Historically, community dance programs have struggled for sustainability beyond one grant cycle, or one visionary’s idea.
Building Cultures of Dance (BCoD) is Luna’s way to support efforts to build capacity for enduring dance programs. We partner with education, social service and arts organizations throughout the region, state and nation to build cultures of dance that support the values of each community.
Luna brings our creative inquiry and reflective practice approach to tailored short-term consultations and longer-term contracts. Prospective partners select from a range of services that may include program planning, professional development, curriculum creation with embedded assessment, program evaluation and evolution, and leadership support.
The seed of a particular BCoD project is often planted by a Professional Learning participant. As teaching artists become empowered leaders, there is a ripple effect. They make changes at their teaching sites, they grow programs, and mentor others. We support them to develop leadership skills, write proposals, or assess or scale a program; but ultimately, Luna is proud to be building cultures of dance led by the very professionals who live and work in them.
Examples of BCoD partnership projects can be found in school districts (Oakland Unified, Los Angeles Unified, San Francisco Unified); in arts organizations (AXIS Dance Company, San Francisco Ballet); in social service agencies (Asian Women’s Shelter, Lotus Bloom); and in statewide initiatives such as CREATE California.
School and Community Alliances
At Luna Dance Institute, we believe it is every child’s right to dance.
We also believe that dance education should be creative, progress sequentially and be taught by highly qualified professionals. We seek to work with schools, districts, agencies and districts to build strong, sustainable dance programs customized for and integral to your community.
Early Childhood Education
We work with Headstart programs to design dance programs that are developmentally appropriate for young children.
In Early Childhood Education (ECE), Luna helps educators of children ages two through eight incorporate dance throughout their day. ECE teachers learn to create conducive environments for dance and movement, increase their confidence in integrating dance in circle time, and become more skilled at extending children’s creativity during spontaneous moments of dance. A few teachers at each site want more and study to become in-house dance experts, providing mini dance classes for preschoolers or sharing dance learning with parents.
If you are interested in having Luna work to increase capacity for dance at your center, please complete this interest form
Organizations Inspired by MPACT
Since its inception in 2001, community and social service agencies have been intrigued by the successful outcomes of MPACT (Moving Parents and Children Together).
When children express themselves through dance they find home in their body moving through space. LDI has worked with organizational allies who recognize the role the arts play in social justice. Learn more about MPACT with organizations here.
In the United States, dance is the least represented discipline in arts education.
Luna Dance Institute feels compelled to be a voice of dance wherever arts education is represented. To that end, we are often invited to teach a workshop or breakout session at arts education conferences or artist trainings. Our Professional Learning workshops have been electives for various county integrated arts programs, we’ve led dance sections of district summer arts institutes, and been hired as guest lecturers in college education courses.
Dance performing organizations hire us to support their teaching artists or think strategically about their program delivery. Since 2003, Luna has worked regularly with the physically integrated dance company, AXIS; San Francisco Ballet community arts program; and Dance Education Lab at the 92nd Street Y.
If you are interested in finding out how Luna can build capacity for dance at your agency, please complete this interest form.
Regional, State and National Projects
To fulfill our mission to bring dance to all children, Luna works with teachers and regional, state, and national allies to ensure dance is part of all arts education discussions.
At the same time, we are interested in changing the old habits and mores of our profession that are no longer relevant to moving creativity and dance forward. We engage in arts education leadership within our city, our county, the San Francisco Bay Area region, California, and the nation.
In addition to policy work, such as serving as co-president, past-president, and advisor to the California Dance Education Association; working on various initiatives of CREATE, California; and serving on the boards of the California Alliance for Arts Education and the National Guild for Community Arts Education, Luna shares its content expertise as well. We have served on the standards writing committees for preschool foundations and the upcoming new VAPA standards and led projects to create new programs in southern California, such as the MPACT-like initiatives.
In 2018-19, we piloted a training of the trainers project called Your Turn, increasing the capacity for professional development for dance educators in Southern California’s rapidly expanding region.
Our Dance Allies
- Acorn Woodland State PreK (Oakland)
- Asian Women’s Shelter (AWS)
- Bella Vista Child Development Center (Oakland)
- Cesar Chavez Library (Oakland)
- DeColores Child Development Center (Oakland)
- Eastmont Library (Oakland)
- Emerson Elementary (OUSD)
- Eighty-first (81st) Avenue Library (Oakland)