Our Mission

Born Dancing is founded on the belief that people of all ages and abilities should have access to every aspect of dance. We produce original, inclusive dance performances that feature performers with and without disabilities and we create dance education programs for under-served Students With Disabilities and High-Needs Students in New York City. Our performances and dance education programs provide Students With Disabilities and High-Needs Students with real-world dance performance and production experiences, apprenticeships to learn job and social skills, and internships in performing arts production and related fields. Our overarching goal is to facilitate the participation and employment of people with disabilities in performing arts production.

Born Dancing is a 501(C)(3) tax exempt organization. EIN 13-4168743. We are a NYC Department of Education Vendor. 

our vision

A world in which there are no barriers to participation in dance performance, production, and education to anyone

our values

  • We value all our students' and professionals’ input in presenting productions that provoke thought about who and what makes a dancer.

  • We value project-based intensive small-group and one-on-one collaborations between professionals and non-professionals that build long-term relationships.

  • We value the confidence, empowerment, and self-awareness children and adolescents develop through creating, performing, and producing dance.

  • We value the social, communication, job-readiness, and leadership skills children and adolescents develop through apprenticeships with and mentoring by performing arts professionals.

  • We value lifelong learners who better their school, art, and larger communities.

our dance eduction and production APPRENTICESHIP programs

Our project-based Collaborative Learning education programs are offered at no cost to the students. In our dance education programs students with disabilities or high-needs (2nd - 12th Grade) take dance classes that transition into rehearsals for performances. The High School students who are not dancing in the shows take classes in other elements of dance production. They become an integral part of the production process by collaborating with working dance and theater professionals as apprentices based on students’ expressed interests. Students have classes twice a week for a minimum of 8-12 weeks at the schools or at their facility though residencies can be structured differently.

Our Curriculum aligns with the NYC Blueprint for Dance, with a strong focus on Strands 'Exploring Careers and Lifelong Learning' and 'Working with Community and Cultural Resources'. We also use the Special Education Supplement to the Blueprint for Dance. Born Dancing is a NYC Department of Education vendor.

Dance Education: Dance classes are taught by a NYS-certified dance educator and assisted by the company dancers. Classes start with a warm up and introduction that set up the learning targets, then teach related technique and terminology, followed by an in-depth exploration of movement concepts rooted in Laban Movement Analysis. Students are given scaffolded opportunities to construct their own movement ideas through choreographic tasks individually or in small (mixed ability) groups.

Production Apprenticeships: Highly experienced dance and theater professionals teach classes in Costume Design, Lighting Design, Videography, and Stage Management. Each Production Team Member leads their team of student-apprentices in intensive workshops at the school and subsequently at the theater, enabling the students to learn these crafts in an immersive real-world setting. Students work in small, mixed-ability groups and are taken through the most practical applications starting at the beginning of the job (sketching or brainstorming ideas) to planning and execution (drawing costume ideas, filming peers, selecting gel colors and fabric, taking measurements etc.) to working the shows (cueing on headset, setting/striking sets, mending costumes etc).

Performances: A significant aspect of our productions is that our students witness people with disabilities engage fully and equally with able-bodied people in our productions while developing mutual respect. It is crucial that all students experience adults with disabilities succeeding in the workplace alongside non-disabled people.

NOW Watch our education and apprenticeship programs in action

These videos show our students working with our Production Team and Dancers in class, in rehearsals, and in technical rehearsals at the theater. Our students helped shoot and create these video newsletters!