With a commitment to promoting representation within dance education, SMCD is actively involved with arts programs within the public and private school sector and after school programs. We have developed programs that challenge prevailing narratives of the roots of popular western dance forms, creating space to learn about and see all the peoples integral to its development, many of whom have been left out of historical accounts. SMCD aims to develop and offer programs to challenge the common shortcomings of most dance education/programming: addressing and including the diversity of students, as well as the diversity of dance. Most programs tend to privilege ballet or other Eurocentric forms, and therefore often fail to connect with the demographic of the inner-city school populations. Within most arts programs dance also finds itself subsumed by theater, music, or visual arts. SMCD’s programs focus on dance, giving students exposure to dance forms beyond ballet and establishing their validity as art. Through these lessons, students experience self-worth by seeing the roles that their cultural heritage has played in the development of American popular performance.

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