All photography provided by Y.A.Z.
Since 2013, we have led the effort to provide every child with an equitable and affordable dance education, providing over 300 children with a "Chance to Dance."
Beginning in 2013, the PAV Y.M.C.A and Chance to Dance; a 501c3 non-profit organization, joined together to provide an equitable and affordable dance education to children of low-income families. Currently, Chance to Dance services over 300 students, by providing them with an enriching and inexpensive experience in the arts. We offer classes for students age 3 through high school in the styles of jazz and hip-hop. Upon registering, each student receives 17 weeks of dance class, three costumes, a t-shirt, dress rehearsal and recital for just $50.00. While dance is what brings us together, our mission, the heart of our company is what grounds us in our practice. Chance to Dance’s mission, and the foundation in which we’ve built our company upon, is to “empower youth to pave the path from hope to change.” In order to facilitate this empowerment, we focus on five specific pillars of development in our students. “I am strong, I am beautiful, I am talented, I am empowered and I am ready to work hard.” These statements are recited by our students before the start of each class. Our students discover what it means to be strong by withstanding great force and pressure in a world of chaos. They grow to understand they are beautiful inside and out through building rapport. They focus on their talents by showing up, taking up space, and concentrating on their skills. They strive to be empowered; more confident in the ability to control their lives and claiming the rights to that life. They recognize this empowerment, talent, beauty and strength can only come through constant and consistent effort and being ready to work hard at all times. In creating a culture that believes in the truth of these pillars, Chance to Dance hopes to be a change agent for students in our community. It is our expectation as we build up our community, we can also build out. We want to stretch our hands and pave the path to other communities, offering this program to as many children as possible in the Chicagoland area and beyond. As we grow, we will continue to strengthen our foundation under our feet, feel the rhythm in the air, keep our goals on the horizon, and a passion for equity and dance in our hearts. We look forward to continually being able to inspire, create, dream and most importantly dance with as many children as possible.
Chance to Dance was the best thing I signed my girls up for.
— Parent , Chance to Dance