About Us

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.

Mission Statement

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.

Example Programs

UpWard Bound

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)

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.

Board of Directors

Founder and Artistic Director
Carol Richmond
Nutcracker Choreographer
Andrea Paris
Robin McKee
Social Media
INFINIT Marketing Services
Administrative Volunteers
Sue Cricelli
Sue Galdo

What is Dance Kids’ Goal?

  • TO IMPROVE our community life by fostering growth qualities in young people (through performance) including discipline, self-esteem, group problem solving, and the ability to carry tasks to completion.
  • TO EXPOSE as many community members as possible to the beauty and wonder of dance and theater
  • TO TEACH the values which go into creating and performing works of art, and values that enable civilizations to thrive.

Who benefits from Dance Kids?

The Entire Community.

  • Children in need — fund-raising efforts provide scholarships/financial aid for performing arts classes, production tuition and dancewear funding to children who would otherwise not be able to participate.
  • Community organizations — free tickets to our productions are provided for inner-city groups, seniors, and physically challenged youngsters and adults.
  • Outlying communities — classes and productions are being expanded to include performances in cities like Seaside, King City, and Pajaro.
  • Schools and institutions — productions are available for area hospitals, schools, nursing and convalescent homes.

How can you help Dance Kids?

By giving whatever gift you can afford.