Independent Dance Ambassadors – Keeping Kids safe and active with Dance!

In Colorado, Dance Exploration, LLC has served over 100 schools with our safe and educational after school dance, cheer and theater program. Each of our classes serve an average of 10 participants and 3 rounds of students. If we were able to expand our reach into 100 schools in each state nationwide with our Dance Ambassador program, we could bring a safe and educational after school option to children in 5,000 schools and potentially 150,000 additional children nationwide could be enriched by the opportunities our ‘Dance to Learn!’™ Curriculum provides.


Why are after school programs important?

According to the Afterschool Alliance Fact Sheet 11.3 million kids are left unattended during after school hours (usually between the hours of 3 and 6p). Children are more likely to get into ‘trouble’ during these hours.

It’s been determined that children who do participate in after school programs have fewer absences, perform better, are better behaved and score higher on tests than students who do not participate in an after school activity. (Weissberg, R.P.,, 20 10)

There are 19.3 MILLION children who would participate in an afterschool program if one were provided to them! That’s 19.3 million children who could potentially benefit from a Dance Ambassador visiting their school with the ‘Dance to Learn!’™ Curriculum!

Read the Source

What are the Outcomes of After School Programs?

  • Improved attendance and engagement in learning
  • Improved test scores and grades
  • Students at the greatest risks received the greatest gains
  • Keep kids safe, active and on track
  • Help working families

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What are the Physical Activity Statistics for After School Hours? 

Based on a report conducted by America After 3 PM (Afterschool Alliance) 13,709 households completed a survey on their expectations of afterschool programs and if the programs were meeting these expectations.

  • 8 in 10 parents surveyed agreed that after school programs should keep the kids physically active.
  • 8 in 10 parents believed the programs should be fun for the kids.
  • 68% of parents will enroll their children in after school program based on how much physical activity it may provide
  • 2014 United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth” by the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance gave a “D-” which means most children are not receiving 60 minutes or more of physical activity 5 days per week
  • 84% of parents believe that After School programs should offer the opportunity for children to be physically active
  • The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that youth between the ages of 6-17 should exercise for 60 minutes daily.
  • 44% of school administrators have admitted to having to cut physical education activities int their schools to  make room for other academics during school hours
  • 1/3 (32%) of children are considered overweight or obese
  • Only 56% of parents realize that there are standards for after school programs that provide physical activity

Read the Source


How Can Dance Exploration help or improve these statistics?

Providing a physically active and fun program to students
All Dance Exploration, LLC ‘Dance to Learn!’™ classes include physical activity! Classes inlcude a warm up section designed to warm up muscles with easy stretches, cardio and strength exercises. Across the floor and center activities get the children moving. Activities are designed to improve agility, balance, coordination, strength, mobility, and flexibility. Finally a choreography section (learning a dance to pre-set moves) can be challenging and fun! Our program is fun, dancing is fun! Upbeat music, learning new moves, dancing with props or in groups- our ‘Dance to Learn!™ Curriculum is designed for the whole child in mind. It’s not just teaching dance, it’s allowing children to express themselves through dance and movement! Encouraging creativity in designing and choreographing their own dance moves.

Providing more physical active hours in a day
Our programs are 45-60 minutes long! With the decrease in physically active hours offered to children in schools, they need as many hours of movement and activity as they can get!

Combating childhood obesity
Along with providing an hour of added activity to our students’ day, dance evolves around active and healthy individuals. We encourage our students to live more active lifestyles through a family engagement program. This gets parents moving at home with their children- adding more physical activity. If parents have healthier and more active lifestyles, so will their children.

Improving the awareness of Dance Standards
Like standards for afterschool programs, there are also state and national standards of dance education. Our 5 Methods of Dance™ follow these standards and we are train our Ambassadors on the national and state standards.

Now you know how adding Dance Ambassadors across the US can further enrich the lives of school children nationwide! Make a pledge today to help us get more kids active and dancing!

Pledge our Kickstarter Campaign



‘Dance to Learn!’™ Dance Ambassador Program

SLIDE SHOW 5The goal of the ‘Dance to Learn!’™ Dance Ambassador program is to train and certify Dance Professionals in the ‘Dance to Learn!’™ Curriculum. In development since 2009, Dance Exploration, LLC’s ‘Dance to Learn!’™ Curriculum has been taught to children in preschool and elementary schools across Colorado! When founded originally, it combined a ‘Recipe for Success’ which used the following ingredients to compose of the classes:

Dance Principles:
1 Part Warm Ups
1 Part Across/Around the Floor
1 Part Center Activity
1 Part Choreography

School Principles:
Combine any one or Combo:

Development Skills:
Include any and all:
Cognitive Skills
Social Skills
Motor Skills
Language Skills

These combinations included a dance class that was designed to teach the whole child.


