DREAM Program


CityDance DREAM is a nationally recognized after-school program, providing dance classes, performance opportunities, mentoring, tutoring and college counseling to students from underserved communities across Washington, DC. DREAM has been serving youth in grades three through twelve at public schools and community sites across the nation’s capital since 2005. DREAM’s mission is to use dance as a pathway for youth to graduate from high school, discover their potential and pursue their dreams. 

“I have personally witnessed the impact CityDance DREAM has on young people’s lives," Muriel Bowser Mayor, District of Columbia.

Student Voices

Established as a 10-week after school program serving 15 students, DREAM was started in the hallways of Green Elementary in Washington DC's Ward 8. Our roots provided youth participants with dance activities while fostering a greater connection with their peers, schools and the community.

By adopting best practices in youth development with continuous student, family and community feedback, our proven model of success delivers multi-year programming that prepares today’s youth for academic, professional, and personal success tomorrow.

We believe that dance has the power to transcend barriers and transform lives; that all youth are capable of living healthy, productive and meaningful lives; and that they deserve equal opportunities, supports and services, regardless of their background and socio-economic status.

In 2015, DREAM received The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the Nation’s highest honor for after-school arts and humanities programs.

Looking to the future, CityDance DREAM is preparing for its next chapter to meet the growing needs of our youth: opening its own 15,000 square foot facility in the heart of downtown DC, The DREAM Center for Dance, and delivering an intensive dance curriculum with comprehensive academic and family services.

Expanding Our DREAM

Over the next five years, the $9 million DREAM Builders Campaign will capitalize the CityDance DREAM Center for Dance to include a new facility, significant deepening and expansion of programming, and an increased capacity to enroll more students. Located on Historic U Street in downtown Washington, DC, the DREAM Center for Dance will provide a stable, permanent home where our students can feel safe and supported for the longterm. Surrounded by a dedicated team of professional teaching artists and experienced social service staff, our students will be armed with the tools and skills necessary for successful transitions from childhood to adolescence and into adulthood.

The DREAM Builders campaign will fuel the transformation of more lives through dance.

DREAM Center for Dance

Funding Needed: 3 Million

Funds will support the build-out of state-of-the-art dance studios, a black-box theater, an education center, family services and counseling suites, and administrative offices

Programmatic & Operational Growth

Funding Need: $6 Million

With the expansion of our programming, we are ensuring more students have the tools to pursue and achieve their dreams.

Funds will enable DREAM to triple the number of students served and support the operations of the DREAM Center for Dance in the following key areas:

  • Dance Training & Education: Intensive dance training classes in multiple genres, access to renowned faculty, artists and companies, participation in summer intensives and performances throughout the year.
  • Academic Services: Providing a full academic and college preparatory curriculum of educational resources and mentorship to all students, implemented and managed on-site.
  • Family Services: In-house and drop-in counseling for students on-site and comprehensive parent engagement activities and enrichment workshops. 

March 02, 2017

DREAM's Washington Wizards Halftime performance

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February 28, 2017

Watch DREAM's National Partner, The Wooden Floor, on NBC

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February 01, 2017

DREAM's Washington Wizards Halftime Rehearsal

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October 14, 2016

Media Advisory: CityDance Launches DREAM Builders Investment Campaign

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January 10, 2017

DREAM's College Dive in Day

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December 01, 2016

CityDance DREAM Participates in Master Class with Lizt Alfonso from Cuba

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September 13, 2016

CityDance DREAM Performs During the Washington Mystics halftime

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September 06, 2016

CityDance DREAM to Perform at the Washington Mystics Game

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August 05, 2016

DREAM Students Give Back to the Community!

DREAM students spent an afternoon picking blackberries and fruit at City Orchard. All of the fruit they picked will be distributed to DC residents in need through Bread for the City’s two food pantry locations.

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August 02, 2016

DREAM Acting Workshop

DREAM Summer Youth Employment Program students participated in an acting and improvisation workshop this summer.

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July 28, 2016

CityDance DREAM Graduation Party

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July 19, 2016

DREAM Students Participate in Body Positive Workshop

DREAM students learn about body positivity and awareness...

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July 19, 2016

DREAM's First Summer Intensive

DREAM students participated in their FIRST 2 week summer dance intensive.

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July 13, 2016

DREAM Ballroom Class

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July 12, 2016

DREAM Students Volunteer at DC Central Kitchen

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July 07, 2016

CityDancers of Insta Summer Takeover Featuring Shanya of DREAM

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July 05, 2016

DREAM College Tour of Howard University

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June 29, 2016

DC Style Factory Workshop for DREAM students

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June 28, 2016

Conservatory and DREAM Students Perform "Tango Zero" at the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Annual Meeting

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June 22, 2016

Congratulations to our first DREAM graduates, Janay Scott and Valeria Cruz, on receiving their high school diploma!

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June 01, 2016

Build DREAMs with Do More 24

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May 25, 2016

DREAM's Trip to the Capitol

By Megan Piluk

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May 20, 2016

Whole Foods Tenley Selects CityDance DREAM as their Nickels for Nonprofits Recipient

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May 10, 2016

DREAM students meet DC Mayor Muriel Bowser

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May 09, 2016

Review: CityDance’s ‘DREAMscape’ at The Lincoln Theatre

By Madeline Duff in DC Metro Theater Arts

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May 05, 2016

DREAM students prepare for this weekend's performance

A mid-rehearsal break.

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April 11, 2016

CityDance DREAM Launches Ballet and Modern Classes

CityDance DREAM has expanded from a hip hop focused curriculum to launch ballet and modern classes with teacher Joan Ayap.

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April 01, 2016

CityDance DREAM Spring Break trip to NYC!

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November 18, 2015

First Lady Michelle Obama recognized CityDance DREAM at the White House yesterday. CityDance was presented with the nation's...

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November 17, 2015

White House Ready!

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October 07, 2015

Hispanic Heritage Month DREAM Celebration

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May 10, 2015

Last night The Lincoln Theatre came alive with electric performances from dance superstars around the nation! Today we celebrate...

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March 06, 2015

CityDance DREAM gave the performance of a lifetime tonight at the sold out Washington Wizards game! From rehearsal to...

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October 27, 2014

CityDance DREAM students enjoyed a lecture/demonstration by @dthballet Dance Theatre of Harlem at Sidney Harman Hall. They saw...

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September 23, 2014

It was wonderful to see CityDance OnStage Ignite Artist S.J. Ewing, her company S. J. Ewing & Dancers, #CityDance Conservatory...

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September 12, 2014

Loving the energy at the CityDance Dancing in One Language Kick off shows in #DC public schools! #assembly #artsed #DanceEd...

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June 27, 2014

Great day at the #folklife festival with Dancing in One Language campers! #smithsonian #smiles #culture #kenya

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May 12, 2014

What an amazing weekend of dance at The Lincoln Theatre on #UStreet! Thank you to all of the amazing artists who came to DC from...

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October 19, 2013

CityDance DREAM Alumni students talked to Mayor Gray about the importance of afterschool programming and taught some dance warm...

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June 13, 2012

CityDance DREAM shot a PSA with the Washington Mystics at the Verizon Center. Pictured: CityDance DREAM students Estephany...

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November 01, 2016

CityDance's Partnership with the Wooden Floor

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November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving from our CityDance family to yours!

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November 29, 2016

It's #GivingTuesday... Help build a DREAM!

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DREAM accepts top White House honor for youth arts programming. 

The Challenge

Our Solution

The DREAM Builders Campaign