7 Organizations That Use The Power Of Dance

Dance is a versatile art form that keeps people active and helps them express themselves. Some traditional styles pass culture on through generations, while more modern forms keep things fresh and allow for experimentation. Whether you're a dancer, a parent of creative children, or a patron of the arts, consider supporting the seven organizations listed here, which use music and movement in admirable and interesting ways. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Groups That Use Dance In Beneficial And Innovative Ways

Organization Location Mission
American Dance Therapy Association Columbia, MD Define, promote, and support the highest standards of education, credentialing, ethical practice, and professional identity of dance/movement therapists
Joy of Motion Dance Center Washington, DC Cultivate a diverse community of dance students, educators, artists, and audiences in the DC metropolitan area by providing exceptional dance education and performances
Forklift Danceworks Austin, TX Activate communities through a collaborative creative process
Moving in the Spirit Atlanta, GA Use the discipline of dance to help children and teens develop the social, emotional, and cognitive skills they need to thrive
Heidi Duckler Dance Los Angeles, CA Redefine relationships between artists and audiences by presenting bold choreography in extraordinary places
Puerto Rican Folkloric Dance Austin, TX Promote cultural awareness and pride through educational programs and events based in folklore, history, and traditions
Velocity Dance Center Seattle, WA Advance contemporary dance and movement-based art by fostering the creative explorations of artists and audiences

Fun Physical Activities For Dancers

Whether you're a professional or a beginner, dance is a great way to stay active and healthy. If you're looking for some new ways to get the blood pumping, check out these fun activities:

8 Great Dance Movies

  1. Swing Time (1936)
  2. Save the Last Dance (2001)
  3. The Red Shoes (1948)
  4. Black Swan (2010)
  5. Billy Elliot (2000)
  6. West Side Story (1961)
  7. Mad Hot Ballroom (2005)
  8. Dirty Dancing (1987)

The Power Of Dance

In Depth

Some people freeze up if they hear the word "dance," or say that they have no rhythm. They may imagine impossibly beautiful bodies gliding across stages in elegant theaters, or feel too intimidated to ever take a class. The organizations on this list challenge ideas about what dance is, who it is for, and what its subject matters should be. They show that the movement arts can be an inclusive activity for all ages and types of people, and a powerful, healing force for humanity. Here, in no particular order, are seven organizations that use the power of dance.

#1 on the list is the American Dance Therapy Association, or ADTA. Founded in 1966, ADTA promotes the implementation of movement based therapy services, and works to expand opportunities in the field. The only professional dance therapy organization in the US, the association sets certification criteria, offers chapter based membership, and holds a yearly conference. The ADTA website also features information on how to become a dance movement therapist, and a search option for those who want to find a licensed practitioner.

The American Dance Therapy Association runs an affiliated nonprofit; the Marian Chace Foundation. Named for the pioneer of therapeutic dance, the Marian Chace Foundation strives to educate health professionals and the public about the benefits of movement therapy. The foundation also offers research grants and sponsors scholarly lectures. Visit the ADTA blog to read about the benefits of therapeutic dance for refugees, people with mental illness, veterans, and more. You can get involved through advocacy, or offer your support by making an online donation.

You can get involved through advocacy, or offer your support by making an online donation.

In the #2 spot on our list, is the Joy of Motion Dance Center. Founded in 1976 with the principle that dance is for everyone, Joy of Motion has three locations in the Metropolitan Washington D.C. area. The Center's Community Dance School includes basic level classes which are appropriate for beginners. Students are encouraged to take a series of classes in styles such as Modern, Hip Hop, Flamenco, Broadway Jazz, and Ballet.

Committed dancers may audition for Joy of Motion's Dance Institute. The Institute offers an intensive conservatory style curriculum, and includes a program for adults. The Center holds various performances on its stage, and hosts resident professional and youth companies. Its Motion Exchange programs partner with area schools, and provide lessons, performances, and summer learning. You can offer your support by donating online, over the phone, or by mail.

At #3 on our list is Forklift Danceworks. This critically acclaimed company in Austin, Texas, researches and collaborates with a diverse group of communities. Forklift creates innovative performances based on everyday life and work, and pushes the boundaries of what constitutes dance. The company has created projects with employees from Goodwill, Austin Electric, and Williams College Dining Services, among many others. Performances often take place on job sites with workday equipment such as forklifts, trucks, kitchen carts, and cranes.

