Get to know our students

February spotlight: Essence // Goodman Community Center


Why do you like to dance? 

Because it's fun and jazzy!

What's your favorite part of class? 

I love all of it! I just love to dance! 

What's your favorite thing to do when your not dancing? 

I like to draw pictures!

How do you feel when you are dancing? 

I feel excited! I dance all the time. At school, at home, and at the center! 

Who's your favorite person to dance with? 

I like to dance with Ms. Jessica and Ms. Brooke. 

January Spotlight: Adonis // East Madison Community Center  


Tell us about yourself! 

My name is Adonis and I am 13 years old and I go to O'Keeffe Middle School. I like to hang out with my friends at the Center and I'm a goofy guy. 

What do you like to do besides dance? 

I like to play basketball and a lot of other sports. 

What is your favorite subject in school? 

I like math and art. I like to be creative but I also like numbers and figuring out problems. 

What's your favorite part of dance class? What's your favorite part about performing? 

My favorite part of class is working with the other kids to create a dance. I like practicing the dance and getting it right. Putting all the pieces together in your head and then putting it into your body. I'ts kinda like math because you have to sometimes solve problems. My favorite part of performing was being with my sisters and my brother on stage. 

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

I want to be a construction worker because I like to work hard or someone who solves math problems. Or maybe both. 

December Spotlight: Essince // Elver Park Neighborhood Center


Tell us about yourself!

My name is Essince I am nine years old and in the fourth grade. I go to Falk Elementary School.

What's your favorite thing about dance?

My favorite thing about dance class is that I can express how I'm feeling in my dance.

What do you like to do besides dance?

I like to sing, I like science, and I like to do art. I'm going to be a physicist and a fashion designer when I grow up! 

Whats one interesting fact about yourself?

Not a lot of people know that I have an older brother that is 13 years old.

What's your favorite dance move?

My favorite dance move is the dance cube, where you move in every direction. You can do i really fast or really slow. It's really fun!


November Spotlight: Kindergarten Class // Leopold Elementary School 


Why did you choose to participate in Performing Ourselves?

I did it last year with my 1st grade class and I loved the experience. My class is bilingual and it is a great way for us to grow as a community through movement because everyone can participate. 

What did you like most about your class participating in performing ourselves? 

I saw my kids gain more confidence and  become more comfortable and outgoing. 

Do you have a moment or story you would like to share about your class or students(s)?

All of my students wanted to dance more during choice when the Performing Ourselves residency was over. They wanted to continue moving! 

What are some skills that were addressed through performing ourselves? 

Body control, bubble space, moving through small / medium /  large kinesphere space as well as moving quickly and slowly. They have much more control over their bodies and a greater understanding of their movement. 


october spotlight: Janessa // allied drive learning center 


Tell us about yourself! 

My name is Janessa Garcia. I am 10 years old and in 5th grade. My favorite subject in school is math because I love to be challenged and art because I love to be creative. When I grow up I want to be a singer or a dancer because dancing helps to represent the song and what it means to each person. 

 What's your favorite hobby? 

I like to play with my dogs, watch TV, and play computer games. 

What's your favorite thing about dance? 

I like that there's a big group of us and no one judges each other. It feels very opening. Normally, I don't like dancing in front of people because I feel like I'm going to be judged but at dance group I feel like it's a safe space and there's no judging. 

What have you learned by being a dancer? 

I've learned cool tricks and styles of dance and I've learned to have less stage fright. 

what is some advice you'd give to someone to live their best life?

Express yourself and don't care what other people think. People expect you to be or act a certain way but it's really nice to be unique and be your own self. When people judge you, sometimes it's because they are really sad inside and not because they don't like you, so just keep being you and it will all be okay. 

September spotlight: Heaven // East madison Community Center


Tell us about yourself!

My name is Heaven Thomas and I am in fourth grade this year at Hawthorne Elementary School. I love dancing and stepping and I want to be a dancer, singer, and actress when I'm older.

What are you most excited about this school year?  

I'm excited to create new dances and perform them. I've been practicing and I have some really good ideas. I'm also excited to be in fourth grade I think it's going to be a lot of fun, even though it might be hard. 

Besides Dancing, what do you like to do in your free time? 

I love to take care of my baby brother and teach him new words and read him books. I also like to sing. But dance is my favorite thing.  

What has dance taught you?  

Dance helps me be confident and express myself. I love learning new moves and sharing them with my friends. I started a dance group at my school and we all practice during recess. I feel important when I'm dancing. 

