LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2023 Grants Challenge

Transforming Lives through the Power of Dance

The grant will support expansion of our year-round After-School Program, which promotes discipline, high expectations, performance, community building, parental involvement, and sequential, long-term training, allowing students to work toward technical mastery of specific dance forms through leveled classes that meet twice weekly after-school and Saturday. Our rigorous dance curriculum increases students' proficiency in dance skills; physical fitness; appreciation for dance and the arts; a sense of community; and positive self-development.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

K-12 STEAM Education

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

East LA

San Fernando Valley

South LA

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

As a core part of our mission, EDLA! supports historically under-resourced communities throughout L.A. 85% of students in the After-School Program are low-income and qualify for free or reduced price lunches. The students we serve face several challenges: - Lack of Arts Instruction: According to the California Arts Education Data project, only 2% of L.A. Unified School District students are enrolled in dance programming. - Scarcity of Safe Recreational Space: L.A. has one of the lowest percentages of green space of any major US urban center. According to the Trust for Public Land's 2022 Park Score Index, residents in L.A. low-income neighborhoods have access to 24% less park space per person than the city median and 70% less than those in high-income neighborhoods. - Lack of Access to Arts Careers: Our target population is underrepresented in the visual and performing arts, particularly in dance disciplines such as ballet, so our students lack role models for careers in the arts.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

EDLA! addresses these issues by providing high-quality, culturally competent dance education and enrichment programming for students ages 4 to 18 at two sites in MacArthur Park/Koreatown and Pico/Union. EDLA! teaches many dance forms: ballet, modern, hip hop, breaking, jazz, salsa, Afro-Brazilian, West African, and Mexican folklorico. We align our dance curriculum with the Visual and Performing Arts Content Standards under California Dance Standards. To enhance students' emotional self-regulation and social-emotional learning, we offer a mindfulness practice in each After-School class. During the school year, students learn historical and cultural knowledge of dance and develop the motor skills and technical abilities that are part of a classical dance program, including stamina, strong muscles, flexibility, and coordination. Most After-School dancers participate in more than one dance form a week and spend several afternoons in our studios. Because they can matriculate to higher levels of advanced dance, most of our students remain at EDLA! for 7+ years. Many are with us from ages 4 or 5 to 18. We give students opportunities to perform in the community and in an end-of-year recital, attend professional dance shows, and participate in master classes. The Summer Session includes two week-long summer camps for new students who learn multiple forms of dance and present an end-of-camp show. Returning students also try new styles of dance during the six-week Summer Session.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

During the grant period, we will expand our After-School Program to serve 600 students ages 4 to 18. This program is where we can have the biggest long-term impact. Many studies in education and after school programming suggest that long-term relationships with students are the most impactful, especially for students who are low income. 100% of our 16 seniors graduated from high school in 2023. 7 of them have been with us 13 or 14 years. 15 will attend college in the fall, while one is taking a gap year. By 2028, EDLA! will expand and serve three additional communities, while continuing to strengthen program delivery at existing locations. Once funding is secured for a successful expansion, EDLA! will expand studio space to launch After-School Programs in neighborhoods, such as Watts or Boyle Heights, where we are already serving 4 to 6 schools with our In-School Program. We are exploring the possibility of opening a pilot After-School Program in Watts at the Yo Watts program space.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

EDLA's program model works! To measure student proficiency, we developed Curriculum Benchmarks for each dance form and grade level, which include technical movements and dance vocabulary. Teaching Artists conduct grade-level pre/post-benchmark assessments at the beginning and end of each semester or school year. The Spring 2023 results showed that: - 99.6% of After-School Program students had knowledge of the benchmarks, and 70.6% of After-School Program students mastered each benchmark. - On the 2023 parent surveys, 100% of parents surveyed said their child's physical fitness improved, 100% said that participating in EDLA! improved their child's self-esteem, and 95% said that their child's sense of being supported by friends and/or the community has improved because of Everybody Dance LA! - Students also rated the After-School Program as Good or Excellent across all eight areas surveyed. We will measure the same outcomes for the 23-24 year.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 600

Indirect Impact: 2,000