KDA Newsletter No. 6

NEWSLETTER — December 2019

YEAR IN REVIEW
In 2019, KDA reached over 12,000 community members through our programs and services! We launched Kern County’s FIRST dance/movement therapy program for cancer patients and survivors and received a nomination for a THIRD Beautiful Bakersfield Award. We presented over 16 dance events and provided grants and scholarships to deserving dancers and organizations. KDA was awarded our FIRST California Arts Council grant, we were highlighted in 31 news and radio segments and featured on TWO magazine covers. We invite you to read our 2019 Year In Review. . . a wrap up of our programs and partnerships.

KDA is busy preparing for the launch of our 2020 season! Are you interested in receiving the 2020 KDA Season Brochure? sign up HERE!

KDA 2019 Centerpiece Programs

MemoryMOVES: DANCE + THERAPY- Spring 2019

Program Dates: April 3 – May 22, 2019 (8 weeks)
Location: Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Kern County (ADAKC) 

Number of Participants in Program: 22-34 

Program Overview: 

MEMORY Moves was an 8-week Dance Therapy program working with the Alzheimers and Dementia population at ADAKC. The program utilized a Dance/Movement Therapist (DMT) to work with a group of between 22-34 participants. Groups met on Wednesday mornings from 10:00-11:00am. Groups integrated all ADAKC clients in one large group, with a range in level of functioning and range of motion. 

MemoryMOVES was generously funded by Chevron and the  Robert Grimm Family Foundation. 

Group Structure: 

All MEMORY Moves groups began with the therapist orienting the group to time and place (i.e. “today is Wednesday, April 3, at 10:00am,”) and a check-in question to assess clients’ mood on that particular day and time. Following this, the therapist led the group in a warm up that remained the same over the 8 week program, addressing mobility and helping to bring clients into the present moment through use of rhythm and repetition. This was followed by small group work, during which participants divided into groups of 5-7 to address interaction. Other activities included movement sequencing, during which clients spontaneously came up with dance movements that were put together in a “dance” which was repeated several times to address the goal of short-term memory. Props, such as scarves and bean bags, were also used in all groups, in order to help orient clients to the physical environment through use of tactile props. 

Data: 

Data was collected at two points over the course of 8 weeks, at week 4 and week 8. Questionnaires measuring affect, participation, and changes in client behavior during the course of the group were completed by staff for each participant in the group. 

Results ver 8 weeks:

Week 4 Week 8 
Displayed brighter affect: 87.5% of clients Displayed brighter affect: 95% of clients
Increased Participation: 70.8% of clients Increased Participation: 81.8% of clients
Displayed Behavior Different from “Baseline: 45.8% of clients Displayed Behavior Different from “Baseline: 1% of clients

Behavior changes from “baseline,” as reported by staff: 

  • “Calmed down” 
  • “Good participation” 
  • “Participation improved” 
  • “More interactive” 
  • “Very active and interested” 
  • “Tried to participate with injury to arm” 
  • “Client participated” 
  • “Was happier than usual”  
  • “Participant usually wanders but stayed in the circle.” 
  • “Participated more than usual”

Clients Reported… 

Several clients said “thank you” after group and expressed the importance of moving and dancing. 

Anecdotes of Note:

  • After one group, a client followed the therapist to the door as she was leaving. When the therapist turned around, the client stated “I just wanted to say thank you. The last song you played took me back 50 years and I had tears in my eyes…good tears!” 
  • After one group, staff reported that a client who normally roams around the room was able to sit still throughout group. 

HealingMOTION: DANCE + THERAPY – Spring 2019

Program Dates: April 3 – May 22, 2019 (8 weeks)

Location: AIS Cancer Center, Adventist Health
Participants Enrolled in Program: 4 

Program Overview: 

HealingMOTION was an 8-week pilot dance therapy program working with cancer patients and survivors. The program utilized a Dance/Movement Therapist (DMT) to work with 4 enrolled participants split into two separate groups. Groups met on Wednesday afternoons from either 2:30-3:30pm (breast cancer patients/survivors) or 3:45-4:45pm (other forms of cancer.) Groups were formed via advertising and outreach to the community, and patients and survivors were able to register themselves for groups. 

Group Structure: 

Each group began with a check-in to assess how individuals were feeling each particular week. This was followed by a therapist-led, choreographed warm-up to help participants breathe and ground themselves. As groups were small, the direction of the group was collectively determined by the therapist and participants. Goals of stress-reduction, increased energy and happiness were determined, and the groups took on the structure of learning and choreographing up-beat choreography that served to reduce anxiety and raise energy and happiness. 

Data Collection: 

Data was collected via self-report before and after each group for each participant. Self-reports measured levels of physical pain, depression, anxiety, and feelings of self-worth using likert scales. The final question asked “In a word, how do you feel right now?” 

A pre and post-session evaluation counts as one data point. Nineteen (19) data points were collected from five (5) participants over 8 weeks. Participants were present at 12/16 possible group sessions (2 each week). 