MAY Spotlight: Harper // goodman Community center 

Tell us about yourself

My name is Harper, I am 7 years old. One hobby of mine is singing. My favorite food is pizza.

What is your favorite thing about dance class? 

I really like the dance cube (the defense scale) and how we all work together.

Why do yo love to dance? 

It makes me feel really happy. I really like to do it with my friends.

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

A singer!

January spotlight: La'niya // Elver Park Neighborhood Center 


Tell Us about yourself 

My name is La'Niya and I am eight years old. I am in the third grade. I love to spend time with my friends and I am always smiling.

What's your favorite part of dance class? 

I love freeze dance and doing cartwheels! I like doing the same warmup every week because I remember the moves and can do them without my teacher!

What are you looking forward to this year?

I'm excited for our performance and I can't wait to make up our new dance for the show. Every time we perform we get to do new dances and I love creating new dance moves to share with everyone!

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

When I grow up I want to be a dancer because I love moving and I love dancing! 

December spotlight: Gueda // vera court neighborhood center 


Tell Us about yourself 

My name is Gueda and I am twelve years old. I got to Black Hawk Middle School and I am a confident, smart, witty, and courageous person. I like to play sports and go beyond labels. 

Why do you love to dance? 

I love to dance because when I dance I get to show my feelings and express myself. I don't always like to verbally express myself so I like that I can express myself through my body.  

What is your favorite part of class? 

My favorite part of class is just dancing! I love learning new types of moves and challenging myself. 

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

When I grow up, I want to be an OBGYN Doctor, a Doctor that specializes in woman, because I've had a passion for helping people since I was little. 

November spotlight: Desiray // kennedy heights community center 

May Preformance-166-L.jpg

Tell Us about yourself 

My name is Desiray and I am fourteen years old. I love to sing and hang out with my friends at the Kennedy Heights Community Center. I love to dance and have fun with my friends. 

What is your favorite thing about dance? 

My favorite thing about dance is the fact that I can express myself. I also love that I am able to dance with my friends because they make dance more fun for me especially when we make up our own dances. 

How does dance make you feel? 

Dance makes me feel happy. It makes me happy because I can come into the room and forget about all of the problems happening around me and express myself through my love for dance.

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

When I grow up, I want to be a nurse. I love helping people and making people feel happy no matter what it is that they are going through.

October Spotlight: Asia and Aliya // Lussier Community Education Center

What do you like most about dance? 

ASIA: I like that I get to collaborate my moves with my friends in class. 
ALIYA: I like having a lot of different people in our dance class to learn from and I like having different teachers to teach us new things.

How does dance make you feel? 

ASIA: Dance makes me feel happy because when I'm mad my friends and family always tell me to dance and it turns my frown upside-down!
ALIYA: Dance makes me feel excited because when I get really upset I just dance it out!

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

ASIA: I want to be a dance teacher and a doctor!
ALIYA: I want to be a dance teacher and a gymnastics teacher because I'm a good person who likes to help people and I'm also good at flips and like to hip hop dance!

September Spotlight: Khloe // Allied Drive Learning Center

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Khloe I am 8 years old and I love to dance! I also like to be with my friends and laugh.

Why do you love to dance? 

I like dancing with my friends and learning the dance for the show because we get to add our favorite moves in. [My teacher] helps us but we are the ones that create it so it's really our own dance! 

What's your favorite part of class?

Warmup! Because I get to dance with my friends and we are all moving together. We also are allowed to be really loud when we count our jumping jacks even though we're inside. 

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

I want to be a dance teacher so I can teach little kids and make them feel like I do when I'm dancing... beautiful and happy and excited!

August Spotlight: Kiara // East madison community center

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Kiara and I am 8 years old and I'm going to be a third grader in the Fall. I have a baby brother named James and a mom and dad. I live right by the community center and come here every day. 
I love pink flowers and I hate bugs.

What is your favorite thing about dance?

I like learning new dance moves and dancing on stage. I'm getting really good at performing. I use to be really scared to dance in front of people but I'm not anymore. I danced in my talent show this year and didn't even get nervous! I remembered our whole dance and made up some new stuff too. 

Was it hard performing in front of your whole school? 

Not really. Everyone was clapping along so I knew they liked it. All my friends want to join dance now!

How has dance helped you grow? 

Dance has made me not as scared to do things in front of people. I can be myself all the time and I don't worry about other people in my class making fun of me because I know I'm just right how I am.