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K-12 Programs

Opening the eyes and minds of youth through conceptual movement and creative expression!

Email Us to Plan Your Education Experience

Dance is a tool for experiential learning.

DCDC's arts-integrated creative movement instruction techniques link classroom curriculum in new ways by focusing on the physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional needs of each student. We reach approximately 30,000 students per year through this education outreach.


Dance + Learning 

DCDC dancer artists engage students through the expression of movement intertwined with academic content.

Get Up and Dance

Explore fundamental dance styles and concepts for early learners to seniors to engage in the physical, spiritual, and visceral experience of movement expression.


Participants experience the joys of health and wellness with a creative twist combining low-impact aerobics with contemporary dance.

Afro Fit

Experience a 30-minute cardio fusion workout with a creative twist; workshop combines West African influenced dances and low-impact aerobic workout moves, led by DCDC dancer artists.

Neo-Traditional West African Dance and Song

Students explore West African dances and songs while discovering how polyrhythms and grounded movement create communal environments central to traditional and contemporary African culture.

Body Percussions

Using movement and creativity, participants explore the multifaceted worlds of polyrhythm and body awareness as an instrument of expression.

Nature Dances: The Patterns, Shapes, Colors, and Feelings of the World

(Grades K – 2)

Teaching artists will use creative movement concepts to explore nature and weather through movement. Through creative play and exploration as well as guided improvisation, students are asked to draw inspiration from the world around them.

Num3r8tions: An Exploration of Space, Rhythms, and Patterns

(Grades 3 – 4)

Students are introduced to choreography from Debbie Blunden-Diggs’ dance work Num3r8ations that uses unique counting patterns within the music and dance. Students will explore the use of space, patterns, time, and rhythm, as well as experiment with choreographic elements of dance.

Symbolic Expressions

(Grades 3 – 6)

Expression can be both verbal and nonverbal. Students experience another culture and discover an awareness of expression as they explore the Adinkra symbols that originated in West African culture. Participants examine and interpret the meanings, actions, and emotions of the images. This workshop focuses on three key characters: Ahoden—energy and strength, Bese Saka—power and unity, and Adwo—peace and calmness.

The Art of Denaturation

(Grades 6 - 12)

Denaturation is a process that makes a marked change in form, nature, or appearance. The change in shape causes the body to function differently,  changing its natural tendencies and behaviors. Open the door to inquiry and connect art to science. Invite your students to become creative thinkers as they explore these concepts through movement and guided improvisation.


Abby and Her Friends: Let's Learn Together

(Grades PreK – 2)

Live performance or digital (view one or all four videos)

Abby loves to explore and learn about new things. Students join Abby and her friends on her YouTube channel and see what they have learned. Lessons include culture and Geography lessons; Nouns, Verbs, and Rhyming Words Lesson; The Four Seasons and the Weather Lesson; and The Counting and Money Lesson.

Museum of Questions

(Grades K-2) 

Live performance only

Come along with Samantha and her friends as they venture into the world of questions at the amazing Museum of Questions. Where they ask what, who, where, how, why, and when. The children zig and zag, in and out, moving through the exhibits of:  Do You Know Science; Passport to America; Let’s Go To Hawaii; Being Different is Beautiful; Rapping Numbers; My Body is Amazing; Scavenger Hunt  Dayton History; Move Along With Me Today; Rhyming is Fun; Stories Come Alive; and Ask a Question.

Nana Akua Goes to School

(Grades 3 – 4)

Digital only

Students learn about, appreciate, and celebrate our differences. Inspired by the words and meaning behind the children’s book “Nana Akua Goes to School” by Tricia Elam Walker, DCDC dance artists use expressive movement to translate and tell this moving story that celebrates cultural diversity.

Symbolic Expressions

(Grades 5 – 8)

Digital only

The Adinkra symbols originating from West African culture are closely tied to its history, beliefs, and traditions. Articulated through contemporary dance, dance artists use selected symbols as the framework and artistic expression to explore the interpretations and meanings behind these visual emblems.