Results over eight weeks: 

Physical Pain:
– Pain was reported 13/19 times total at levels above 0 (68% of the time.) Out of 13 instances of reported pain: 

Pain Decreased Pain Remained the Same Pain Increased
23% of the time 62% of the time 15% of the time

Depression: 

  • Depression was reported 11/19 times total at levels above 0 (57.8% of the time) Out of 11 instances of reported depression: 
Depression Decreased Depression Remained the Same Depression Increased
64% of the time 29% of the time .09% of the time

Anxiety: 

  • Anxiety was reported 15/19 times total at levels above 0 (79% of the time) Out of 15 instances of reported anxiety: 
Anxiety Decreased Anxiety Remained the Same Anxiety Increased
80% of the time 6.6% of the time 13% of the time

Self-Worth :
– Feelings of self-worth were reported 19/19 times total at levels above 0 (100% of the time.) Out of 19 instances of reported self-worth:

Self-Worth Increased Self-Worth Remained the Same Self-Worth Decreased
53% of the time 42% of the time 5% of the time

“In a word, how do you feel right now?” 

Before Session After Session
Excited Relaxed
Pretty good Pumped
A bit tired Energetic
Ok A lot better
Tired Better than when I first got here
More energetic Great
Better than yesterday Energized – feel good! Thank you
Overwhelmed Lighter
Optimistic Grateful
Grateful Excited
Grateful Lighter
Tired Appreciative
Great Relaxed
Tired Relaxed
Good Happy
Tired Happy
Relaxed, happy Great
Tired Good
Tired Relaxed

Anecdotes: 

  • Overall, participants expressed gratitude at the opportunity to dance together. On more than one occasion, participants chose to stay for both sessions. 
  • One participant expressed that she hoped the “small numbers” of participants would not deter organizers from continuing the program. 
  • Participants appreciated the chance to be physically active, as all of them had led active lives prior to their cancer diagnosis, and felt it was something they had lost in their lives.

National Honors Society for Dance Arts Induction Ceremony- April 28, 2019

KDA celebrated our second class and third inductee into the National Honor Society for Dance Arts – NHSDA / Kern Dance Alliance Secondary Chapter. Congratulations to Stockdale High School Senior, Hannah Judd, on her acceptance into the USA’s most prestigious honors society for dancers who excel in artistry, leadership, and academic achievements.  Miss Judd received her honors cord and pin, as well as a NHSDA plaque during the NHSDA luncheon at Stockdale Country Club on April 28, 2019. 

KDA continues to accept nomination applications and looks forward to future inductions

Books in Motion: DANCE + LITERACY- June 1-August 1, 2019

Attendance: 1,442 Children + Families

538 FREE Books Provided

62 Dancers

21 Performances

14 Locations

7 Dance Organizations

Program Overview:

Books In Motion: Dance + Literacy Program is a FREE children’s summer literacy program that links dance and reading by focusing on Common Core Standards for Reading Literature. Families had the opportunity to visit Kern County Library branches to watch a dance performance based upon a well-known children’s book. Children also learned choreography, created a craft that coincides with the book’s theme, and took a FREE book home. Between June 8-August 1, families could watch 21 performances by seven different dance studios at 14 Kern County library branches.

The 3rd annual Books in Motion program was a collaboration with seven contracted Kern County dance studios: Bakersfield City Ballet, Dancer’s Turnout Academy of Dance Downtown Dance Arts Center Mallory Academy of Dance Heather Benes + Mojave Elementary School, Spotlight Dance Academy, and Palmdale Junior Ballet is now Tri Valley Arts Theatre Dance.

In collaboration with Kern Literacy Council and Kern County Library, Books in Motion was generously funded by the California Arts Council, Arts Council of Kern, Chevron, Stria, the Robert Grimm Family Foundation and Kern Family Health Care.

Program Accolades:

Books in Motion En Español

2019 marked the first year Books in Motion featured an entire performance in Spanish.  Spotlight Dance Academy toured Color Dance to the Lamont Library and provided the participants with an entire Spanish-speaking experience!

Repeat Attendance 

KDA was thrilled to see many community members attend a variety of performances.  Children and their families were delighted to not only attend multiple performances of the same book, they also attended various performances of the other books on tour. 

News Reports

Kern Dance Alliance was pleased to receive media coverage for our summer 2019 Books in Motion tour:

Bakersfield Californian: Books in Motion dance literacy program returns to libraries in June

NBC/KGET :  Books to come to life at Kern County Libraries for the month of June

ABC/KERO: Books in Motion at Kern County Libraries

ABC/KERO: Books in Motion at Kern County Libraries

NBC/KGET: Kern Dance Alliance receives state arts grant

California Arts Council Grant

Kern Dance Alliance received a grant award from the California Arts Council in support of the 3rd annual Books in Motion: DANCE + LITERACY program. 

The California Arts Council announced a grant award of $13,440 to KDA as part of its Youth Arts Action program. This is the first time KDA has been awarded a grant from California Arts Council since KDA launched in 2015.

Youth Arts Action supports projects for youth from infancy through age 24 that operate outside of school time, in artistic venues and community settings as well as on school sites. This program encourages relevant, dynamic, and innovative community building and learning through youth-focused arts and culture projects. 

“KDA is honored to be a recipient of a California Arts Council grant,” said Andrea Hansen, KDA President. “We are incredibly proud of our efforts to make dance and the arts more accessible in in our community and to be recognized as California artists creating impactful programs in Kern County.”

KDA is one of 244 grantees chosen for the Youth Arts Action program. The award was featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council, with grant funds totaling a projected $24,508,541 for 2018-19, the highest investment in statewide arts programming since the 2000-01 fiscal year.

