Youth Dance Ensemble



Jenifer Dobbins and Elizabeth Malone, Youth Dance Ensemble Co-Directors (Fall 2017) 

Helen Hayes, Dance Institute Director

The Youth Dance Ensemble (YDE), one of Joy of Motion Dance Center’s Dance Institute programs, is an award-winning dance company and conservatory-style training program for dedicated youth dancers with a focus on ballet and modern dance. With four preparatory levels and a Company, students in grades 1-12 follow a structured curriculum with classes in ballet, modern and jazz, as well as supplemental dance styles. YDE teaches and inspires excellence in dance and learning through classes, performances, artist residencies and educational project blocks that integrate and connect dance to well-being, self, and community. YDE creates well-rounded dancers that are fully prepared for dance programs at the collegiate and university level.

If you are looking for conservatory-style training focused in jazz & tap, then learn more about the American Dance Conservatory (or ADC) HERE

If you are looking for performance-based training focused in hip-hop, jazz, tap, or ballet, then learn more about the Youth Performance Companies (or YPCs) HERE


Joy of Motion Dance Center’s Dance Institute programs provide an experience that teach excellence in dance, education, and life. The guided curriculum for Dance Institute programs is based upon the National Dance Education Organization standards for learning and teaching dance in the arts. Youth Dance Ensemble students have performed at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, Dance Place, Publick Playhouse, The Lincoln Theater, The Arts Club of Washington, THEARC, the JCC of Greater Washington, and at special events and festivals such as Dance Bethesda, Imagination Bethesda, and the National Cherry Blossom Festival, among others.

Acceptance into the Youth Dance Ensemble is by audition only for levels 2 and above. If accepted, dancers will be placed in the appropriate level. 2017-2018 auditions will be held in April and September, 2017. Please visit here for more audition information. Acceptance into YDE level 1 is by invitation only.

Tuition, rehearsal schedule, and company requirements vary by level.



YDE and ADC will host info sessions and a free workshop to help dancers prepare for the auditions. Please mark your calendars for:

April 2, 2017 5:00 – 6:00 PM FH Info session for YDE Level 1  By invitation only.
April 22, 2017 5:30 – 7:00 PM
BTH Dance Institute audition prep workshop Free and open to the public. Please register in advance. 
April 29, 2017 5:30-7:30 PM FH YDE/ADC joint audition for rising 10th-12th graders Free and open to the public. Please register in advance.
April 30, 2017 5:00-6:30 PM FH YDE/ADC joint audition for rising 3rd-6th graders
7:00-8:30 PM FH YDE/ADC joint audition for rising 7th-9th graders


(Scroll all the way down to see Dance Institute auditions.)


Helen Hayes, Director of the Dance Institute at Joy of Motion Dance Center, graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in dance. She has danced professionally with the Maryland Dance Theater, Perlo/Bloom and Co., Cathy Paine and Friends, Deborah Riley Dance Projects and Dupont Alley Dance Company. Touring internationally, she has been featured on Good Morning Hong Kong. She has performed throughout the United States including the Honors Gala in tribute to Chita Rivera at the Kennedy Center. Hayes was the co-founder of CrossCurrents Dance Company (former Resident Arts Partner at JOMDC) which she co-directed from 1996-2008. She spent the summer of 2002 teaching jazz and modern in Varna, Bulgaria at the International Ballet Competition. She was on the adjunct faculty at the University of MD in 2006 and has taught numerous master classes in the United States and abroad.

Hayes is an instructor of modern and jazz dance for adults at Joy of Motion Dance Center in addition to directing the Youth Dance Ensemble, a pre-collegiate program for the developing young dancer. Under Hayes’ direction, the Youth Dance Ensemble has won the Metro DC Dance Award for Most Outstanding Youth Performance in 2006, 2010 and 2012. In 2009, Hayes was the recipient of the prestigious Metro DC Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance Education. Several of her students have gone on to enjoy professional careers in repertory dance companies on Broadway and form their own professional dance companies. In September 2015, Hayes celebrated her 25th year of teaching dance at Joy of Motion Dance Center. Hayes is dedicated to building community through dance and believes that dance builds strong minds and strong bodies.


Jenifer Dobbins, co-director of the Youth Dance Ensemble Program at Joy of Motion, is a passionate dance educator, choreographer, theater technician, and arts organizer, advocate, and administrator. Her passion for ballet pedagogy has led her to licensure in the Cecchetti Method of Ballet, through the Cecchetti Council of America. Her philosophy for teaching is anatomically sound, inclusive, and nurturing. A graduate of UMBC Department of Dance, Jen performed with Baltimore Dance Project and received an Undergraduate Research Award to study with the Jose Limon Foundation. Jen has performed and choreographed in the DMV for over 15 years, specializing in technology driven and theatrically inquisitive works. As an educator, Jen has taught dance regionally for over 12 years and her students have won numerous awards and scholarships, with many going on to dance in college and professionally. Jen is exhilarated to be a part of the Joy of Motion Faculty.


Elizabeth Malone, co-director of the Youth Dance Ensemble Program at Joy of Motion, is from Bellingham, Washington, where she began to study ballet, modern, flamenco, tap, hip hop, and jazz. In 2004 she completed the Teacher’s Summer Seminar at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Malone holds a BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington. While there, she focused on performance, teaching, and choreography of ballet and modern dances. Elizabeth danced for ARC Dance Company in Seattle, Washington for two seasons before moving to the East Coast. She now dances and teaches with ReVision Dance Company in Washington, DC, as well as for Joy of Motion.