Forklift creates innovative performances based on everyday life and work, and pushes the boundaries of what constitutes dance.

Forklift Danceworks uses input from communities to tell their stories. "A lot of what we do is listen to people," explains company founder and artistic director, Allison Or. By telling stories about people doing everyday things in ordinary settings, the organization expresses its core belief that everyone is inherently creative. Its three-year residency project, My Park, My Pool, My City, tells the stories of three ordinary urban pools as vital gathering places. You can get involved with Forklift by volunteering or applying to be an intern. Those who want to make a donation can do so with cash or check, online, or over the phone.

Coming in at #4 on our list is Moving in the Spirit, in Atlanta, Georgia. Moving in the Spirit provides creative dance programs for kids who might not otherwise have access to after school enrichment. These programs provide students with the opportunity to develop the cognitive, social, and emotional skills they need to succeed and reach their full potential. They also offer a safe place for children to gain confidence, not only in dance but in life. The organization states that 100% of their teen students finish high school and enroll in college, military service, or vocational school after graduation.

The Stepping Stones program offers age-appropriate classes for kids three to 18. Students gain artistic and technical skills, participate in creating choreography, and have performance and leadership opportunities. There is also a summer camp, a student touring company, and an Apprentice Program. Moving in the Spirit has won several awards and has performed at the White House. You can get involved by advocating, volunteering, or making a donation.

You can get involved by advocating, volunteering, or making a donation.

At #5 on the list is Heidi Duckler Dance. Founder and choreographer, Heidi Duckler, uses places to inspire the performances that her company creates. The company's signature work, Laundromatinee, has been recognized by the National Endowment of the Arts as an American Masterpiece, and has had several incarnations in laundromats since 1988. Heidi Duckler Dance has performed in and around various unconventional spaces, such as Tall Ships, public fountains, libraries, and many others. Dancers interact with, climb, and move around objects as they explore themes connected with physical or conceptual spaces.

Heidi Duckler Dance serves the public with various outreach initiatives. Its DanceMobile program offers short term residencies for kids at community centers, schools, and as part of after school enrichment. The company's Intergenerational program provides workshops to seniors, and its One Leg at a Time project allows incarcerated women to explore personal issues through movement. To get involved, you can become a member. You can also donate online, or by check.

At #6 on our list is Puerto Rican Folkloric Dance, or PRFDance. The company is part of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, which celebrates the history, folklore and indigenous Taino traditions of Puerto Rico. Founded in 1998, it is a multi-generational troupe, with performances that bring pride and cultural tourism to East Austin, Texas. Adult and youth dancers perform together in recitals and bilingual musicals that tell stories from oral histories. By sharing rich musical and dance traditions with young people and the community at large, PRFDance preserves and passes on the living culture of Puerto Rico.

Adult and youth dancers perform together in recitals and bilingual musicals that tell stories from oral histories.

PRFDance offers classes for kids, teens, and adults, which start with basic moves and advance to full length performance choreography. Lessons include popular dances, and various traditional styles such as Danza, Plena, Bomba, Seis, and native Taino. Students also learn about food, culture and history. Teens can enroll in a hip hop class, and there is also a junior company and apprentice program for committed young dancers. Company membership and training is by invitation for those who have attained advanced mastery of the Puerto Rican folkloric style. You can get involved by volunteering, through a business sponsorship, or with a tax-deductible donation.

#7 on our list is Velocity Dance Center in Seattle, Washington. Founded in 1996, Velocity believes that contemporary dance should be a regular part of civic and national culture and that anyone who wants to dance should have the opportunity. Located in Seattle's Capitol Hill Arts District, the center has twelve artist development programs, including Made in Seattle, which supports regional artists. There are classes every day, and performances most weeks of the year. The company strives to enable innovation, give audiences diverse perspectives, and to connect artists to the community.

Velocity supports dancers and their creative development in a variety of ways, including master classes, artist residency programs, affordable space rental, national touring opportunities and more. The Bridge Project gives artists a chance to create a weekend of performances, and includes free access to rehearsal space and a cast of auditioned dancers. You can offer your support by making a donation online, by mail, or by phone.