"I saw students who were normally shy and reserved become more confident and show leadership qualities."
~Dewitt Elementary teacher
ArtSparks is an educational outreach program that provides access to high quality dance programming, emphasizes the importance of dance as an art form, and reinforces core academic learning. The mission of ArtSparks is to engage participants through movement, music, and creativity to strive for excellence, embedding a lifelong quest in each individual to reach their full potential in the classroom and in life.
Founded on the belief that the arts play a vital role in fostering the creativity and self-confidence necessary to become a productive citizen, ArtSparks classrooms encourage children to develop discipline, a standard of excellence, and a belief in themselves that carries over into all aspects of their lives. Through in-school partnerships, residencies, workshops, and public performances, ArtSparks brings joyful dance and music programming to students with exceptionalities and to students who may not have the opportunity to experience the art of dance.
ArtSparks classes are most often taught during the school day to place the arts on an equal standing with other academic subjects, however, we also provide after school and summer camp programming. All ArtSparks classes are led by professional teaching artists; a master teacher-choreographer, an assistant teacher, and a musician are present in each classroom.
Photo courtesy of Dale Dong
"I like the energy and excellence. I am not just saying that. I want to do this again in my life. ArtSparks is awesome."
~Rosmerika, Dewitt Elementary student
ANDI (Associates of National Dance Institute) organizations are committed to best practices, codified curriculum, and student-centered learning that are based on the award-winning National Dance Institute pedagogy created by legendary NYC Ballet dancer Jacques d’Amboise. ANDI organizations are held to the highest standards and share a commitment to excellence in all that they do! Read more about NDI's astounding work at nationaldance.org.
“The arts open your heart and mind to possibilities that are limitless. They are pathways that touch upon our brains and emotions and bring sustenance to imagination. Human beings’ greatest form of communication, they walk in tandem with science and play, and best describe what it is to be human.”
Why we do what we do:
Participation in high quality arts education programs improves student imagination, creativity, symbolic understanding, conditional reasoning, critical thinking, and collaborative learning and action. Arts also nurture persistence, resilience, achievement motivation, and engagement.
In the 1999-2000 school year, 20% of public elementary schools reported offering dance instruction as arts education. In the 2009-2010 school year, only 3% of schools offered dance.
88% of Americans believe that the basics in education alone are not adequate for the 21st Century workforce without the ability to be imaginative, creative, and innovative.
1 From a nationwide survey conducted by the Lake Research Partners in December 2007 among likely voters. Arts Education Partnership (January 24, 2008).
2 From compilations of more than 60 peer-reviewed independent studies. Rose, Dale. Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development. Arts Education Partnership. 1999.
3 U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools, 1999–2000 and 2009-2010.