Since 2009 the ‘Dance to Learn!’™ Curriculum has been developed and now includes the 5 Methods of Dance™ these methods include:

‘Dance to Learn!’™- teaching the child in a way that fosters creative thinking, problem solving and interacting in the world with dance and movement.

‘Dance to Accept!’™- teaching children about social and economic differences and how to embrace the unique talents and skills of others through dance and movement.

‘Dance to Discover!’™- helping children discover their world through dance principles. Discovery can be any concept that children would learn whether in school or just a life concept.

‘Dance to Express!’™- helping children find their individual passion. Many children have a hard time communicating or sharing their problems or thoughts, dance allows another avenue for this expression.

‘Dance to Move!’™- movement through dance can teach balance, coordination, flexibility, agility and strength. Dance also encourages and active and healthy lifestyle.

These five methods have been designed with the whole child in mind and are based on the different stages of childhood development: Cognition, language and speech development, social skills, and motor development. Our new recipe for success is the perfect combination to immprove Dance Education in schools.

According to the National Dance Education Organization 57% of children do NOT have access to dance training in schools! Of the 43% who do, only 7% of this training is offered by a teacher who is trained or specialized in dance!! (

Think about that! Would you want your child to learn how to drive by a person who doesn’t have a driver’s license of their own? Would you want your child to learn how to tumble and flip by a person who never trained in gymnastics? What about trusting a person who didn’t train in proper ballet technique before teaching your child how to dance in pointe shoes? Dance in all forms takes years to develop proper technique and training! Just like professional football players train for years, so do our dancers and dance teachers! Why do more schools not entrust the teaching of dance to dance professionals? It’s clearly a topic that requires more education, as well as more dance professionals who are open and willing to enter the schools to provide that education!

With the ‘Dance to Learn!’™ Dance Ambassador program, our Ambassadors will receive a teaching certification on the ‘Dance to Learn!’™ curriculum and the 5 Methods that formulate that Curriculum. They will be authorized to teach the Curriculum for three years to children in schools in their state of residence! Our Dance Ambassador program is not made available to dance studios where dance is already taught on a professional level by dance professionals. This program is designed specifically for school children who don’t have access to or cannot afford professional dance education. With the Dance Ambassador program, we can also ensure that the dance training provided to children in our schools also includes all the benefits that dance provides by including the 5 Methods of Dance designed specifically around the stages of childhood development!


With the ‘Dance to Learn!’™ Curriculum website, our Dance Ambassadors will also receive a three year dance curriculum subscription to continued education and development in the ‘Dance to Learn!’™ Curriculum to ensure that children can continue to receive the best in dance education!

Can you help us improve the statistics for the quality of dance education provided to our youth in schools nationwide? Make a pledge today and help us on our mission!

Learn how to apply to become a ‘Dance to Learn!’™ Independent Dance Ambassador!

Creating Holiday Magic through Dance

Author: Jessica Clayton

Dance Exploration has a goal to create educational dance experiences at every turn! One of our most exciting and busiest times of year is around the holidays! We want to carry our “Dance to Learn” curriculum year round and make it available to all children! We do this by offering two extremely popular interactive holiday extravaganzas! The Nutcracker Sweet and the Reindeer Hop! This is quick look inside these magical adventures!

Nutcracker Sweet
The Nutcracker Sweet explores the Nutcracker as written by E.T.A Hoffman’s the Nutcracker and the Mouse King! Children will be taken through the adventure with Marie, (also known as Clara), and Drosselmeyer to experience the Nutcracker and his adventures with the Mouse King.

What makes this workshop magical is allowing the children the opportunity to explore this magical adventure first hand! Too many times we’ve all been to the staging of the Nutcracker to watch Clara on her travels with her Prince, and for most of us, wishing we could be part of it all. The Nutcracker Sweet makes this possible!

Children will battle each other as mice and soldiers during the epic battle of the Nutcracker and the Mouse King! Mouse Jumps, marches, kicks, scurries, are just some of the dance moves to be explored!

The most important part of the Nutcracker of course is the Land of the Sweets! Children will experience what Clara did as she entered this magical kingdom! They will learn dances from China, Arabia, Russia, and France! The adventure is topped off with a visit from the Sugar Plum Fairy!

