Dear Friends of CityDance,
I am writing to you today to announce several exciting changes at CityDance. While the past year has been challenging for us all, it has also provided opportunities for reflection. We have paused and evaluated who we are, where we have been, and how we can best position ourselves to continue fulfilling our mission — to transform lives and communities through dance and develop the next generation of dance artists and innovators.
As we step back into our studios this summer and fall, we will be celebrating our 25th year of artistic education, innovation and excellence. We are proud of the work that we have accomplished, grateful for the community of support that has strengthened us, and eager to begin our next 25 years with excitement and optimism for our future. The next chapter of CityDance is bright, and we hope you will join us in celebrating the news of our growth and evolution.
CityDance DREAM begins a new chapter
CityDance DREAM has been sharing dance with thousands of Washington, DC students through free after-school dance classes, summer camps and professional dance performances at school and community sites since 2005. Since then, we have seen many students with innate natural talent who inspired us to create a home in our nation’s capital where talent could be nurtured and supported, surrounded by state-of-the-art facilities and free from barriers to entry. Under the co-directorship of Kelli Quinn and Chandini Darby, the CityDance DREAM School was birthed: a pre-professional training school that prioritizes the creation of opportunities for students of color to train in dance at the highest technical level. In 2017, the school formally opened its doors on U Street, and a new day began.
Since then, Chandini and Kelli have built the foundations of a leading pre-professional dance school with a diverse and interdisciplinary curriculum and an esteemed faculty. Today, they are well-positioned to lead the school to new heights. To this end, I am very proud to announce that this spring, we are beginning the transition of CityDance DREAM into its own 501c3 nonprofit entity with an independent Board of Directors. The CityDance Board of Directors has elected Kim Greenfield Alfonso as its Chair. Chandini Darby will be the school’s Artistic Director, and Kelli Quinn its Executive Director. The school will operate as an affiliate of CityDance under the name The VIVA School of Dance. CityDance will continue to provide operational, finance and fundraising capacity to ensure continuity and support as The VIVA School takes this momentous step.
Visit The VIVA School’s new website to learn more.
CityDance POP! becomes part of CityDance School & Conservatory. Adult Dance and Little Movers programs to expand.
In 2015, under the direction of Ivy Chow, CityDance POP! opened to serve the upper Northwest DC community as a neighborhood studio. POP! quickly became a place where children and adults could foster a love for dance. Its success also meant that it quickly outgrew its small single-studio location.In fall 2021, CityDance POP! will merge with the CityDance School & Conservatory. With locations in Montgomery County, Maryland and Washington, DC, and new locations set to open this fall (stay tuned!), this “merger” will ensure that our broad curriculum of introductory to pre-professional dance is available to all who seek it.
Ivy Chow will lead newly expanded Adult and Little Movers divisions, creating opportunities for dancers of all ages to grow and learn through dance.
Lorraine Spiegler, Founding Artistic Director of the School & Conservatory, will continue preparing young dancers for professional careers through a diverse curriculum that values all genres and exposes students to new cultures, ideas, and the lived experiences of communities around the world. Asanga Domask and Irina Lapteva will continue forward in their leadership roles as Managing Director of the School and Managing Director of the Conservatory, respectively. Since its founding in 2007, the award-winning Conservatory has garnered national and international acclaim, with CityDance alumni dancing professionally across the globe.
At the center of everything we do is a belief in the power of dance to transform a life. Through all of these exciting changes, our students remain at the center of what we do as we continue to nurture, support and reveal the talents and passions of young dancers across our nation’s capital. Thank you all for being part of our journey, and thank you for walking forwards with us into our future.
CityDance, President & CEO
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