Over the past decade, more and more attention has been given to the issues associated primarily with “at-risk youth” including youth crime, violence, sex, substance abuse, poor academic performance, etc. Research shows that at-risk youth struggle with complex issues and scenarios that are brought on by peers, mentors, family members, and difficult social environments. A number of these risk factors may be influenced by youth arts programs, for example: low community involvement; lack of commitment to school; alienation and rebelliousness; and friends who engage in problem behavior. Effective youth arts programs contain activities that are designed to reduce the influence of risk factors by providing opportunities for youth to learn new skills and by recognizing an individual youth’s efforts. This approach, promotes bonding, which helps youth cope with the negative influence of risks they face.
- Successful programs recognize that dance or cultural arts are a vehicle that can be used to engage youth in activities that will increase their self-esteem.
- Successful programs recognize and involve the community in which the youth live.
- Programs that involve the youths’ families provide the opportunity for the greatest involvement.
- Successful programs provide youth with opportunities to succeed.
- Programs culminate in a public performance or exhibition in an effort to build participants’ self-esteem through public recognition.
To be recognized as a world class performing arts organization, primarily for at-risk youth, committed to the region’s cultural and artistic development.
To use the power of dance to break down cultural barriers and enrich the community’s artistic experience through the creation of a diverse dance school and company.
Dancing in the Streets Arizona will provide dance education to primarily high-risk children and youth. Dancing in the Streets Arizona will provide quality evening and summer dance activities to instill life skills and discipline after school.
The program’s immediate success lies in the childrens’ improved social interaction, family involvement, and responsiveness.
At the end of the program year, children and adults should be able to dance in a staged recital for parents, peers and teachers.
Dancing in the Streets does not discriminate on the basis of race/ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, disability, veteran status, religious beliefs, or age in the administration of any of its employment, educational programs, performance opportunities, admissions policies, scholarship programs, or any other programs.