Mission, Vision, Values

Mission
Dancewave provides access to supportive and empowering dance experiences that center social, emotional and cognitive development through movement. Developing programs to meet community needs, we use dance as a vehicle for transformation, expression, active citizenship and self reflection. Dancewave fosters a culture where dance is celebrated as a healing and inclusive art form.

Vision
Dancewave envisions a future where dance is available to all populations, especially those who have ever been denied access to dance education. Dancewave acts as a resource and community hub for artists, educators and young visionaries, extending opportunities for our audience to participate in advocacy efforts and social change movements.

    Our Work
    Dancewave creates quality dance education with a focus on transformation and empowerment. We teach participatory learning, decision-making, empathy and self-expression; helping participants to understand themselves in relationship to other people and larger systems, and to become more active members of their community.

    We engage a diverse audience through an expansive portfolio of enriching dance programs that honor the cultural, global and historical significance of these forms. Participants of all ages are uplifted through movement exploration, school residencies, pre-professional training, performance ensembles, career and college readiness events, educator training workshops, leadership development and subsidized studio rentals. We prioritize mentorship and artistic integrity across all programs by partnering with cutting edge artists and providing comprehensive teacher training.

    Values
    Dancewave is committed to upholding our core values:

    • Dance is a human right, available to all without exceptions
    • Inclusive and supportive environments are essential for learning, growth and transformation
    • Institutional power must be used to counteract white supremacy and build new more equitable systems
    • Responding to evolving community and society needs is an organizational imperative
    • Through an evaluatory process Dancewave is committed to having our internal values match our external values 

    Statement on Becoming an Anti-Racist Organization
    Dancewave intentionally engages in racial equity processes; unpacking and addressing institutional and interpersonal connections with systems of oppression. Through research and critical analysis, as well as open and honest conversations, we strive to hold ourselves accountable to our staff, community members and stakeholders. Additionally, we create space for youth to process through our Youth Leadership Council, regular Regroups, and Race & Dance curriculum. We recognize our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as an evolving process, and continue to openly engage in this work in order to transform together and embody the deep systemic change we want to see reflected for all Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). 

    History
    Founded in 1995 by Diane Jacobowitz, Dancewave began as a singular event, the Kids Cafe Festival, in which citywide youth regardless of their background in dance were brought together to train with contemporary choreographers and perform their repertory in top-tier performing arts venues like BAM and The Kitchen. Jacobowitz’s innovative new youth company model launched performing opportunities with choreographers like Meredith Monk, Trisha Brown, Paul Taylor, Kyle Abraham, Camille A. Brown and many more, at venues including Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Aberdeen International Youth Festival in Scotland, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and more.

    The Dancewave Company program has inspired many choreographers who saw new life spring from their work when performed by Dancewave students. The Company Program model provided a platform for Jacobowitz to build dynamic educational programs in private and public schools and community spaces around Brooklyn.

Header photo by Effy Grey