Assemblyman Vince Fong was instrumental in assisting KDA with our grant process. “All California Arts Council grant submissions must demonstrate support. KDA is fortunate to have the support of our local legislators including Assemblyman Fong who wrote a letter of support on behalf of KDA and Books in Motion.” said Andrea Hansen. 

“Arts and culture are inextricably linked to our humanity,” said Nashormeh Lindo, California Arts Council Chair. “They serve as a universal touchpoint for understanding and addressing our societal issues—dismantling inequity, healing trauma, reframing justice, inspiring truth and shaping futures. The Council is humbled to support the vital work of Kern Dance Alliance and its passionate efforts to make a better California for us all.”

The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California’s diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services.

Kern County Museum, Endeavor Elementary School and Dr. Douglas Fletcher Elementary School

KDA received requests for additional Books in Motion performances beyond the official summer tour schedule.  Additional Books in Motion performances were booked at the Endeavor Elementary Summer School, during the children’s camp at Kern County Museum, and during Family Ready Night at Dr. Douglas Fletcher Elementary School.

BOOKS IN MOTION PERFORMANCES: 

June 8 @ 10:45 am, Rosamond Branch, “Amelia Bedelia’s First Library Card” – Tri Valley Arts Ballet Academy

June 8 @ 1:15 pm, California City Branch, “Amelia Bedelia’s First Library Card” – Tri Valley Arts Ballet Academy

June 11 @ 1:00 pm, Northeast Branch, “Color Dance” – Spotlight Dance Academy

June 12 @ 11:00 am, Mojave Branch, “Amelia Bedelia’s First Library Card” – Tri Valley Arts Ballet Academy

June 12 @ 12:30 pm, Lamont Branch, “Color Dance” – Spotlight Dance Academy (en español)

June 12 @ 1:00 pm, Southwest Branch, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”- Dancer’s Turnout Academy

June 13 @  3 :00 pm, Beale Branch, “Color Dance” – Spotlight Dance Academy

June 14 @ 12:30 pm, Beale Branch, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” – Dancer’s Turnout Academy

June 17 @ 1:00 pm, Mojave Branch, “Stone Soup” – Heather Benes + Mojave Elementary School

June 19 @ 11:00 am, Baker Branch, “Color Dance” – Spotlight Dance Academy

June 19 @ 3:00 pm, Delano Branch, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” – Dancer’s Turnout Academy

June 28 @ 12:30 pm, Wilson Branch, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” – Dancer’s Turnout Academy

June 28 @ 3:00 pm, Holloway Gonzales Branch, “12 Dancing Princesses” – Downtown Dance Arts

July 1 @ 12:00 pm, Beale Branch, “12 Dancing Princesses” – Downtown Dance Arts

July 5 @ 11:45 am, Beale Branch, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” – Dancer’s Turnout Academy

July 8 @ 3:00 pm, Arvin Branch, “Giraffes Can’t Dance” – Mallory Academy of Dance

July 11 @ 12:00 pm, Northeast Branch, “12 Dancing Princesses” – Downtown Dance Arts

July 17 @ 1:00 pm, Southwest Branch, “Giraffes Can’t Dance” – Mallory Academy of Dance

July 18  @ 1:30 pm, Southwest Branch,  “12 Dancing Princesses”- Bakersfield City Ballet

July 23 @ 11:45 am, Beale Branch, “12 Dancing Princesses” – Bakersfield City Ballet

August 1 @ 11:00 am, KERN COUNTY MUSEUM, “12 Dancing Princesses” – Bakersfield City Ballet

August 1 @ 1:00 pm, Beale Branch, Giraffes Can’t Dance” – Mallory Academy of Dance

NUMBERS SERVED:

1,442 Children + Families Reached

538 FREE Books Provided

62 Dancers

21 Performances

14 Locations

7 Dance Organizations

ATTENDANCE by BOOK:

Color Dance –  105

Giraffes Cant Dance –  208

12 Dancing Princesses – 575

Stone Soup –  26

Goldilocks and the Three Bears –  427

Amelia Bedelia’s First Library Card –  61

ATTENDANCE by LOCATION:

Rosamond- 19

California City – 17

Northeast – 26

Lamont – 5 (FREE LUNCH PROGRAM)

Mojave – 25

Southwest – 90

Beale – 37

Beale – 126 (FREE LUNCH PROGRAM)

Mojave – 26

Baker – 37

Wilson – 45 (FREE LUNCH PROGRAM)

Holloway Gonzales – 72

Beale – 70 (FREE LUNCH PROGRAM)

Beale – 93

Arvin – 20

Northeast – 70 (FREE LUNCH PROGRAM)

Southwest – 105 

Southwest – 163

Beale – 151 (FREE LUNCH PROGRAM)

KCM – 40

Beale – 83

MEASURABLE RESULTS:

The goals ofBooks in Motion include the following:

• Create motivation and interest in reading

• Create motivation and encouragement for movement through dance

• Cover Common Core State Standards in Reading Literature for grades K-3rd grade

• Instill a sense of connection and ownership of reading through listening and viewing of stories

• Support literacy development through unified thematic experience of art, dance, and story-telling

To achieve the Books in Motion goals, assessments were created based upon the following Common Core Standards for Reading Literature, K-3rd grade for Color Dance, 12 Dancing Princesses, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Stone Soup, Amelia Bedelia’s First Library Card, Giraffe’s Can’t Dance:

Kindergarten RL.K.1-RL.K.7 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text; retell familiar stories; identify characters, settings, and major events in a story; describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear.

