Motion Express brings Joy of Motion Dance Center’s award-winning brand of dance education for free to D.C. children and teens at their schools. The goal of the Motion Express program is to provide an entry point to the art of dance by engaging D.C. area, high-risk children and youth in dance classes and training. Motion Express promotes physical activity and encourages healthful choices using dance, and fosters healthy relationship building through the social activities inherent in a dance class setting. The Employ level of the Motion Express program is geared for students grades 9th – 12th. It provides a dance and/or administrative internship experience that emphasizes job and life skills, leadership, advocacy, and strengthening of the youth voice. Students also have the opportunity to take free dance classes at JOMDC during their internship. Below is a blog post from one of our current Motion Express Employ students who is interning with Outreach Manager Quynn Johnson:
My name is Jade Wright. I am 16 years old and attend Cesar Chavez PCS. I am currently a junior in high school. My goal is to graduate high school and attend a four-year college to study secondary education. With that I will plan on becoming a math teacher. While in college I would like to join the dance team. I dance because I find it very relaxing. When I dance, I feel like I’m in a comfortable place. To me, dance is being able to connect and perform to the different beats and measures of music.
Interning at Joy of Motion Dance Center has been great. It has given me a chance to see what really goes on in the organization. I noticed that you work at your own pace. Not everyone in the organization does the same thing as the other person. During our first week, we got to see Step Afrika! practice at JOMDC Atlas. It was very interesting because of the different moves that were being used. I never knew that there were so many types of dancing. So far, we have helped file and organize papers, mail tickets, and uploaded documents into Google drive. These tasks made me realize that you really have to manage your time. Also you need to try to make a “To Do List” at the beginning of the week.
In addition, I was asked to create my own outreach program. The name of my program is D.A.B. which stands for “dream and believe.” This program is designed for people who really have a passion for dance and who one day believe they will attend college to continue their dream. This program would serve roughly 100 kids from the age of 14-15. It will give them an opportunity to receive a scholarship to any college of their choice if they stay in the program the whole four years. Overall my experience here at the Joy of Motion Dance Center has been good and it makes me want to come back to learn more new things.