Circle of Dance Repertory Company was founded in 1982 by five artists dedicated to developing a regional modern dance company bringing dance to their audiences as a source of education and entertainment. Founder and Executive Director Elaine Lewis assembled talented dancers and choreographers with the vision of providing an environment where artists create, perform and foster an understanding of the rich heritage of American Dance. Over the past three decades the Company has performed throughout the United States and Internationally presenting unique repertory of original works set to a wide range of music.
In 1983, Circle of Dance developed a program to bring dance/movement into the public schools as a tool for learning. This arts in education program brings interactive workshops and residencies which have grown to serve thousands of student each year throughout Suffolk, Nassau and Queens Counties. Circle of Dance was one of the first recipients of an Arts in Education grant from the New York State Council on the Arts in 1985 . NYSCA has continued to fund these programs for over three decades. In 1996 Circle of Dance was one of 21 arts organizations in the state of New York to receive the prestigious Empire State Partnership Project which supported an innovative movement/literacy curriculum entitled "Experiencing Full Body Literacy... Read it, Move it, Own it." Teaching artists have been invited to present this program at professional development workshops at the Title I Conference in Phoenix AZ and New Orleans LA, Summer Seminar at Sarah Lawrence College and at workshops throughout the Metropolitan area.
After years of working in the public schools, teaching artists experienced changes and challenges with the economic, social and culturally diverse student population. Many of the students and their families did not speak English. To address these children, in 2012 Circle of Dance introduced a new program, "DANCE FOR ALL." Teaching artists, school administrators and classroom teachers worked together to find new tools for learning. Dance/ movement provides students with a common language and when integrated with language arts and social studies curriculum gives students a place to find academic and personal success. Parents and community members are invited to attend residencies and workshops to understand how the arts help student learn.
PS 305 Ridgewood
PS 154 Flushing
PS 174 Rego Park
Nassau and Suffolk Districts
Hiawatha & Chippewa Elementary; Sachem SD
Winthrop Elementary; Bellmore SD
Otsego & Vanderbilt Elementary; Half Hollow Hills SD
Walt Whitman High School & Countrywood Elementary; South Huntington SD
Babylon Elementary & Babylon Memorial Grade School; Babylon SD
Barton, Bay, Canaan, Eagle, Medford, River & Tremont Elementary Schools; Patchogue / Medford SD
East Moriches Elementary; East Moriches SD
Tangier Smith Elementary; William Floyd SD
Dryden Elementary; Westbury SD
Elaine Lewis - Executive Director
Theresa DiLallo - Arts Education Coordinator
Jo-Ann Hertzman - Director of Development