Nutcracker Sweet
Ages 3-7
10:00 am to 11:30
Washington Street Community Center
Enroll Online:

Host this workshop as a Drop N’ Shop at your retail establishment
Host this workshop at your school
Email Kylee at to schedule!

Reindeer Hop

The Reindeer Hop is for older children in Elementary, Middle and High Schools. This workshop is more so based on Hip Hop and Musical Theater Style dancing rather than that of the Ballet Nutcracker Sweet for the preschoolers. This workshop allows children to get creative with their dancing! A short intro to dance styles and moves that can be used to create their masterpieces kicks off the workshop.

After learning the basics the children are let loose to create their own holiday dance greeting for thier parents when they return! Children are given a fun Holiday song to choose from and are helped and encouraged artistically to create a Holiday Dancer Card that is special, creative and fun! The great thing about the Reindeer Hop is it can be personalized for different holiday beliefs!

Host this workshop at your Retail Establishment
Host this workshop at your school
Email Kylee at

Sarah’s Story

Sara has dreamed of nothing more than dancing ever since she watched the video of “Barbie of Swan Lake!”

“I want to be a ballerina like Barbie!” she exclaims! “She dances on her toes! I want to do that!”

Sara comes from a low income family. Nancy, Sara’s mom, is a stay at home mom. She takes care of Sara and her younger sister. Sara’s father, Thomas,  works for RTD.

“We just can’t afford to put Sara into a regular dance program. They are just so expensive!” Nancy says. “When I saw the flier at Sara’s school for dance classes, I just got so excited and hoped that I could afford the program!”

Nancy applied for the Dance Exploration, LLC Financial Aid Services. Low-Income families can receive a 30% discount towards their tuition when they qualify. Dance Exploration, LLC could not offer this option to families without support from the community with the Sponsor a Dancer Fund!

The Sponsor a Dancer Fund directly supports the Financial Aid Services which we offer to student’s like Sara, who have a dream to dance but who’s hard working families simply can’t afford it.

“Thank you Dance Exploration for allowing Sara to pursue her dream. We saw her dance as a Ballerina at her graduation performance, and we were thrilled!”

The Dance Exploration, LLC Financial Aid Program has assisted 6 children from low-income families pursue their dancing dreams.

Help other dancers like Sara today!

Education of Dance

Local instructor incorporates educational lessons with movements” A Lakewood dance instructor not only teaches children the fun moves, but other educational lessons when visiting Jeffco elementary schools and daycares.

“I think it’s important to make math and other subjects a part of dance so all the lessons stick in their heads,”

said Jessica Clayton, instructor of Dance Exploration classes at Allana’s Academy of Dance.

Clayton, a Lakewood resident of three years said, she makes a point to visit Jeffco schools to get children interested in dance, and to keep them in shape.

“I have been told from gym teachers that their classes have been cut back, sometimes to twice a week. They are worried about their kids staying healthy and in shape,”

Clayton said.

Clayton and five other instructors have visited 10 schools in Jeffco, usually during gym time, showing students how to cut a rug. If students are interested, they may take a class after school at their own building.

“Everything about dance is educational. You have to count the music, have spatial awareness and learn social development with the others in class,”

Clayton said. During the summer, Clayton offers classes for children to teenagers who want to continue their dance skills.

Mary Jo Jones, physical educator at Green Mountain Elementary School, said the class was a success when visited this year.

“It was an opportunity to try new action and ideas. They (the students) were able to use their brains in different ways,”

Jones said. Clayton introduced the class to students during gym time, and offered lessons after school for those who wanted to participate.

“Moving their feet is a great way to make brain connections,”

Jones said. She added that 10 students participated in the after school classes, which had a performance for parents at the end of the course. “It was a hit for the parents and kids.

They (Dance Exploration) can come back any time,” Jones said.
Classes cost $5 for 45 minutes and $7 for an hour, Clayton said. Dance Exploration makes its way to day care centers as well.

“I think it went well, they really seemed to enjoy it,”

said Lori Candage, director of A Child’s Place in Edgewater, after Clayton visited the day care. She said children signed up for classes after the workshop.

“I think dancing is absolutely essential to children’s brain development,”

Candage said. She added the class coming to the day care for lessons makes it easier for more children to be involved.

For more information on the Dance Exploration class, visit or call 303-949-1975

Photo by: JUSTIN SAGARSEEJessica Clayton, founder of Dance Exploration, hangs out with children during a dance class at A Child’s Place in Edgewater on Thursday, May 20.

For the Community:

How can Dance improve the Community as a whole?

