Fall Fest Success!

Fall Fest 2017 on Sept. 30 was fantastic; congratulations to our dancers on a fabulous showcase! Thank you to the parents who committed to extra rehearsals, to DDA staff who manned our festival booth, and to DDA family who stopped by the showcase or sent well wishes to performers. It was a great way to celebrate our neighborhood and DDA’s 4th birthday! Check out the Fall Fest Facebook Photo Album for pictures of the event and experience the fun all over again with this recap video!

No FREE Community Zumba Oct. 25

…class will resume on Wednesday, Nov. 8.

Future class dates:

  • Wednesday, November 8
  • Wednesday, December 13

See the full schedule here.

We plan to continue this class on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. If participation grows and remains consistent, we’ll offer it every week (…and it’ll still be free:-)! Bring a friend!

If you have any questions, call District Dance Arts at 202.417.6780

Temporary Saturday Class Location

What would the opening day of Saturday classes be without a little surprise?

Saturday classes will be held temporarily next door to the FLCC at 617 Rhode Island Ave. NE, in the shopping center next to the FLCC. This location was formerly the P-Spot.

Why? The Family Life Community Center (FLCC) is finishing up some maintenance related to the roof repairs that happened this past spring. 617 RIA will be our home for Saturday classes during September and October. You can still park in the lot behind the FLCC and also along Rhode Island Avenue.

“Jazz; that’s kinda like ballet, right?”

Dancers ages 9-11 are invited to a free trial of Jazz 1 on Tuesdays in September at The Capoeira Spot!
…but what is jazz dance? 

When you think of jazz music, what comes to mind?

Maybe you think of 1920s swing era jazz, like Benny Goodman’s Sing, Sing, Sing, or 1950s era Dave Bruebeck’s “Take Five” (this is what I think of!). Now, think of all the dances people did to those–and other popular styles of music:

Like the “Black Bottom” from the 1920s:

black bottom









or Lindy Hop of the 1940s:


…and groovin’ to 1970s R&B and funk:

This, folks, is American Jazz Dance.

Textbook definition:

“Jazz dance mirrors the social history of the American people, reflecting ethnic influences, historical events, and cultural changes. Jazz dance has been greatly influenced by social dance and popular music…the two forms evolved together, each echoing and affecting developments in the other,”  (from “Jump into Jazz” by Minda Goodman Kraines & Esther Pryor”).

…or what you’d tell your neighbor:

“Well, ‘Jazz dance–like jazz music–developed from all of the popular dance trends and cultural influences in America over the years.'”

In jazz class, we teach our students pieces of American history through movement, such as a chasse ball change from the lindy hop, shuffling feet and rolling hips from African and Latin cultures, or popping shoulder and chest isolations seen in Broadway shimmys or Hip Hop. The core movements of these historical dance styles–as well as those of ballet and modern techniques–contribute to jazz dance technique. Learning them helps the student develop rhythm, coordination, range of motion and control of individual body parts, and more. We also focus on flexibility, core strength, individual self-expression, and improvisation. Who knows: you could create the next jazz trend!

What does jazz look like now?

Here is an example of intermediate jazz dancers working on their turning skills in what we call across-the-floor “progressions:”

…and here’s the kind of contemporary jazz we see on So You Think You Can Dance:

…and don’t forget our beginning jazz dancers from DDA’s first year-end production, “Starry Night:”


DDA’s jazz classes are available for boys and girls ages 6+.


Registration System Down

Our registration system is down right now; we apologize for any inconvenience. We’ll let you know when it’s back up.
In the meantime, please call the studio at 202-417-6780 with any registration questions; we’ll keep our admin hours open until 8pm this evening!

New Venue for Showtime 2017!

Due to renovations at Coolidge High School, District Dance Arts will relocate Showtime 2017: Take Me Away! to Paul Public Charter School: 5800 8th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011.  The show is still at the same date and time: Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 1:30pm.

If you’ve already purchased a ticket that says “Coolidge High School,” never fear! Your ticket is still valid and will be accepted when you come to Paul Charter School.

…and one more thing: ticket prices will not go up at the door! Ticket prices will remain $20 for ages 4+ if you purchase them at the door on the day of the show. Please note that there is a processing fee for tickets purchased online.

New FREE Zumba Class!!!


Our Zumba classes are back…and they’re free for everyone! (Yep: free!)

Join us every 2nd and 4th Wednesday in April, May, & June at the The Bishop Alfred A. Owens, Jr. Family Life Community Center from 7:45pm-8:45pm to get fit and have fun! The address is 605 Rhode Island Ave. NE, across from Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church.

Class is for ages 18+, but kids are welcome to come with their adult. To register, call us at 202.417.6780!

The first free class is Wednesday, April 12!