INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The power of dance is what’s making the Kids Dance Outreach program more popular around Indianapolis.
In 2013, the organization was formed from an idea to help kids from all backgrounds have an opportunity to excel in the arts. The program started with having 30 kids and now serves over 2,000.
“These children are incredibly powerful if they’re just given the opportunity and that’s what makes me feel so great about the work that Kids Dance Outreach does,” said Michael Johnson, founding director of Kids Dance Outreach.
Participants work on their craft by practicing at the Athenaeum Theater in downtown Indianapolis.
Whether kids have experience are just beginning, teachers are willing to help them get to success, but to the instructors it’s more than about just dancing.
“[We] push them beyond their limits beyond their capacity to set such high standards and then give them the tools to rise to that challenge,” dance instructor Monica Munoz said.
Students like Katlyn Bays say the lessons they learn help them gain confidence and get through life outside of the dance studio.
“School is kind of rough and I get to come here and let out my emotions,” Bays said.
Jasmine Bolden says her peers taught her how to be more outgoing after being a part of the program for years.
“You can build more friendships like everybody’s so nice,” Bolden said.
“You see such growth in a moment, in an instant, in a face, in a interaction so that in itself is invaluable so people have to see it to believe it,” Munoz said.
Now the group is training to perform in the 2nd Annual Global Fest. It’s a celebration of heritage, cultural traditions and art.
Johnson says performances like these are another opportunity for them to showcase the power and impact dance can have on the community.
“I would say Kids Dance Outreach is life-changing, not only for the children, but it’s life-changing for all those who come in the room and see what these children are achieving,” said Johnson.
Global Fest will also feature many different foods and more live performances.