What do a 2017 Phi Beta Kappa Scholar, a  2012 Gold Medalist in dance at the NAACP National ACT-SO Olympics of the Mind Competition, a 2016 Oxford-Exeter Program Scholar, a 2018 MFA Graduate of the Glasgow School of Art in  Scotland, the 2018 Ms. Spelman College, and an apprentice with Ailey II have in common? They are all alumni of the Dance Theater of Syracuse!

Dance Theater of Syracuse (DTS), a not-for-profit community organization, is imbued with the spirit and the legacy of dance giants from Balanchine to Alvin Ailey. Our board and past and present faculty members proudly sit on a cultural continuum that is passing down the concert dance forms of classical ballet, jazz, modern and tap dance to young artists predominately from under-served backgrounds.  Since we began this work in the year 2000 under the name Parents Promoting Dance, we’ve dedicated nearly twenty years of service to nurturing the soul of the creative child. Since opening our studio in 2009, We’ve done this by awakening the inner artist of our young proteges through daily instruction and by providing opportunities to perform, engage and witness the great artists of our time in performance, exhibition and thru master classes. 

Our students have been the recipients of awards and honors such as the John DeFrancisco Young Artist Award many times over, and DTS students were among the first recipients of the Jenni-Lyn Watson Memorial Fund and the Carrie Lazarus Fund for Extraordinary Talent.   DTS dancers have also been accepted into competitive summer dance intensives at the North Carolina School of the Arts, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Joffrey, Dance Theater of Harlem and the New York State Summer School of the Arts.  And in seeking higher education, DTS students have been accepted into leading colleges and universities across the country. Our alumni are pursuing careers in all walks of life including the fine and performing arts, medicine, law, and education. With the efforts of many we were able to introduce and receive training for our students from master instructors such as: Troy Powell, Artistic Director of Ailey II,  Kim Grier (Artistic Director of Rod Rodgers Dance Company), Theara Ward (Dance Theater of Harlem), and  Aisha Mitchell (The Lion King, Broadway Cast)to name a few.  

Located in a city where 50% of children are born into poverty, dance classes never appear on many a family’s hierarchy of needs.  Many DTS families are working just to make ends meet.  Undiscovered artists are lying dormant within a community with the highest levels of concentrated poverty in the nation among African and Latino Americans can only metastasize.  Unrealized potential untold, because of the lack of opportunity to discover or actualization innate gifts is a travesty.

By supporting DTS this holiday season you can give a child or a host of children the opportunity to be part of a daily intensive afterschool community that fosters creativity trains the body and the mind in pursuit of self-efficacy, mastery of an art form and academic distinction.  This year we are excited to collaborate with the Syracuse City Ballet to provide the best Syracuse has to offer in classical ballet instruction at DTS. 

What we know for sure is Dance is an arts discipline that teaches focus and perseverance in the pursuit of excellence.  It engenders confidence, poise, fitness, musicality and a love for truth and beauty. A gift of $50 will fund a faculty member to teach a class of up to 15 students on any given day, or it can outfit a child with proper dance attire for a year.  A gift of $62.00 can pay for a dance class for one child for an entire month, and a gift of $620.00 will fund a one-hour dance class for one child for an entire year. Please consider giving the gift of self-expression this holiday season to a promising young dancer in Central NY by supporting the Dance Theater of Syracuse.

We can continue nurturing young artists, with the support of people like you.  Know that a gift of any amount will be received with gratitude, thanksgiving, and purpose.

May you be generously blessed this glorious season,

Carol Dandridge Charles
Executive Director