Dance It Forward

Every child deserves to dance. To that end, we created a program that makes dance lessons possible to students with no regard to their ability to pay. We believe that art is an essential part of any community and strives to bring the art of dance to those who otherwise may not have access to professional instruction and performances through this outreach program – Dance it Forward.

Greater York Dance has collaborated with artists and artistic organizations, as well as nonprofit community groups, public and private schools, and service providers to offer dance education classes, lectures and performances in an effort to enrich the lives of others by passing the joy of dance forward.

A variety of options are available through this project. A School Year Program provides multiple weekly dance classes to students (audition required). Workshops offered may provide instruction only; may be combined with a performance opportunity, or be presented in multiple workshops that may be combined to create a residency program specifically suited for school, grade-level and individual student needs. DancExperience is an after school program and a unique way that we Dance It Forward. Students ages 7-12 receive training from our professional faculty and experienced student leaders. Students are introduced to dance and movement free of charge; the experience finished with an onstage performance. Role modeling empowers young people to make smart choices that put them on a better path in life. This occurs naturally in this program as advanced students of the school often assist in teaching. We invite children to learn about the fascinating, creative world of dance every chance we have.

Community Service through NHSDA

National Honor Society For Dance Arts

Founded by NDEO in 2005, the National Honor Society for Dance Arts has many exciting benefit for our students. It allows us to celebrate the artistic and academic achievements of exceptional dance students and helps to create honor, prestige and reward.

Benefits for Students

Student induction into the NHSDA is awarded on the basis of points earned for meritorious work in dance. Other factors may include the following: dance class grade point average, cooperative teamwork, motivation, outreach, choreography, performance, teaching and production. Inductees receive a Certificate of Membership, added prestige in scholarship applications and future resumes, wear NHSDA honor cords and gold honor pins during graduation ceremonies and are eligible to apply for the NDEO Artistic Merit, Leadership and Academic Achievement Award.

NHSDA members have taught free after school ballet lessons to students at Logos Academy, an inner city charter school. The project culminated in a performance in the school’s Spring Showcase. In the upcoming year, we hope to expand this program to other local schools, as well.

Members have collected Toys for Tots, which was timed to coincide with our annual production of The Nutcracker. Our members gathered more than 180 toys for needy children in our community during their month long campaign.

Most recently, the NHSDA dancers made blankets for flood victims and gift bags as a holiday present to children in need.

Other outreach projects and performances included the United Way Kickoff, Dance It Forward Food Drive, York Light Up the Night, Baby & Kids Expo, York Symphony Children’s Concert, and the Degas Project, a joint collaboration with the York Arts Association and Cultural Alliance of York.

Individually, our members also dedicated many hours of service to the community. Some of the agencies included Leg Up Farm, York Rescue Mission, and Make-A-Wish. Members also provided leadership to several area high school dance teams and student governments.

Most of our NHSDA members dance about 20 hours per week with the resident company, Midstate Ballet, while maintaining an aggregate GPA of 3.75. We are also proud of our member and senior company dancer, Alexandra Snell, honored as 2011 Regional Honorable Mention for the NDEO Artistic Merit, Leadership, and Academic Achievement Award.