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  • Bill Massey

Mark DeGarmo Dance incorporated in 1987 as Dynamic Forms, Inc., a 501(c)(3) charity. Since then, we have created dance education, performance and intercultural community programs with national significance. Our work is committed to enlivening bodies, shifting perspectives, and changing lives. For 28 years we have worked on the Lower East Side, and became a resident member organization of The Clemente in 2001.

Mark DeGarmo Dance education programs are tailored to public schools that lack arts education. We have partnered with over 25 NYC schools where our Teaching Artists work with low-income students, integrating dance classes with the daily curriculum to support students’ achievement of multi-dimensional excellence. Research shows that dance-based skill building helps level the playing field for learners considered underserved and at-risk, and reinforces “21st century skills” such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity, which prepare students to succeed in the global economy. Our students show marked improvement in math scores, journal-writing and overall behavior. On average, we teach 1,000 school-day and after-school classes to over 1,500 PreK – 5 students annually.

The dance education program recently expanded with the launch of Mark DeGarmo Move UP! Dance Academy at The Clemente. This series of summer dance classes will be expanded to include adult as well as children’s classes in the fall.

Our annual fundraiser, Dance for Dance, honors an educational visionary. This vibrant “dance party of the year” takes place at The Clemente and reflects our intercultural mission by bringing together guests and supporters with students, teachers, staff and the local diverse community. Every $1 contributed to MDD has been shown to produce a $2.11 benefit to society. We have 95% renewal rates on government grants and additional support comes from individuals and over 200 awards from foundations and corporations.

Mark DeGarmo Dance performance projects are created to perform and disseminate original dance and artistic work to an international audience. MDD has produced over 100 dances and 28 international tours involving cultural diplomacy and exchange in 12 countries across Latin America and Europe. Intercultural community-building is an essential part of this work, as we seek to foster global understanding through dance.

The foundation of our educational program is to enable children to engage in creative expression. Performance and intercultural exchange further our vision by using the creative process to benefit society.