1st Grade RL.1.1-1.7 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text; retell stories and demonstrate understanding of their central message; describe characters, settings, and major events in a story; identify words and phrases in stories or poems that appeal to the senses; use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

2nd Grade RL.2.1-2.7 Ask questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text; recount stories and determine their central message, lesson, or moral; describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges; describe how words supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song; use information gained from the illustrations and words to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot. 

3rd RL.3.1 Ask questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers; recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text; describe characters in a story and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events; explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story. 

KDA received 522 English completed assessments. 

KDA received 19 Spanish completed assessments.

Would you attend Books in Motion again?

95% of Books in Motion participants indicated they would attend a future Books in Motion performance. 

Have you read this book before?

K-1st Grade Color Dance –  0 out of 27 participants or 0% had heard Color Dance before

K-1st Grade Giraffes Cant Dance – 32 out of 70 or 46% had heard Giraffes Cant Dance before

K-1st Grade 12 Dancing Princesses – 24 out of 129 or 19% had heard 12 Dancing Princesses before

K-1st Grade Stone Soup – 2 out of 3 or 67% had heard Stone Soup before

K-1st Grade Goldilocks and the Three Bears –  84 out of 98 or 86% had heard Goldilocks and the Three Bears before

K-1st Grade Amelia Bedelia’s First Library Card –  1 out of 9 or 11% had heard Amelia Bedelia’s First Library Card

2nd—3rd Grade Color Dance  – 4 out of 25 participants or 16% had heard Color Dance before

2nd—3rd Grade Giraffes Cant Dance – 15 out of 34 or 44% had head Giraffes Cant Dance before

2nd—3rd Grade 12 Dancing Princesses – 15 out of 55 or 27% had heard 12 Dancing Princesses before

2nd—3rd Grade Stone Soup – 3 out of 7 or 43% had heard Stone Soup before 

2nd—3rd Grade Goldilocks and the Three Bears – 64 out of 75 or 85% had heard Goldilocks and the Three Bears before

2nd—3rd Grade Amelia Bedelia’s First Library Card –  0 out 1 or 0% had heard Amelia Bedelia’s First Library Card before

Comprehension questions answered correctly:

K-1st Grade Color Dance – 17 out of 27 or 63% answered comprehension questions correctly

K-1st Grade Giraffes Cant Dance – 34 out of 70 or 49% answered comprehension questions correctly

K-1st Grade 12 Dancing Princesses – 109 out of 129 or 84% answered comprehension questions correctly

K-1st Grade Stone Soup – 3 out of 3 or 100% answered comprehension questions correctly

K-1st Grade Goldilocks and the Three Bears – 91 out of 98 or 93% answered comprehension questions correctly

K-1st Grade Amelia Bedelia’s First Library Card – 9 out of 9 or 100% answered comprehension questions correctly

2nd—3rd Grade Color Dance – 6 out of 25 or 24% answered comprehension questions correctly

2nd—3rd Grade Giraffes Cant Dance – 25 out of 34 or 74 answered comprehension questions correctly

2nd—3rd Grade 12 Dancing Princesses – 21 out of 55 or 38% answered comprehension questions correctly

2nd—3rd Grade Stone Soup – 7 out of 7 or 100% answered comprehension questions correctly

2nd—3rd Grade Goldilocks and the Three Bears – 71 out of 75 or 95% answered comprehension questions correctly

2nd—3rd Grade Amelia Bedelia’s First Library Card – 1 out of 1 or 100% answered comprehension questions correctly

*k-1st grade assessment questions were multiple choice

*2-3rd grade assessment questions were fill in the blank

NATIONAL DANCE DAY- September 21, 2019

Attendance: 157 ticket buyers.  421/524 tickets sold. 

KDA hosted Kern County’s second annual National Dance Day celebration on September 21 at CSUB.  A collaboration with the CSUB Dance Team, the day lasted 9 hours with 18 dance classes at $2 a class.  Classes were taught by Kern County dance educators and the classes ranged from Zumba, Contemporary, Toddler Tap, Yoga for Dancers, Foxtrot, Dance for Disabilities and many more!  All classes were very full, with several of the classes selling out prior to the event.  National Dance Day received excellent coverage from the press, with KDA social media experiencing over 30,000 hits that weekend.  NDD had 157 ticket buyers with 421/524 tickets sold. 

CSUB President, Dr. Lynnette Zelezny, Mayor Karen Goh, and Assemblyman Vince Fong all participated in the day’s activities. 

As a special treat, Nigel Lythgoe (So You Think You Can Dance/Dancing WIth The Stars) sent a personal celebration video to KDA, wishing all a Happy National Dance Day!  

It was a terrific celebration of dance and we look forward to 2020.

SHINE for Girls: MATH + DANCE = SUCCESS – Fall 2019

Participants Enrolled in the Program: 23

Volunteers Assisted withe the Program: 13

SHINE for Girls (SHINE) provides innovative, curriculum-based after-school programming for middle school girls. Utilizing kinesthetic learning, SHINE combines formal dance training with rigorous math instruction to improve girls’ math scores and spark their interest in STEM. SHINE covers national math standards from 6-8th grade, while improving overall girls’ confidence and attitudes towards math, resulting in higher test scores and participation in classes.

