Giving Season Community Update

DC officially re-entered phase 2 in late November as a response to rising COVID-19 cases which means that we will be unable to offer in-person classes or space rentals in January.
But fear not! A new session of Virtual Series Classes for youth and adults will begin in January and the schedule should be released around December 21, if not before. Our winter session will be 10 weeks long and will cost $300. We will be running specials for current students and people who register before December 31, so stay tuned.

With heavy hearts, today we are announcing that we have permanently moved out of our space in the Bethesda Crossing building. Our Bethesda location holds so many special memories for our community and many of our students who grew up there.

Moving out of Bethesda has been a tough decision for our organization and our community, especially after closing the Friendship Heights studio & Jack Guidone Theater in September, but we are hopeful that these changes will help bring us into a more financially sustainable place so that we can all Dance Forward with Joy. We hope that our Bethesda patrons will continue with us virtually and that when we are able to go back to offering classes in person, that we are able to find a more affordable space in the area. If you know of any large workable spaces like church centers, community centers, schools, etc., please help us to make those connections.

We are continuing to restructure and cut expenses wherever possible however, our organization is still in desperate need of an infusion of financial support in order to maintain operations. Read more about our current financial position below.
As an organization, we need time, support, and most importantly, dollars to make our vision for the future a reality. We look to you, our dance community, to lend assistance and support to our efforts. We cannot do this without you, please donate today to help us Dance Forward with Joy in 2021.

One-time Donation Monthly Donation

On the advocacy front, the U.S. Congress is working during this lame-duck session to address two priorities: funding the federal government for the remainder of FY2021 and pandemic relief. We urge you to contact your representatives now and tell your stories of how you are dealing with the pandemic; urge immediate action for increased appropriations for all federal arts agencies, programs, and initiatives; and urge immediate action to provide more specific pandemic relief.
Contact Congress today through this Dance/USA online advocacy campaign – it only takes 2-3 minutes and your messages will automatically go to your appropriate Congressional delegation.


Each of our Directors have taken the time to put together the included video and blog post introducing themselves and our new organizational direction.


A special thank you to all of our community members who attended our Town Halls on October 17,  October 21, and November 12! We were so pleased to introduce our new board members, thank our outgoing board members for their years of dedicated service, and hear from so many passionate members of our community.

At the town halls, the Board went over the community statement, the organization’s financial position, presented a strategy map to help outline Joy of Motion’s path forward, and held space to listen to our community. 

These three town hall meetings were simply the beginning of conversations; we hope to host more open forums for continued and deeper exchange with the community. There are still so many questions to work through and processing to do. The town halls have been instrumental in sharing an experience together toward healing and moving forward. Our questions continue to be: 

  • How to communicate broadly and effectively with our community? 
  • How to offer our community opportunities to express themselves, asking questions and voicing contributions, while remaining respectful and sensitive to the multiplicity of Joy of Motion?
  • How to move forward, promoting healing and responsible change for the safety and growth of our community?
  • How can we raise enough funds to support this work and secure the organization’s future?

As you may already know, prior to COVID-19 restrictions mandating the closing of our physical doors in March, 80% of our income came from students registering for our in-person classes. To keep the organization as financially viable as possible we’ve made drastic cuts to our budget. Those cuts have included not renewing our lease in Friendship Heights this fall, laying off a significant portion of our employees, and reviewing options for our remaining Bethesda and H Street leases.

300+ Classes serving 1200+ Students Weekly>40 Classes serving 113 students Weekly
$19-25/Drop In Classes
$30-36/Hour for Enrollment Series Classes
$10-28/Hour for Dance Institute Classes
$12/Drop In Classes
$20/Hour for Enrollment Series Classes
90+ Teaching Artists>19 Teaching Artists
22+ Administrative/Studio Staff 4 Administrative Staff
~$158,000 per month in tuition revenue (10 year average)~$17,955 per month in tuition revenue
~$20,425 per month on average in contributed income
73% Grants & 27% Individual contributions
$49,583 Grants TOTAL in FY21
$500 Individual contributions TOTAL in FY21 in September, October, and Early November.
~$188,340 in overhead costs per month
Rent (including Friendship Heights studio), utilities, administrative costs, teacher salaries, scholarships
It cost ~$6,192 a day to stay open and fully operational.
$115,000 - $120,000 in overhead costs per month
Rent, utilities, administrative costs, teacher salaries
It costs approximately ~$5,753 a day to stay open and operational at this reduced capacity.

We are continuing to restructure and cut expenses wherever possible however, our organization is in need of an infusion of financial support in addition to current income in order to maintain operations. Monthly operating expenses generally fall between $115,000-120,000.  Tuition from enrollment, grants, and individual donations have significantly decreased leaving a monthly shortfall of approximately $100,000. We would need nearly 7,100 students a month, or more than 60 students in every class, just to break even.

As an organization, we need time, support, and dollars to make our vision for the future a reality. We look to you, our dance community, to lend assistance and support to our efforts. We cannot do this without you, please help us move forward with joy today.

One-time Donation Monthly Donation

For 44 years, Joy of Motion Dance Center has been dedicated to creating a singular space for learning, growing, and most importantly, dance, in the Greater Washington region. Bringing artists, students, and the community together through meaningful dance experiences is what we do, but now that legacy is in danger. 

Following the challenges of 2020, we need your support to succeed — you, our truly exceptional community of artists, advocates, and allies in dance. Your passion enlivens us, and your support is critical now more than ever as we seek to redefine our organization.

By taking a class or making a donation, you are supporting:

  • Programs celebrating and promoting the diversity and equitable artistic expression of every individual and artist that walks through our doors, virtually or in-person.
  • Classes boasting new and exciting dance styles never before taught at Joy of Motion for learners of all ages and abilities.
  • A more transparent Joy of Motion, where the inputs and ideas of all inform the most robust and strategic direction possible.
  • Outreach into every community in DC, and the reinvigoration of our financial aid program, so that we can honor our founding principle that “Dance is for Everyone”™.

We need your support to succeed. Help Joy of Motion to build a brighter, more equitable, vibrant future for dance education in DC by taking an online dance class or making a tax-deductible donation today.

Your donations and support will help us to return in January with a great winter session!

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