With over twenty years of production history, Dance Kids, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is proud of our wide range of theatrical experiences that support kids to flourish. In the early days, productions at the Carmel Ballet Academy included Nutcracker and original spring musicals. Dance Kids was known for fun loving nostalgia surrounding the musicals and drew from the community a range of young people and their families committed to theatre. As we grew, our little venue could not handle the Nutcracker any longer, but continued as the venue for the spring productions, until those too outgrew the dance studio.
We have bravely grown Dance Kids Nutcracker into a spectacular production eagerly awaited by cast and community. The original vision of Dance Kids of Monterey County has been honored as well as surpassed in the ensuing years. The Founder, Executive Director and the Board of Directors are proud to carry the traditions of dance and theatre to the Monterey Peninsula.
Dance Kids of Monterey County was created to provide ongoing performance opportunities in dance and theater arts to the youth of Monterey County. Our mission is to strengthen character and positively influence children’s lives through the performing arts.
Dance Kids of Monterey County has teamed with the National program, UpWard Bound, with offices at CSUMB (Cal State Monterey Bay, Seaside CA) for three summers to provide arts education in their 6 week summer program held on the CSUMB campus. Over 50 young people from the Salinas Valley are impacted in this program. Upward Bound serves high school students from low-income families and high school students from families in which neither parent went to college. The six week program allows the high school student to take college level classes in the morning and the arts afternoon program to have them become accustomed to living on a college campus.
DKMC has provided hip hop, jazz, aztec dance, folklorico and drumming classes for each session. The sessions are 4 days a week from 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm for six weeks.
Community Partnership for Youth (CPY) is a prevention program providing positive alternatives to gangs, drugs and violence while reinforcing individual strengths. Our vision is to provide our youth with a safe, structured environment that encourages healthy boundaries, positive self-esteem and the ability to make good choices for a full and successful life. Housed in Seaside, CA the program teams with Dance Kids of Monterey County each summer. DKMC provides a month long theatre training program three days a week for 6 hours a day. The students learn basic acting skills and improvisation techniques. They study set design and costume production.
The month long camp culminates in a performance for the families at a local school.
Esteban Hernandez, PhD.
Student Board Member
Founder and Artistic Director
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