With the great support from our local community and beyond, Performing Ourselves is launching our 2017 Giving Campaign.

before the year ends, we hope to raise $10,000 to go towards our programming needs. as a not-for-profit organization, this yearly giving campaign is a vital part of our fundraising efforts. each and every donation goes directly to the youth that we serve. 

The only program of its kind, we are a dance outreach program teaching a movement-based curriculum to students in schools and community centers. We combine dance education, dance/movement therapy principles, and performance to encourage embodiment, resiliency, and a positive self-concept in underserved youth. While doing this, we provide undergraduate dance majors with valuable teaching and community experience.

Through an innovative program, we use movement and dance to build confidence, competence, personal character, ability to contribute, sense of control, coping skills, and connection (Kenneth Ginsburg's 7 C's for Fostering Resilience). These tools empower our 4-16 year old youth participants, who are 90% children of color and 95-100% living in poverty.

Movement is an essential and enriching part of children’s lives. As Carla Hannaford wrote in her book Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All in Your Head, “movement activates the neural wiring throughout the body, making the whole body the instrument of learning.” Dance improves motor skills, decision-making, creativity, risk taking, cultural understanding, attentiveness, and self-awareness. Sadly, though, according to Any Given Child Madison’s 2014 report, 0% of K-6th graders, 3% of 7th graders and 5% of 8th graders in the Madison Metro School District were enrolled in a dance class taught by a specialist. We believe dance has the power to change lives and impact communities, and every child has the right to embodiment and creative expression. Through Performing Ourselves, we bring dance to participants who wouldn’t otherwise have a quality dance experience.

This past year, we hired a dance/movement therapist and added school programming, which will allow us to serve an estimated 700 youth during 2017-2018 alone. Initially a program for girls, we expanded last year to include all youth, in particular three older brothers at East Madison Community Center who just refused to leave their sisters’ dance class. To date we have employed over 20 undergraduate teachers, offering them professional experience in teaching, mentorship and community development, along with powerful, emotional connections with their students. Almost all of our alumni teachers are either teaching or practicing as dance/movement therapists all over the country.

In the words of our dancers, “Dance helps me be confident and express myself. I feel important when I’m dancing,” (8 year old Heaven) and “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 “ (8 year old Kiara).

We hope that during this season of giving, you’ll consider a gift to Performing Ourselves. The University of Wisconsin Foundation, our fiscal agent, is a nonprofit, and 100% of your donations will go directly to supporting Performing Ourselves. In addition, your donation is tax-deductible, and you will receive a receipt form immediately following your donation processes.

At the heart of our program, we believe in the power of dance to change lives. We are so thankful for your investment in the arts and these youth, and for partnering with us to spread the gift of dance.

feeling inspired?

Empower youth. empower their communities. be a part of the momentum.

Click the images above or here to donate to our 2017 giving campaign! 
All donations are 100% tax deductible

Dancing our way to our $10,000 Goal ...
$7,000 $10,000
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Our Supporters 

Performing Ourselves was established with a three-year award from Ira & Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW). We are generously supported by the UW School of Education, the UW Dance Department, Education and Outreach Partnerships, and the UW Community Arts Collaboratory. 

Our  2017-18 programming is supported in part by American Girl Fund for Children, Dane Arts, Door Creek Church, Virginia Horne Henry, Evjue Foundation, Madison Arts Commission,  grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the ArtsWisconsin Arts Board, Madison 4 Kids, and many generous individuals.

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Our past donors include American Girl Fund for Children, Dane Arts, Evjue Foundation, Inc., the charitable arm of the Capital Times, Ira & Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment, Joyce J. & Gerald A. Bartell Award in the Arts, Madison Arts Commission, Movemeant Foundation, Inc., UW Dance Department, UW School of Education's Virginia Horne Henry Fund for Women's Physical Education and Movement, Wisconsin Arts Board, and Wisconsin Center for Education Research.