Dancing to Connect


Dancing to Connect (DtC), an award-winning initiative, engages participants in creativity and team-building through the art form of dance. Students of all abilities work under the guidance of Battery Dance ’s teaching artists, who are also world-class performers, creating and performing choreography of their own devising. Dancing to Connect workshops open doors for teens as they transition into the leaders and engaged citizens of tomorrow.


Dance takes the thinking and creative processes into a physical space, providing students with a non-verbal means of expression. Through an intensive week-long series of four to five-hour workshops, students find in dance a new and different way to realize themselves, using their own experiences to create their own choreography, which they then perform on stage along with Battery Dance’s world-class dancers. The Dancing to Connect program has been used to bridge divides, unite communities, empower youth and the disabled, combat bullying and xenophobia, and provide access to dance to all people regardless of socio-economic status. See more results of our program evaluations here.


In conjunction with the workshops, Battery Dance Teaching Artists can be paired with local dance instructors who act as teacher trainees. Mirroring the Battery Teaching Artist, teacher trainees learn how to conduct the Dancing to Connect Program, helping to ensure the future sustainability of the program.

Mission & Issue Areas

The Dancing to Connect program has been used to tackle issues most relevant to communities and societies throughout the world. Some of the issue areas targeted by the Dancing to Connect program include:

Inclusion / Exclusion: Workshops focused on ending bullying, combating xenophobia and/or ending discrimination whether it be based on religion, nationality, ethnicity, age, or class.

Program Examples: New York City public high-schools (annually), Germany (2010), Wealthy and impoverished youth in Brazil (2012),  Roma and non-Roma in Europe (2013), Muslim Immigrants and native French Youth (2014), Immigrants and non-immigrants in Spain (2011) & Greece (2013), HIV and AIDS positive adults and non-positive adults in the Democratic Republic of Congo (2010).


Conflict Resolution & Prevention: Workshops focused on bringing together youth from communities that have been in conflict, are near conflict, or are in conflict.

Program Examples: Protestants and Catholics in Belfast (2014), Albanians/Macedonians/Roma (2013), Sunnis/Shiites/Christians in Iraq (2012), Burmese Refugees in Malaysia (2011),  Israelis/Palestinians/Germans (2011)

Empowering the Less Advantaged: Workshops focused on providing hope, confidence, leadership and life skills such as teamwork and listening skills, to the least advantaged youth in society and/or troubled youth.

Program Examples: At-risk youth in Dominican Republic (2016), street youth in Tanzania (2011 & 2012), abused youth in Brazil (2012), orphan youth in Spain (2011)

Gender Based Violence & Human Trafficking: Programs focused on propagating mutual respect between genders and ending gender-based violence.

Program Examples: at-risk youth in the Democratic Republic of Congo (2010), victims of human sex trafficking in India (2014)

People with Disabilities: Workshops focused on people living with disabilities that aim to change public perceptions of the disabled, participant perceptions of what they can achieve, and to give attention to the needs of disabled communities around the world.

Program Examples: Down Syndrome in Romania (2013), people with physical disabilities in Laos (2014), the blind, the deaf, people with intellectual disabilities, and the physically disabled in Paraguay (2015)


Refugee Integration: Programs designed to integrate newly arrived refugees and unaccompanied minors with their counterparts in their new communities. Workshops also address the trauma faced by the refugee youth, and provides a new means of healing and understanding.  

Program Example: Germany Refugee Integration Program (2016-2020). Learn More Here

School Subject Areas: Utilizing school curriculum objectives, workshops themes are devised to give participants a new understanding of a school subject area, such as History, the Environment, Literature, and Fine Arts.

Program Examples: Fort Wadsworth (2014), Fall of the Wall in Germany (2010)



Battery Dance’s extensive overseas experience has equipped it with three significant assets:

(1) Broad experience in cultural diplomacy and cross-cultural communication

(2) Programming methodology specifically designed to connect with foreign cultures and communities

(3) A network of contacts with foreign government agencies, NGO’s as well as the State Department’s Regional Bureaus, Embassies, and Posts.

Thus, more than most other American performing arts organizations, Battery Dance is uniquely positioned to help nurture and promote international cultural engagement worldwide.

Header Photo and Refugee Integration Photo: Christian Jongeblodt