BS at Temple University and a MS in Nonprofit Arts Management from Drexel University. Now living in the NYC area, Michele recently celebrated 13-years of presenting Ladies of Hip-Hop Festival. Michele provides organization and artist consulting services; production management services and continues to be an advocate for the Hip-Hop dance community, especially for women.
RETURNING SITE PARTNERS: For the 2018/2019 year EDN! NY welcomed back International High School at Laguardia Community College in Queens, Kingsbridge Heights Community Center in the Bronx and The Salvation Army in Long Island City. All three of the above sites have been great partners. These site partners maintain ongoing program communication with myself and the teachers. They also have supported our annual Day of Movement event.
NEW SITE PARTNERS: Uncommon Collegiate Charter in Brooklyn, Girls Prep Bronx, and Sunnyside Community Services at Queens Technical High School in Long Island City are new sites for EDN! New York. These sites are joining us for the 2018/2019 school year. Each site has been supportive and communicative site partners.
SPECIAL EVENTS & WORKSHOPS: Over the past summer EDN! New York has worked with THRIVE Arts Collective and PowerPlay NYC providing dance workshops as part of their summer camps. We received great feedback from each partnership and are looking forward to working with them again this coming summer.
For the past 2-years EDN! New York has provided special one-off workshops for New York Edge. NYE is a non-profit organization and one of the largest providers of school-based afterschool programs in New York City and the metropolitan region. They impact more than 20,000 students from over 100 sites in grades K-12 typically in underserved neighborhoods. We are looking to continue building with New York Edge.
On September 26th, a collective of New York City dance companies and dancers came together for the opening performance of WE Day event at the Barclays Center. The companies involved were Everybody Dance Now!, Brickhouse NYC, The Dynamic Kids, Ladies of Hip Hop, TweetBoogie, and Rep Your Style. We are so grateful for the project's phenomenal directors and choreographers: Michele Byrd, TweetBoogie, Kelly Peters, Kid Glyde, and Melanie Aguirre. Thank you times a million to WE Day for this incredible performance opportunity.
2019 EXPANSION: EDN! New York is working to bring on 3 to 5 new partnerships this year through a combination of networking with new organizations and continued deepening connections with current site partners.
Chicago Programmatic Updates:
This Fall, the Chicago provided weekly or bi-weekly dance programming at Peace Corner Youth Center, Envision Unlimited Westtown Center, and Afterschool Matters Downtown. They are excited to continue those partnership while growing programming and developing new partnerships with entities such as the Opera-Matic program and Austin Career Education Center during the next handful of months in preparation for the Summer and Fall quarters.
A special event that Everybody Dance Now! Chicago participated in this past quarter was the Afterschool Matters Winter Intensive where EDN! Teachers led daily classes with low-income youth in partnership with Afterschool Matters. It was a huge success with highly engaged participants. EDN! Chicago also hired a Chicago-based Grant Writer, Mary Visconti, who has many years in the field serving Chicago non-profits. Another neat partnership established this past quarter was holding a joint fundraiser for Ghana Move the World. Funds will go to support a dance service trip in February for EDN! Chicago leaders in partnership with EmpathyFX & Tou Ger Lee.
Houston Programmatic Updates:
This Fall our EDN! Houston partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Houston were put on hold, and we have just confirmed that they are interested in starting programming back up in the Spring or Summer of 2019. We decided to take the Fall quarter to research and bring on new partnerships. During the Fall, Christine Londergan moved to Austin, Texas to pursue her legal career. Christine will be continuing some backend work for the chapter and Le’Andre Douglas will step up as the Houston Chapter Director.
Le’Andre Douglas is a nationally accomplished dancer, choreographer and teacher with over a decade of professional dance experience. Le’Andre has performed, choreographed for, and been apart for the creative process for artists Tamar Davis, Pitbull, Omarion, B.o.B, rock legend Pat Benatar, The Bare Naked Ladies; hip hop legends LL Cool J, Kid'n Play, Big Daddy Kane, The Sugar Hill Gang, and many more. In his hometown Mr.Douglas is also pleased to been the resident choreographer for Bace Productions Motown Revue at The Miller Outdoor Theater, Radio One’s Boomsquad, and several festivals like the annual Star Wars Art Festival. Mr. Douglas believes that a diverse styles of dance are essential in the makeup of a whole artist, and is the building blocks to revolutionize dance and theatre. Through this philosophy he expresses his love and passion for the arts and the Creator. We look forward to the energy that Le’Andre will bring to the existing strong team in Houston! Le’Andre has already made valuable connections for future site partners such as the Houston YMCA network, Shape Center, and other districts.
Boston Programmatic Updates:
Co-Directors Jane Duan and Sean Bjerk are currently in the research phase for setting up a Boston Everybody Dance Now! Chapter. The National Team plans to cultivate the chapter over the Winter and Spring and encourage site partnership and funding development during the Spring and Summer of 2019. The dynamic duo has already solidified a collaboration with the 3 Point Foundation in Boston for a pilot program to begin in February. We will keep you posted on our progress in Boston!
Thank you again for supporting Everybody Dance Now!.