To date, Kern Dance Alliance has graduated a total of 148 SHINE Girls and Mentors.  As the only branch in California and on the West Coast, KDA is proud to offer the SHINE program free of charge to all participants thanks to the generous funding of sponsors and private donations including Chevron, Junior League of Bakersfield, The Women’s and Girls’ Fund of Kern County/Kern Community Foundation, Cynthia Lake Charitable Trust, Robert Grimm Family Foundation, Bakersfield Californian Foundation, Sean and Jennifer Maguire, and Garces Memorial High School. 

SHINE is an 8 week program that ran on Saturdays from 10:00-12:30, September 7 – October 26, 2019. 

Fall 2019 marked the second session where two SHINE Mentors were previously SHINE girls- proving the pipeline of the program.  Through the continuity of the program and the 3-levels of mentorship, girls can enter the program in middle-school and stay in the SHINE pipeline all the way through their first jobs in STEM by becoming a student, mentor, coordinator, and finally a member of the national network of empowered women. By creating a pipeline of women in STEM across the country, SHINE hopes to increase the number of women in STEM by 1% in the next decade.

The SHINE graduation key note speaker was California State University Bakersfield President, Dr. Lynnette Zelezny. Dr. Zelezny delighted attendees with an inspiration speech about how math and dance impacted her life at the young age of 9.  She detailed how math has been central to her career and how it has empowered her as a woman in STEM.  Dr. Zelenzy went the extra mile by joining the SHINE girls in a Zumba dance and encouraged the girls to reach for the stars! 

Results…

Fall 2019: September 7-October 26

Fall served 23 girls and 13 mentors

Session results according to SHINE pre/posttest results:

Girls reported:

  • 100% loved working with their mentor
  • 84% agreed SHINE improved their dance skills
  • 79% of girls feel more confident both IN and OUT of math class
  • 68% of girls math skills were improved

Parents reported:

  • 90% of parents felt that SHINE had helped their girl improve in their math and confidence

Parents also felt their girls had gained life skills.  The following are those kills ranked the highest: 

  1. Confidence 
  2. 2. Cooperation/Teamwork 
  3. 3. Dedication 
  4. 4. Encouraging their girls to try their best

Apart from measurable results, KDA has learned the greatest from SHINE girl + mentor testimonials at the culmination of each session:  

This is my second year being a SHINE mentor and I love being a part of this wonderful organization. It is such a unique way of motivating young girls through math and dance. I had the opportunity to see the girls grow and feel confident in their math and social skills. -Angie Cruz, Mentor

Being a SHINE Mentor has been an extremely impactful and wonderful experience for me. Throughout the program I had the opportunity to connect with and really get to know the girls, and it was truly amazing to watch them grow more comfortable with themselves and others. For being someone who is pretty shy around people I do not know, SHINE helped me to face my fear of not knowing what to say in conversations, and to just relax and know it will all work out. I have always loved dancing and STEM, and this opportunity to try my hand at teaching both has given me an invaluable, more in-depth perspective into both. I have truly loved my time as a mentor for SHINE! -Hailey Throll, Mentor

I first heard about Shine through my mom who is friends with Andrea. I was very skeptical about how well this would work, and about being in charge of a group of girls that weren’t that much younger than me. When I got here on my first day I was seeing the faces of the girls that were shy and silently struggling with a wide variety of things. As the program went on I felt a sisterly bond with these girls who made me smile and laugh and made me look foreword to waking up early on a Saturday. I have seen many girls go through this program and I remember their faces and names and stories, and they continue to make me smile. That is what this program is about and that is our goal, that aside from improving math skills and making new friends, the girls walk away knowing they made someone smile. Shine is a program that has continually inspired me, but more than that the Shine girls are the ones who inspire me the most. – 

Francesca Beccari, Mentor

I am so grateful that I was able to be part of a program like SHINE where we get to help empower girls and learn about ourselves along the way. Service in general makes you feel some type of special way and it was so great to be able to use my knowledge/experience of math and dance to help young girls. I really loved it and never had a reason to complain when it came to waking up early on Saturday because I was able to some of my favorite things-math, exercise, and spending time with great people. 

The young women I worked with taught me so much. They taught me about patience, perseverance, how to tend to different personalities, and they even showed me some of the things or ways that I taught that could be improved. I feel that I was able to have a bond with them and at the beginning of each tutoring session I tried to ask a “Question of the Week” that didn’t pertain to math or dance. They would be questions like “What is your favorite movie?” or “What is your favorite type of music or song this week?” I tried to remember their answers to get a better understanding of who they are and things they like. It always makes me feel good when people remember small details or hobbies that I mentioned to them and so I tried to implement something similar in my groups. Throughout the rest of the day or before SHINE started I would try and have conversations with my girls or with other SHINE girls so that they knew I took a genuine interest in their lives/experience at SHINE. 

I think I will always be passionate about dance, math, and STEM in general but I definitely feel that I was able to see how the two could be combined and that was really great and something I wish I had growing up. As someone choosing to pursue graduate studies, I think SHINE has peaked my interest in the integration of the arts and STEM and in fact I may explore some research about how we can think of the arts as a way to learn math and how we can use math to learn more about the arts. 

