Mission & Milestones
Dancing Classrooms Philly’s mission is to foster self-esteem, social awareness and joy in children by providing the opportunity to learn and perform social dance.
Through our social dance instruction, we help to improve the climate of school communities across the Philadelphia region by building confidence in students, breaking down social barriers, and inspiring respect for all individuals. We envision transformative arts programs in all school communities that nurture creativity, build confidence, and promote a culture of mutual respect and well-being.
- DCP was launched in June 2007 as the principal initiative of Arts in Schools Collaborative by local advocates Jane Brooks, Joyce Burd and Harvey Kimmel (right).
- Since 2007, we have worked with more than 33,000 fifth and eighth grade students in public, charter, special needs, and parochial schools across the Delaware Valley. In our founding year, we served 50 classrooms – more than any other pilot program in the country at that time.
- In 2008-09, we created the Dancing Classrooms Philly Academy (formerly known as the Saturday Scholarship Program) to expand our reach and offer more specialized dance lessons over a 10-week Saturday course at three locations. Soon after, the DCP Allstars were formed for those who excelled and wished to go even further in their dance studies.
- In 2012, Dancing Classrooms Philly formed a dynamic partnership with Musicopia to provide both organizations with a more efficient infrastructure while advancing their missions and community impact. Musicopia and DCP are both committed to working with children and schools that lack adequate arts education programs or have little access to the regions’ cultural life.
- In 2013, we expanded our programming to reach not only fifth grade students, but also eighth grade students and students in special needs schools.
- In 2017 DCP celebrated its 10th anniversary. Click here to read reflections from the DCP family and click here to read a feature piece in The Dance Journal.
- In 2019-20, DCP began offering residencies with gender neutral circles. Independence Charter School, Penn Alexander School, and Woodlynde School were the first to pilot circles arranged randomly, rather than by gender identity.
- For the start of the 2020-21 school year, DCP debuted a new look. We work diligently to strengthen the inclusivity of our residency, and this is just one of the many ways we are able to show respect for all individuals and promote our mission of fostering self-esteem, social awareness and joy.
- In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, DCP began offering virtual, hybrid, and in-person socially-distanced residencies for the 2020-21 school year.
- During the 2020-21 school year, DCP began offering Latin, Hip-Hop, and Salsa residencies to students in grades 3 and up, as well as at after school organizations and community groups.