Director’s Cut

(Grades PreK - 12)

Live performance only

Students experience the beauty of contemporary dance through various thematic content by resident and highly acclaimed choreographers of diverse backgrounds.

Safe Passages

(Grades 6 - 12)

Live performance only

Social justice carries a long history and struggles for human rights in American society. DCDC dance artists express what it means to be human and how social justice takes on its own physical identity. DCDC sheds a visual light to promote solidarity and reinforce peace building and social healing during a time when society is in civil unrest. The program also includes a digital viewing of "Speak Their Name" Content Focus: George Floyd “I can’t breathe.” The program concludes with a talkback discussion.

Field Trip Experiences

Join dancers at DCDC studios, local museums, and theatre locations to experience dance outside the school setting.
Field trip experiences will be available when COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.

The Making of Dance: Where the Magic Begins

(PreK – 12)

Location: Caryl D. Philips Dance Studio & Theatre, Dayton, Ohio

Participants visit the DCDC studio for a behind-the-scenes look at where the creative process happens, where our most prized dance works are created. Participants tour the facility and learn about DCDC's legacy and history, visit the costume room, observe the creative process, view a mini dance performance, participate in a movement workshop, and connect with the dancer artists in a Q&A.

Sneak Peek Matinee

(PreK - 12)

Location: Victoria Theatre or University of Dayton Boll Theatre

Students have the opportunity to see DCDC’s professional company perform contemporary dance works by acclaimed choreographers in a theatre setting with stage lights and costumes. This experience provides exposure and enrichment opportunities to students outside the classroom setting; delivers a shared social experience; and inspires new interests, passion, and appreciation for the performing arts. The program includes audience participation, followed by a Q&A with the dance artists.

Steps on the Stairs

(Grades 4 – 12)

Location: Paul Laurence Dunbar House, Dayton, Ohio

Students participate in a creative writing session, a creative movement session, a guided tour of the Dunbar House, and a Q&A lunch followed by a performance of excerpts from “Lyric Fire,” a ballet created by nationally acclaimed choreographer Dianne McIntyre.

Liturgical Offerings

Offered as a single workshop or residency. Available for all ages.

When the Spirit Moves

This inspirational program unifies and connects the spirit through an emotionally charged physical dialogue that uplifts the spirit, rejuvenates the soul, and affirms life

The Man in the Mirror

Men of the church examine the content of whom they are as men walking in faith through the process of self-reflection and worship dance. Includes movement exploration workshops and a culminating performance by the participants and DCDC male dance artists.

Blessed Is She

Through journaling and sacred movement, women of the church gain a deeper understanding of their relationship with God. Includes movement exploration workshops and a culminating performance by the participants and DCDC female dance artists. 

Words Are Not Enough

Youth experience the glorified presence and ministry of spirit through dance. Build a vocabulary of expression for worship and learn choreography techniques for group dances. A DCDC resident choreographer creates a purposeful and meaningful original liturgical dance work for the praise dance team to present at their church service or a special event.

Visions of Praise


When the spirit moves, DCDC dance artists express the word and spirit of praise. Witness the transcending of human boundaries to uplift your spirit and rejuvenate your soul. Features excerpts from DCDC's liturgical dance ministry works.

Spirit in Motion

Let your spirit be uplifted, anointed, and moved during DCDC’s “Spirit in Motion” workshops. Enjoy fellowship in a shared experience of praise and worship through dance. Explore ways that movement and gestures can convey the meaning of text scripture or song. Learn dance choreography from a selected DCDC liturgical dance work and partake in the communal session “Unity in Motion” to create movement phrases set to a selected scripture. Share your worshipful dance through dialogue, informant, prayer, and reflection.

Plan your DCDC experience today!

Contact Shonna Hickman-Matlock, Director Arts Enrichment

or, call 937-228-3232 ext. 110