BWW Featured Dance Studio: DANCEWAVE
Dancewave is a Brooklyn-based school/organization that focuses on the development of the whole person through an accessible dance education experience. Being located in New York City- one of the most vibrant cities in the country -- Dancewave offers students from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to learn, create and perform dance together. Since its founding in 1995 by Artistic & Executive Director Diane Jacobowitz, it is their vision to see a world where through access to the dance experience, our youth become empowered individuals who contribute to the fabrics of their communities and beyond.
Ms. Jacobowitz has an extensive resume in the dance field. She has held various roles from a choreographer of her own dance company, taught as a professional dance teaching artist within the NYC public school system, and a college professor at several universities such as LIU Brooklyn and Hunter College. Her focus in dance changed after having her daughter. It was then she realized that she could do a greater good by serving future generations through the art of dance. She was (and still is) a strong advocate for providing opportunities for all young people who have the desire and talent to dance, regardless of their financial background.
While teaching at LIU Brooklyn in 1994, Ms. Jacobowitz started to produce a show entitled Kids Cafe Festival. She wanted to connect high school dance students to various college dance programs and options. This was a popular community dance event that ran for over 20 years inviting high school dancers from across the Greater NYC area to perform. This was the early beginnings of Dancewave as we know it to be today.
Since then, Dancewave has grown to include a number of different program offerings with the goal of helping children who are underserved in so many different ways to have access to the best dance training possible. Some programs to highlight include their dance classes for little ones through adults in dance styles from creative movement, modern, ballet, hip hop, Zumba, and barre workout. D-Wave in Motion is their outreach program to NYC public schools. Over the past 10 plus years, they currently have programs in 25 schools across all five boroughs in dance disciplines such as salsa, jazz, Flamenco, Chinese and African dance. They also have pre-professional youth dance companies that allow students to hone their craft and work with acclaimed guest choreographers. Past choreographers have included Mark Morris, Camille A. Brown, Paul Taylor, Doug Varone, and Larry Keigwan.
Out of the Kids Cafe Festival came the Dancing Through College and Beyond program. This is a free annual event that provides high school dance students with renowned college dance faculty and choreographers in addition to navigating the college application process. This year's festival will take place on October 8-9, 2017 at the 92Y Harkness Dance Center. Students and their families will have access to networking opportunities, movement and technique classes, panel discussions on financial aid and careers in dance, college auditions and scholarships, all in one fabulous weekend!
Earlier this month, Dancewave just broke ground on the building of a new community dance center to be located on 4th Avenue and Degraw Street in Gowanus, Brooklyn. This new 3,600 square foot facility, is nearly three times bigger than their current location on 4th Avenue and Dean Street. The new location, with design by Studio Joseph, will convert the industrial space into an LEED-certified arts facility. This will be a flexible space to accommodate room for more dance classes, rehearsals and performances with seating for 100 occupants. The center is scheduled to open in 2019.
This is a very exciting moment for Dancewave to embark on such a project at this time to become a vital cultural anchor to the Brooklyn community. It is their hope to expand their programs, reach more youth, and bring dance to those who may not otherwise have access. I personally applaud Ms. Jacobowitz for her commitment and dedication to the field of dance education, the work she has done thus far, and the work that will continue to grow in the future!
For more information about Dancewave, their programs, and the new dance facility, please visit their website at www.dancewave.org.
Photo Credit: Matthew Lapiska