Overcoming Biases

Dance is a universal language! Everyone is welcome to dance. We want our children to be brought up in a community with social diversity and acceptance. The best way to build acceptance to diversity is by bringing everyone together sharing a common ground. Dance can do that for this community by offering a means for everyone to explore different cultures, ways of life, ideas, expressions, and thoughts.

Close Community

Families will come together to watch their children dance and interact together. Laughter, smiles, applause and joy will be shared by everyone as our children come together in a healthy, creative and educational way.

Developing Teamwork

Not only will our children learn the value of teamwork and working together, the entire community will. We will all come together to ensure that our children are receiving the best education, growing up in a healthy environment and reaching towards a common goal of having a wonderful community for everyone who lives here.

Happier Children and Less Crime

Thirteen to seventeen year old juvenile offenders and other disenfranchised youth, took jazz and hip hip classes twice a week for ten weeks. They developed significant gains in confidence, tolerance and persistence after taking the classes. According to “Critical Evidence, How the Arts Benefit Student Achievement.”

For Schools:

How Dance can Improve our Educational System

Research shows that students who participate in dance related activities have higher grades, better test scores, longer attention spans, and a greater success rate in school than students who do not partake in dance related activities. Dance students must use both sides of their brains to remember technique and combinations while applying artistry and creativity. Dancers also project confidence and self-esteem as well as discipline and motivation. All of these qualities are also needed to be successful in school.In a study by the National Assembly of State Art Agencies titled: “Critical Evidence: How the ARTS Benefit Student Achievement” it is reported how there is a positive connection between the arts and children’s improved learning abilities. Another study, “Champion of Change: The Impact of Arts on Learning,” writes about seven different studies conducted to determine whether participation in the arts could actually improve students’ ability to learn. They determined that the arts and dance influence students’ success in school.

Test Scores

In a comparison of students who took art related activities in schools 66.8% of
8th Grade students scored in the top 2 quartiles on standardized tests compared
to only 42.7% of students who didn’t take art related activities. While in the
10th Grade 72.5% of art students scored in the top 2 quartiles of standardized
composite tests compared to 45.0% of those with low or no art classes. (Page 3
of “Champions of Change”)

According to the Texas Coalition for Quality Arts Education, students who study fine arts in schools have proven to score higher SAT scores than students who don’t have the opportunity of studying fine arts in school.


79.2% of 8th grade students who took art classes earned As and Bs in English. (Page 3 of “Champions of Change”)

Reading Readiness

“Dance has been employed to develop reading readiness in very young children.” (Page 11 of “Critical Evidence”)

Reading scores were 25.8% higher among 10th grade students who took art related classes as opposed to those who took few or no art classes. (Page 3 of “Champions of Change”)

A Reading Through Dance Program Study at DePaul University, determined that students who participated in the dance program improved their reading skills more than control students who did not participate in the program.

Cognitive Development

According to Neuroscientists from seven universities, learning to dance relates closely to physical practice and that training improves other cognitive skills.

Critical Thinking

Dancers in a group learn important skills such as the ability to plan, successfully expressing their thoughts and ideas, providing concise arguments and reasons for or against different concepts, and applying different strategies to complete tasks. (Page 25 of “Champions of Change”)

Creative Thinking

High school students who were dancers scored higher than non-dancers on creative thinking measures in an experimental research study. (Page 15 of “Critical Evidence”)

According to a study at the University of Northern Colorado, the Torrence Test of Creative Thinking was used to compare the creative thinking process of dancers compared to non dancers. Dancers showed a significant difference in originality and abstractness of thought compared to the non dancers.


Students who learn the arts in school have fewer problems expressing
themselves, using their imaginations, taking academic risks, and demonstrating
what they have learned than students who do not participate in arts programs.
(Page 38-39 “Champions of Change”)

According to the Center for Educator Development in Fine Arts, higher academic test scores, higher self-esteem, stronger social skills, and greater content knowledge can be attributed to students participating in groups in dance classes. Drop Out RatesStudents who take art classes have a 1.4% chance of dropping out of school before the 10th grade. (Page 3 “Champions of Change”)

Improving Teachers

The arts in school also help teachers. A University of Minnesota study noted three key changes in teachers when the arts were incorporated into the classroom: The teachers’ perception of students changed, they saw greater potential in their students and their learning abilities in areas such as intelligence, leadership and motivation. The teachers became more focused on becoming “facilitators of knowledge” rather than dispensers of knowledge. Teachers encouraged more revision and improvement from each student’s assignments. They felt more comfortable giving critiques and encouraged students to be comfortable in risk taking.

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