I personally loved my volunteer work with SHINE and would love to do it again if provided with the opportunity but I don’t think I will be here in Bakersfield next year. I think one thing that could change would be to have mentors meet before or after each SHINE session to discuss what went well/what could be improved and maybe we could go over specific responsibilities (which mentors would be in which group?). There were some days where a mentor needed help because they were confused about how to implement an activity or discussion and they may have felt more confident with some discussion before the activity. Overall, I had a really amazing experience and I am excited to tell more people about this program.  -Brianna Wright, Mentor

ADAPTIdance: DANCE + DISABILITY- Fall 2019

Participants Enrolled in the Program: 52

Volunteers Assisted withe the Program: 25

Dance Student Interns: 11

KDA and the League of Dreams offered the 3rd annual ADAPTidance program, an adaptive dance experience for people with physical and developmental disabilities, on Saturdays- October 5-November 9, 2019. ADAPTIdance participants learned inclusive, creative dance that is accessible and adaptable for movers with and without physical and developmental disabilities. The program culminated with a performance at the historic Bakersfield Fox Theater on November 13. 

ADAPTIdance was taught by dance educator, Sakina Hansford, who was trained by the world’s leading dance + disability dance company, AXIS Dance Company. 11 dance Interns from dance studios across Kern County assisted in also teaching the classes. ADAPTIdance served 52 dancers with cognitive and developmental disables. 

The goals that were obtained during ADAPTIdance were 1.) To provide access to creative movement and dance training for all students regardless of disability, income level, or prior dance experience 2). To provide a forum for physical activity that is a model for kids of all abilities to collaborate as equals while developing skills in cooperation and a respect for self and others; 3.) To educate about disability, collaboration, and inclusion through the medium of dance and the presentation of positive role models and images of people with disabilities. 

ADAPTIdance is the only dance and disability program available for people with disabilities in Kern County and was made possible through generous support from Chevron, Robert Grimm Family Foundation, Depringo, and Garces Memorial High School.

Children’s Dance Education and Outreach Event – November 13, 2019

Number of Participants: 80

Number of Dancers: 74

Number of Volunteers: 23

Number of Audience Member: 415

KDA was pleased to host the fifth annual Children’s Dance Education and Outreach Event at the Fox Theater on November 13, 2019.   Generous support from Chevron, Robert Grimm Family Foundation, Fox Theater Foundation, CARE, Grimmway Farms, Western Graphics, and Sub Station Downtown provided KDA with the opportunity to create an afternoon of smiles and joy for all that participated in the event!

  • 80 children from the Boys and Girls Club, CASA, Bakersfield Homeless Center, The Mission of Kern County/Lee and Krystyna Jamieson Recovery Home for Women & Children, Garden Pathways, and Bakersfield City School/Hort Elementary attended an exciting afternoon of dance at the Fox 
  • 74 dancers from all over Kern County performed and taught the children to dance 
  • 23 volunteers participated in the event
  • Children participated in a live dance performance by several Kern dance companies (Experience Dance, Spotlight Dance Academy, Bakersfield Dance Company, American Dancer’s Workshop, Dancer’s Turnout Academy, Bakersfield City Ballet, SHINE for Girls: MATH + DANCE= SUCCESS, and ADAPTIdance: DANCE + DISABILITY)  
  • Children learned about the history of the Fox (Fox Theater Board President, Gilbert LaRoque, gave a kid-friendly history)
  • Children participated in a dance class and learned choreography
  • Children then performed the choreography on the famous Fox stage 
  • Children participated in a Q/A session with the dancers 
  • KDA offered scholarships to the children for an entire year of dance training at a dance studio of their choice
  • Children were treated to snacks donated by Grimmway Farms and were given commemorative Children’s Dance Education + Outreach shirts donated by Western Graphics 
  • Lunch for the performers and volunteers was partially donated by Sub Station Downtown

KDA 2019 Special Events

The Russian National Ballet in Swan Lake- February 3, 2019

Number of Attendees: 900

KDA and Turnaround Artists were pleased to present The Russian National Ballet in Swan Lake at the Fox Theater Bakersfield. The Russian National Ballet has been bringing timeless ballet classics to the stages of North America since 1999 with a focus on upholding the grand national tradition of the major Russian ballet works.  KDA members received discount tickets to the show. 

Two to Tango- February 14, 2019

Number of Attendees: 44 (sold out)

KDA hosted Two to Tango, a Valentine’s Day Dinner and Dance, at The Mark Restaurant.  The evening featured 3 courses of carefully crafted cuisine coupled with the finest wine, and were swept off their feet while learning the Tango from Bakersfield Tango’s, Marilyn Stone. 

Idyllwild Arts Academy MASTER CLASS + AUDITION- February 17, 2019

Attendance: 15

KDA was pleased to host one of Idyllwild Arts prestigious dance faculty to conduct a master class and audition for admittance to the Academy and Summer Program. Idyllwild Arts Academy provides pre-professional training in the arts and a comprehensive college preparatory curriculum to a diverse student body of gifted young artists from all over the world. Voted the #1 High School for the Arts in America by Niche, it is the only Residential Arts High School on the West Coast. 

Taught by Israeli-born, Hai Cohen, the Modern dance master class was well received by all dancers.

Three students were offered acceptance into the year-round school and 6 were offered acceptance to to the two-week summer intensive program.

Dancers Lena Smallwood, Riley Thompson, and Eden Marquez attended the summer program and provided raving remarks about their summer experience. 

