Chance to dance was founded in 1986 on the belief that the arts are an integral part of a child’s education and that children should have the opportunity to actively experience the arts. Dance is an excellent medium to provide this opportunity, for the needs of a dance program are minimal: a safe space large enough for dancing, a teacher and a musical accompanist.
The program has been shown to increase self-esteem and confidence, help develop coordination and motor skills, and create and develop an appreciation for dance, music and other art forms. Teachers and parents praise the program for its ability to raise the confidence and aspirations of young people by helping them learn how to learn and showing them different approaches to learning. What is the final performance like? The final performance takes place at the Providence Performing Arts Center. The show features an average of 850 children dancing to the thrilling rhythmic sounds of a live band. Every child participates in at least two dances on the day that their school performs. The final performance is an energy-charged event that neither the children nor their audience of family, friends, and fellow students will soon forget!
Classes are conducted by trained professionals in a non-competitive and non-threatening atmosphere that allows children to develop their own unique abilities and talents as they work towards an end of the year production. This final performance features two different educational themes that the children are asked to research. The children work with their dance teacher to translate their findings into movements that are put together to create two unique dances. The children’s research and ideas also provide the basis for a script that brings the entire production together.
Through our history we have been hosted by schools in Providence, Barrington, Warwick, Bristol/Warren, East Providence, Pawtucket, West Warwick, Peacedale, Jamestown, North Kingstown and South Kingstown. We are ever ready to increase the areas we serve, adding diversity to our Chance to Dance Family!
Children are invited to take part in the program regardless of previous training, innate ability or physical condition. No special clothing or equipment are needed, thereby making the program accessible to all children regardless of their economic situation. While schools must limit the size of the class, a child needs only to demonstrate enthusiasm and a willingness to work hard in order to hold his or her place in the class.
Super-dedicated children from each class are selected mid-year to become SLEEQUE FEET. The representative group of Chance to Dance students meet for extra classes to learn additional (and more complicated) dances that they perform at the final production and other events around the state to which Chance to Dance is invited.
Each school pays a set fee for the selected program. Some schools include Chance to Dance in their school budget, others pay this fee by seeking PTA support and parent contributions or by holding fundraising events.
Chance to Dance is a cooperative effort of Dance Alliance of Rhode Island/Chance to Dance with long term support from Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Providence Performing Arts Community Outreach. VSA arts/RI funding is provided under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts , Rhode Island Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, and MetLife. Legislative grants, Corporate support and charitable foundations are some of the entities that lend support to Chance to Dance. For a complete list: contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Chance to Dance relies on tuition from schools, individual donors, community organizations, program ads.
Chance to Dance is run by a dedicated staff of arts educators who also work professionally as dance teachers and musicians. They are assisted throughout the year by an equally dedicated group of teachers, school personnel, and parents who volunteer their time. Each participating school must appoint a Coordinator, who will be present during all classes and serve as a contact and information conductor between Chance to Dance and the School. The Coordinator could be a teacher, school staff person, or a parent volunteer.
“From a practical standpoint, live musicians in the class allow the teacher to easily request a change of tempo, repeat a section of music, without having to operate recorded music, which allows them to stay engaged with the students…And in the modern digital world in which our kids are immersed
It’s important that they experience connecting with live music and realize that it is , by and large, made by real people.”
Chance to Dance class musician