PRESS CONTACT: Rachel Pearl, Communications and Media Director, Joy of Motion Dance Center 202.813.9505 ex 701,

NEW APPOINTMENT: Helen L. Hayes- Dance Institute Director for Joy of Motion Dance Center

Photo by Daniel Nathan
Photo by Daniel Nathan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – June, 27, 2016. Steve Barberio, Executive Director of Joy of Motion Dance Center, announced today that long-time faculty member and Program Director of the award-winning Youth Dance Ensemble, Helen L. Hayes, has been appointed Dance Institute Director of Joy of Motion Dance Center. Ms. Hayes is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in dance and has taught and performed professionally throughout the world. Ms. Hayes performed 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 and 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, which she co-directed from 1996-2008. She has taught jazz and modern dance in Bulgaria at the International Ballet Competition, was adjunct faculty at the University of Maryland and has taught numerous master classes in the United States and abroad.

For the past 25 years, Hayes has taught modern, ballet, jazz, composition and improvisation for adults and youth at Joy of Motion Dance Center. Since 2005, Hayes has directed the Youth Dance Ensemble, a pre-collegiate program for students, ages 6-18. Hayes is dedicated to fostering the talent of young dancers through a modern based program, recognizing that many programs solely focus on ballet. “I wanted to make a program for kids who have talent but are not destined to be classical ballet dancers,” Hayes explained. There were numerous ‘early release’ programs that trained exclusively for ballet, but none for modern or jazz dance, choreography and composition. Under Hayes’ direction, Joy of Motion’s 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 and on Broadway. In September 2015, Hayes celebrated her 25th year of teaching dance at Joy of Motion Dance Center.

Ms. Hayes will oversee educational programs in the newly formed Dance Institute, comprised of the Youth Dance Ensemble Program, the Hip Hop Youth Education and Performance Program (H.Y.P.E.), Youth Performing Youth Companies, and the new Adult Conservatory. Her role as Dance Institute Director begins immediately.

Steve Barberio noted, “I recognize in Helen a depth of dance knowledge and incredibly strong relationships in the community. She has a passion for education and performance training and is an exceptional judge of talent, which have defined the excellence of the Youth Dance Ensemble for the last decade and that we want to use as a model for other programs in the Joy of Motion Dance Institute.”

The Dance Institute, which is for more serious dance students, is just one of the many new programs Barberio has structured to build greater access to excellence, while remaining true to the company’s commitment to access and inclusion. Adult and young students of the Dance Institute will become immersed in a comprehensive dance curriculum that provides unparalleled training in order to create global citizen with a world-view of compassion, tolerance, and excellence in dance.