DTSF IN THE COMMUNITY
The 2018-19 DTSF Outreach Program will bring dance education, performance, and instruction to local youth through our developing online learning platform and educational dance film series.
Art is an essential part of culture. One of the most inspiring and universal forms of art is dance. Dance can illustrate every aspect of the human experience and it is a powerful outlet for expression. One of the primary goals of DTSF is to share professional dance with the people of the Bay Area, including those who cannot afford dance classes or the price of a ballet ticket. With the government forcing school districts to cut arts programs, it is the responsibility of organizations like DTSF to keep the arts alive, especially for youth.
We want to launch a new educational dance program for students - online. For many students it is very hard to access dance in a meaningful way, particularly for those in underserved communities or those with lower income. Dance classes are expensive. Online learning is not. Online and blended learning has become very popular here in the Bay Area, replacing traditional methods of education. Children are taking courses and learning more than ever before, and in ways that serve them best. But how can a kid learn ballet on the internet? Actually, anybody can go to YouTube and find a ballet barre, or a hip-hop combination. The videos are there. So why can’t we bring this type of online instruction to kids? We can.
The idea is to partner with a local tech company who can help us create the DTSF Virtual Dance Studio where kids can get online video instruction in ballet, jazz, tap, and hip-hop. DTSF dancers will teach correct techniques and the kids can upload videos of themselves doing the lessons, and then connect online with a DTSF dancer to get detailed feedback and critique. We will also hold masterclasses periodically, so our online students can get together in the studio for classes with DTSF. The kids who stick with it, and show dedication and a passion for dancing, will be offered scholarships or funds to attend a real dance school in their area. This program could give these kids a chance at a career in the arts, which they would otherwise never have. We will start the program at the beginning of the school year, with DTSF visiting local public schools. We’ll give a lecture and small performance, and those students who are interested will get information on how to login to our online platform. They’ll connect with us weekly and begin learning whatever discipline of dance they choose.
What about performing onstage? Toward the end of the school year, DTSF will begin teaching choreography for performance in our online classes. The students will learn the steps and at the end of the school year DTSF will return to the school to set and rehearse the piece for a performance on campus for the student body. The kids can get together and make dances of their own too, and perform those as part of the show as well. The students will also learn arts management skills and be responsible for promoting the performance on campus, designing posters, making costumes, writing up programs, and organizing the event.
Educational Dance Films
Another way to connect with kids online is through film, with an educational YouTube channel. We can either launch our own, or partner with an established channel. The objective is to get kids informed and excited about dance and literature by making short dance films that are based on classic moral stories like The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Three Little Pigs, The Tortoise and the Hare, and the like. We don’t intend for these films to be silly or cheesy, but rather artistic and beautiful (although funny at times, when appropriate). They will be enjoyable for adults and dance enthusiasts as well.
Kids will see the beauty and versatility of dance, and learn classic fables that teach important morals and life lessons. Films may also include captioning so younger kids can practice reading. Children who are inspired by these films can then link to our virtual studio if they wish to start taking our dance lessons.
This will be a huge project to take on and will require a lot of work, but it could be greatly beneficial to a large number of young people. It will also benefit our arts community by engaging local artists including dancers, choreographers, filmmakers, costume designers, set designers, composers, and actors.
Please Support Dance Education
As a small dance company, developing a significant outreach program is difficult. We have limited funds, limited staff, and limited time. But if we can teach and inspire kids by using the internet, it would give us the chance to reach many more kids, and reach them where they always are anyway – on a device!
We absolutely need your help to do all of this. Our typical annual budget only covers the expenses of the Fall Program so if we are going to implement this program we must raise additional funding. If you have friends who may be interested in contributing, please send them our way!
Please help us develop our new outreach program so we can share the power of art with people who need it.
For questions, or if you would like to get involved, please contact Annie Henry at
To book an outreach visit please contact Company Manager, Christopher Dunn at