About us

Our Mission
To remove barriers to dance education and to build community through dance.

We are a nonprofit dance organization providing access to dance education to the Washington Heights community.

We believe the art of dance is transformative for individuals and communities. There should be no barriers to everyone experiencing the magic that dance holds, so we work to remove the barriers that do exist.

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Our Impact
We love helping budding dancers reach their full potential while performing.

DPWH currently serves over 700 students of different ages, backgrounds, cultures, and socio-economic statuses.

Here are some statistics regarding our student body:

  • 55% of our students are low-income by NYC standards and at least 36% are considered extremely low-income

  • 65% of our students identify as Latinx, and 45% identify as Black

  • 65 students have advanced to a level 2 of ballet instruction, and there are 31 students enrolled in ballet level 3

  • 143 students take 2 classes per week, 35 are enrolled in 3 classes per week, and 10 students take 4 different classes per week

  • 104 current students are boys
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What We Do

  • breaking down gender expectations

    #representationmatters

    #ballet

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    creating performers, storytellers, dreamers, stars

    #dancefriendsarethebestfriends

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    #mentorship

  • DPWH Ensemble

    dance company in training

  • Diverse Faculty

    #representationmatters

  • building community

    #socialdance

  • Community Events

    #Thriller

    #HarvestFestival

  • #rhythm

  • trained and experienced faculty

    #technique

  • Bilingual classes

    salsa, bachata, merengue...y mas

  • child-centered teaching

    positive classroom management

    neuro-diverse classrooms

    #inclusion

  • encouraging kids to be creative, make choices, love themselves and use their voices

  • #earlychildhood

    #bonding

    #communitysupport

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    #socialjustice

    #blacklivesmatter

    #nokidsincages

    #abolishice

  • developing confident, expressive youth

  • teaching the roots

    #hiphopculture

    #streetstyles

  • a community of volunteers

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    #families

    We're all in this together

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    creating leaders, teachers, creators

    #takingupspace

Our Faculty and Staff
Learn more about our team

DPWH faculty is hired for their high level of training, their passion for children and for social justice, and for the array of experience they bring to their classes. We hire teachers who reflect the diversity of dance and our community, who bring warmth and joy to the classroom, and who expect amazing things from their students.

Board of Directors

We would love to hear from you

Feel free to give us a call or send us an email with any questions or comments you have.
Get to Know Bekah
November 17, 2020 at 10:50 PM
by Dance Project of Washington Heights
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Today we are Thankful for one of our incredible teachers and our new Early Childhood Program Coordinator, Bekah!

Get to know Bekah:

Bekah has been teaching early childhood creative drama and dance classes for the past three years at Imagination Stage and Joy of Motion Dance Center in Bethesda, Maryland and Washington DC . She has had experience working as a lead teacher, assistant teacher, and inclusion facilitator working with a diverse population of neurotypical and neurodiverse students.

Bekah is passionate about instilling a love of dance, movement, and performance in her students. Her favorite part of teaching is watching her students’ confidence grow throughout the session!

1- What have you enjoyed about being part of the Dance Project Family?

I have enjoyed the sense of community in the Dance Project Family. Our administration has shown time and time again how much they care for the instructors and the families at Dance Project. The Covid Pandemic has highlighted how Dance Project strives to bring dance to everyone and as well as taking care of our students' everyday needs. I'm proud to be part of an organization that prioritizes caring for its people.

2- What part of New York City do you love most; a favorite NYC spot, favorite thing about NYC, etc?

I'm still relatively new to NYC but I love all the parks sprinkled throughout the city. I like finding those moments of calm in the bustling city and appreciate that our parks offer that moment of escape.

3- What food reminds you of childhood?

Tajadas con huevo

4- What makes you feel better when you’re sad?

Calling my family and friends. Family and community is so important to me and I know that when I feel down I can always call on my family and friends to bring a smile to my face. I also like to watch K-Pop music videos and dance along.

5- If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, who or what would it be?

I would like to come back as a dolphin. I love the ocean and dolphins are my favorite marine animal. I would love to have the opportunity to explore parts of the ocean that are inaccessible to me right now.

6- Who are your heroes in real life – dance-related or otherwise?

Rita Moreno and Lin-Manuel Miranda

7- What do you love about your body?

I love my curly hair! While it took me some time to love my hair, I recognize it now as something that makes me uniquely me and serves as a reminder to never forget my roots.

8- When did you first know you wanted to be a dancer?

I actually quit dancing when I was 8 and by the time I was 10 I was missing it. Once I got back in class, started moving again, and felt that magic of expressing myself through movement, I knew I never wanted to stop dancing.

9- What is the most memorable dance you have ever witnessed?

I remember when "In the Heights" performed at the Tonys in 2008. At the time I had a very narrow view of what dance in musical theatre looked like because all I had been exposed to was the ballet influenced choreography. When I saw the cast of "In the Heights" performing "96000", I was blown away. Not only was I hearing the Latin influenced music that filled my house but I was seeing hip-hop and salsa on a Broadway stage. This performance opened my mind to what dance in a theatre setting could look like and inspired me to explore other styles of dance.

10- Which choreographer and/or dancer, dead or alive, would you love to take a dance lesson from?

I would love to take a dance lesson from Rita Moreno. She inspires me as a dancer and actor and she brings so much life to her movement when she dances.

BONUS QUESTION: Which words of wisdom would you like to offer?

Take three deep breaths and drink water.