PRIVATE PERFORMANCE: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater- April 8, 2019

KDA sent three KDA Members + guests to attend a private performance of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at the Music Center on April 4, 2019.  Two weeks prior to the event, KDA hosted an online Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater trivia contest via our social media platforms.  Several KDA members participated; however; KDA Members Shanna Trainor, Evelyne Thomas, and Andrea Chesley, won the competition!  Those not selected as winners received a consolation prize.

JUST DANCE: Pop-Up Summer Series for Adults: Summer 2019

Tickets Sold: 448/674

Kern Dance Alliance launched JUST DANCE, a pop-up summer dance class series for adults. In collaboration with over a dozen Kern County dance instructors stemming from multiple dance studios, Kern County adults had the opportunity to try 20+ dance classes for FREE with a suggested donation to KDA. 

Kern Dance Alliance strives to help the community thrive through physical movement. Local adults have expressed a yearning for a place to express themselves through dance; and JUST DANCE does JUST THAT! A variety of classes for all levels were offered, including Ballet, Belly Dance, Jazz, Tap, Zumba, and Country Line Dance!  Whether it was an adult’s first time standing at the ballet barre or an individual has years of dance experience, KDA hoped to inspire more adults to dance their way through the summer. 

JUST DANCE: Pop-Up Summer Series for Adults SCHEDULE

Saturday, June 29 @ 11:00 AM – Contemporary Partnering w/ Kellie St. Pierre at Civic Dance Center

Tuesday, July 2 @ 9:00 AM- Beginning Ballet w/ Suze DeArmond at Dancer’s Turnout Academy

Friday, July 5 @ 9:00 AM – Zumba w/ Suze DeArmond at Dancer’s Turnout Academy

Saturday, July 6 @10:00 AM- Advanced Hip Hop w/ Andrew Rosales at Experience Dance Studio

Saturday, July 6 @ 11:00 AM- Beginning B-Boying w/ Andrew Rosales at Experience Dance Studio

Saturday, July 13 @ 9:00 AM- Beginning Ballet w/ Andrea Hansen at KDA Dance Studio/Garces High School

Saturday, July 13 @ 10:15 AM- Int/Adv. Contemporary w/ Andrea Hansen at KDA Dance Studio/Garces High School

Thursday, July 18 @ 6:30 PM – Country Line Dance w/ Joel Hoffman at Temblor Brewing Company

Saturday, July 20 @ TIME TBA- Int./Adv. Jazz w/ Alicia Angelini at Civic Dance Center

Saturday, July 20 @ TIME TBA – Musical Theater w/ Alicia Angelini at Civic Dance Center

Tuesday, July 23 @ 6:00 PM- Int./Adv. Contemporary Hip Hop w/ Naomi Rivera at Experience Dance Studio

Saturday, July 27 @ 12:00 PM- Beginning Belly Dance w/ Maryann Kopp at My Dance and Fitness Studio

Wednesday, July 31 @ 7:00 PM- Barre Fitness w/ Kyli Delis at Dancer’s Turnout Academy

Saturday, August 3 @ 10:00 AM- Int/Adv Hip Hop w/ Luther “GI” Gray at My Dance and Fitness Studio

Saturday, August 3 @ 11:00 AM- Beginning Hip Hop w/ Brushay Taylor at My Dance and Fitness Studio

Wednesday, August 7 @ 7:10 PM – Beginning Tap w/ Brenlea Smith at American Dancer’s Workshop

Saturday, August 10 @ 11:00 AM- Int/Adv. Ballet w/ Erica Ueberroth at Civic Dance Center

Saturday, August 10 @ 12:45 PM – Int./Adv. Lyrical w/ Erica Ueberroth at Civic Dance Center 

Tuesday, August 13 @ 7:10 PM – Int./Adv. Tap w/ Brenlea Smith at American Dancer’s Workshop

Saturday, August 17 @ 9:30 AM- Int./Adv. Contemporary w/ Nicole Helton at KDA Dance Studio/Garces High School

Saturday, August 24 @ 6:00 PM- Jazz Funk w/ Shelby Walls at Dance Nation

Saturday, August 24 @ 7:30 PM- Heels 101 w/ Shelby Walls at Dance Nation

Ten Tiny Dances Bakersfield Young Professionals- Downtown Street Party- October 11, 2019

Attendance:  250

Ten Tiny Dances® was produced on October 11, 2019 at the fifth annual Bakersfield Young Professionals Downtown Street Party in conjunction with the Greater Bakersfield Chamber!!

Ten dancers showcased choreography in the tiniest of spaces, a 4×4 stage!  This special event featured ten dance artists representing local and nationally recognized talent including: Alicia Angelini, Kelci Cerri, Nicole Helton, Andrea Nehesi, Naomi J. Rivera, Kali Spinner Maxwell, Kellie St. Pierre, Erica Ackerley Ueberroth, Shelby Walls, and New York City-based Schoen Movement Company dancers Alexandra Doyle and AJ Tasley Parr. Performances represented a broad range of dance styles including belly dance, ballet en pointe, hip hop, and tap dance. 

Ten Tiny Dances® is a performance series dedicated to fostering inventive dance/performance art and providing an accessible performance experience for a diverse audience…all on a 4 by 4-foot stage.

