Dance in the Schools was founded in 1995. It was born as an element of DanceMonth, a local celebration of dancers, choreographers, dance teachers, and movement arts run by Rozann Kraus of The Dance Complex in Cambridge, MA. When DanceMonth ended in 2009, Erica Sigal became the coordinator of the school element, Dance in the Schools. The program continued to bring dance and movement-based education to the Cambridge Elementary Public Schools [CPS] each year. By 2015, Dance in the Schools had grown substantially. The team of fifteen professional Dance Teaching Artists visited CPS classrooms and reached an estimated 1,000 students. Since 2019, Kate Bresee serves as Managing Director of Dance in the Schools. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has been reimagined to suit the needs of students learning remotely.
Rozann Kraus, founder of The Dance Complex in Central Square, Cambridge, creates DanceMonth: a local celebration of dancers, choreographers, dance teachers, and movement arts which runs for 15 years. Rozann Kraus won the Boston Dance Alliance Recognition Award in 2021.
DanceMonth in the Schools, an element of DanceMonth, brings dance education to the Cambridge Public Elementary Schools for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
Erica Sigal becomes the Coordinator of Dance in the Schools.
In collaboration with classroom teachers, Dance Teaching Artists begin creating sessions based on academic themes associated with the Massachusetts Dance Standards as set out in the “Massachusetts Arts Curriculum Framework”.
Junior-Kindergarten classrooms begin participating in Dance in the Schools.
Dr. Elaine Koury becomes the new Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts in Cambridge Public Schools, replacing Judith Contrucci. An ardent supporter of Dance in the Schools, she agrees to continue funding the program.
When DanceMonth ends after 15 successful years, Erica Sigal continues to coordinate the school element. In discussion with Elaine Koury, Sigal changes the name of the program from DanceMonth in the Schools to Dance in the Schools.
The program’s dates move from May to March, a long winter month with few holidays during which the program would benefit childrens’ well-being.
Dance in the Schools identifies their focus as junior-kindergarten through fifth grade classrooms.
MADEO, Massachusetts Dance Education Organization, agrees to act as fiscal agent for Dance in the Schools for the 2013-2014 school year. This agreement is renewed each year through the 2019-2020 school year.
Sarah Shoffner, a student from Boston University Graduate School of Arts and Administration, interns for Dance in the Schools through 2015.
Raeann Vuona, an Intern from Harvard Graduate School of Education, studies the efficacy of Dance in the Schools programming in participating students.
Over time, annual participation increases from 10 to 51 classrooms. The program reaches over 1000 Cambridge Public School students.
The team of Dance Teaching Artists grows to 15 professional dance educators.
Dance in the Schools receives the “Outstanding Community Education Collaborative Award” from Arts|Learning for outstanding support of arts education and for providing artistic and educational leadership in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Special Start educator at the Peabody School, begins participating with her classroom in Dance in the Schools.
Erica Sigal becomes the Executive Director and relocates to California.
Kate Bresee, a seasoned Dance Teaching Artist, becomes Managing Director of Dance in the Schools and allows for Dance Teaching Artists to do more intensive work with classrooms by offering more sessions.
All Special Start classrooms are invited to participate in Dance in the Schools programming. Janet Forte assists staff to increase Special Start classroom participation.
Boston Dance Alliance becomes the fiscal sponsor for Dance in the Schools.
Fiscal Sponsorship -BDA
Hannah Lieberman, a student studying Dance and English at UMass Amherst, interns for Dance in the Schools from November 2020 through May 2021.
Due to COVID-19, hybrid and remote programming are offered in 2021; the program is extended from March through May for 2021 to accommodate flexible scheduling. Both Dance Teaching Artists and classroom teachers find the remote model to be exceptionally successful.
Sessions are for classrooms ages Special Start through Second Grade.
Erica Sigal becomes the
Executive Director Emeritus for
Dance in the Schools in mid May; she continues to work as a Dance Teaching Artist remotely and as a Consultant.
Dance in the Schools legally becomes a not-for-profit Limited Liability Company [LLC] in May.
With the help of smallfish-design, Dance in the Schools enters the digital age with the launch of this, our first website.
Dance In The Schools 25th
We celebrated our 25th year of partnership with the Cambridge Public School Department with the Impact of 25