Community involvement and outreach programs are at the heart of the DanceMotion organization. Below are a list of community outreach we have done in previous years:
Annual Matinee Performance
At a time when education and arts budgets are being drastically reduced, DanceMotion feels it is especially important to do their part to bring arts eduction to youth in the community. This is especially true for underprivileged youth. Each spring, as part of the Company Show, DanceMotion stages a free matinee performance at the Orpheum for underprivileged schools and children. These performances are staged for over 1,000 children each year, providing the children with access to an arts experience in terms of both dance quality and venue that they would otherwise not have access to. DanceMotion pays for the entire cost of the production, including theatre rental and stage crew, as well as transportation when necessary.
In 2002, DanceMotion Artistic Directors Kevin and Meri Bender were inspired to look for a new way to support our community through dance, and that is how DancIn’spiration came to be. Each year DanceMotion contacts elite youth dance companies throughout Arizona to stage this benefit show. Each participating dance company brings numbers of varying genres, which together are woven into an entertaining production of diverse dance disciplines. The studios and dancers get to perform in a professional venue for a good cause, and 100% of the proceeds are donated to a youth-based charitable organization.
Every few years, DanceMotion carefully reviews and interviews potential beneficiary organizations. One of the original beneficiaries was the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Another prominent recipient was the Caitlin Robb Foundation, which provides funds for children’s cancer care and research. The current beneficiary is Sunshine Angels, a local youth-based charity. In identifying potential beneficiaries, DanceMotion focuses on finding local, youth-based, non-profit charitable organizations that are willing to work in coordination with other likeminded organizations, and for whom the donation will have a direct and meaningful impact on the lives of children.
DancIn’spiration is proud to have celebrated a decade of benefit concerts in service of the community, and planning is already well underway for the 11th annual performance in early 2012. In the first 10 years, DanceMotion is proud to have raised and donated over $50,000.
Public performances such as the Matinee performance of the Company Show and DancIn’spiraction are great ways to bring dance arts to the community, but there is more to arts education than performance. Many children are interested in dance and want to take classes, but are unable to do so for a variety of reasons. Through our DanceMotion Partnering Program, we are able to send dancers into local public schools to offer free after-school dance classes. This gives children in the community the opportunity to participate in dance and learn through a structured curriculum, while providing a valuable outreach and volunteer opportunity for DanceMotion members. In the past several years, DanceMotion has partnered with Palomino Elementary and Arrowhead Elementary schools in the northeast valley.