Dance Institute of Washington serves as a leading model for increasing inclusivity and diverse representation at every level of the dance industry, and through that exemplary effort impacts racial and economic equity nationally and globally.
DIW provides youth the opportunity to develop artistically, socially, emotionally and intellectually through quality diverse dance training; its unwavering commitments to access, equity and artistic excellence distinguish DIW from others and sustain its mission. DIW operates a pre-professional school, community engagement initiatives, youth ensemble and professional company, granting youth from diverse backgrounds the chance to experience the performing arts and develop skills for college/careers.
What We Do
DIW's three core principles:
-Artistic excellence: relationship-based dance instruction, world class, diverse faculty, access to cutting edge training resources, and national/regional/local performance opportunities;
-Access, equity, inclusion: elimination of economic/social barriers to participation, authentic, effective outreach, community engagement, partnerships, and year-round racial equity/cultural competency training;
-Beneficial holistic services: academic enrichment, mental health/wellness support, life skills, mentoring, and workforce development to address deficits in underserved populations pursuing a professional dance career.
DIW acts as a pipeline for many hundreds more dancers of all backgrounds to advance successfully into the dance industry, inclusive of college, arts, administrative, and management careers.
DIW's dance education/youth development programs and performances address the need among DC's underserved, low-income youth and families and underrepresented communities of color for quality after school and summer arts programming geared toward goals of high school graduation, college and careers, as well as cultural arts performances that celebrate the diversity of the city. DIW serves children and youth (ages 2.5-22) of DC's underserved neighborhoods, particularly those of Wards 1, 2, 5, 7 and 8, and from throughout the greater Washington metro area, as well as diverse audience members.