Outreach: Carman Chatman of Step Ahead

Step Ahead is Joy of Motion Dance Center’s free summer dance training and job skills program for DC teens. Part of Project Motion Community Outreach, Step Ahead offers an engaging and productive arts experience at our Atlas studios. The program started last Monday, June 25th and will continue for six weeks throughout the summer. During their first week, Step Ahead participants took a Broadway Jazz workshop with Daisy Hobbs and Whitney Brown from the cast of “Memphis.”

They also took a variety of dance classes including Zumba, hip hop, West African, stepping, ballet, jazz, Afro-jazz and contemporary African. In addition to taking class, they learned about the history of stepping, as well as basic ballet terminology and aspects of stage direction. Participants also wrote about their dreams and performed choreography that represented their individual writing assignments. Want to learn more about the Step Ahead program? Participant Carman Chatman shares her experience below:

Here at JOMDC, we learn a variety of dances from ballet to jazz and hip hop. Not only do we learn to dance, but we learn the historical backgrounds of each class that we take. Step Ahead is an amazing program that brings teens together to expand their horizons of dance and knowledge of its culture. This being my third year with Step Ahead, I’ve learned a plethora of techniques and met some of the most talented dance teachers who are willing to tell their experience in the dance world. Since I’ve been here, I have been able to collaborate with others, to listen and to pay close attention. Step Ahead creates a family with new people coming each year. Joy of Motion Dance Center’s Step Ahead is a great program that I am thankful for being a part of!