Ten Tiny Dances® is dance/theater performance in confined space, which challenges artists to invent ways of collapsing known and recognizable vocabulary as well as to invent new vocabulary that responds to the possibilities of 16 sq. ft. It interrupts the usual expectations for dance vocabulary, performance, and viewing, and affects the way people move and are perceived in space. As well as the delight that comes from innovation, the event also offers an experience of tension for the audience as they ponder and witness how each performer meets and deals with the challenge of the space. This tension is matched with a sense of intimacy. Dancers and audience members alike share the Ten Tiny Dances® experience of confined space and artistic innovation. 

Ten Tiny Dances® was created in Portland, Oregon in 2002 and continues to be produced in cities across America.  Kern Dance Alliance was granted permission by the founder Mike Barber in 2018.  2019 marks the first year Bakersfield will host a Ten Tiny Dances® event.  

Ten Tiny Dances® was generously supported by the Arts Council of Kern, Garden Pathways, The Padre Hotel, The Ovation Theatre, Schoen Movement Company, Diamond Peak Construction, and GoldenWalk.

A Movement Flight- Temblor Brewing Company October 12, 2019

Attendance: 200

Kern Dance Alliance and Temblor Brewing Company presented A Movement Flight, performed by New York City-based and internationally renowned Schoen Movement Company. A Movement Flight brought dance out of the concert hall and into the brewery by featuring critically acclaimed dancers, including local dance talent, Kellie St. Pierre. Complemented by the tastiest Temblor brews, guests enjoyed flights of beers and a delicious dinner. Local music talent, Vince Galindo, added to the evening with delightful and charming sounds. 

Guests exclaimed that their eyes were open to the possibilities of dance beyond the stage.  Guests also remarked that the initial $35 fee stood between them and their attendance, they were grateful the event was made free.  

Local dance talent, Kellie St. Pierre, was thrilled to be a part of the project.  She had not performed in 2.5 years (she had thought a devastating injury had ended her professional career) and was grateful to get back on stage.  Her passion for dance has been re-ignited and she expressed that she was grateful to KDA for the opportunity. 

Charitable donations were made to Kern Dance Alliance with guests purchasing the MOOve Burger, a delicious, house-made Santa Carota Beef burger crafted with all the fixin’s. Temblor’s tasty craft brews were included in each purchase ($50) of the MOOve Burger! 

A Movement Flight was open to the public and was generously sponsored by the Arts Council of Kern County, Bynum LLC, Padre Hotel, and Santa Carota Beef. 

KDA Community Grant Awards

Bakersfield City Ballet– $500 to support Youth America Grand Prix

Shafter Symphony Orchestra– $500 to support the Nutcracker Ballet Orchestra

Traianny Mahon– Student scholarship to support training at Mallory Academy of Dance

KDA Intern’s Corner

 Kern Dance Alliance is an incredible organization that does so much good for the community and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to be a student intern this year. Being the intern has allowed me to be more involved in my community and make a difference for so many people. This past year as an intern I have participated in a variety of events, such as: Books in Motion, Shine, National Dance Day, Adaptidance, and the Fox Children’s Event. Being able to spread creativity and joy around my community through dance is so important to me. Dance has been such an instrumental part of my life and I am glad I get to share my love for it with others and hopefully help them discover their love for dance as well. I’m so thankful to have spent this last year on the board as a student intern and to be a part of an incredible organization like KDA. -Riley Thompson, 2019 KDA Student Intern


 Being a part of KDA has shown me how much Kern County means to this organization. I love being a part of KDA because of how passionate we are about bringing the art of dance into the community. Being involved in an organization that makes a positive impact in other’s lives is something I love to be a part of. KDA programs genuinely want to see other generations excel and I am so lucky I get to play a role in our mission’s work. As a bonus, I am receiving college credit from CSUB for my KDA internship! -Angelique Diaz, KDA Student Intern- PR + Social Media

KDA 2019 Presentations

California Dance Education Association Annual Conference- January 21, 2019

Attendance: 75

KDA Board Members, Andrea Hansen and Anne Draucker, traveled to CSU Fullerton for the annual California Dance Education Association annual conference. KDA presented “MOVING COMMUNITY”, synopsis of the KDA model in Kern County and our impact to dance educators and arts supporters from across California. 

Bakersfield City Ballet Fundraiser- January 26, 2019

Attendance: 175

KDA President, Andrea Hansen, was invited to speak at the Bakersfield City Ballet fundraiser at Lengthwise Brewing Company.  Andrea spoke to the audience about the importance of supporting BCB with a call to action to attend upcoming BCB events. 

Bakersfield High School Driller Service Academy Presentation- February 19, 2019

Attendance: 60

KDA was invited to speak to the Driller Service Academy at Bakersfield High School about KDA’s non-profit model and impact in Kern County.  Dancer’s Turnout Academy provided dance entertainment, while KDA Student Intern, Riley Thompson, assisted with the presentation.  Fun Fact:  KDA boasts a number of Bakersfield High School alumni! 

Downtown Bakersfield Rotary Presentation- February 28, 2019

Attendance: 159

KDA was invited to speak at the Downtown Bakersfield Rotary about KDA’s impact in Kern County.  Mallory Academy of Dance provided the dance entertainment. 

East Bakersfield Rotary Presentation- March 11, 2019

Attendance: 40

KDA was invited to speak at the East Bakersfield Rotary about KDA’s impact in Kern County.  Bakersfield City Ballet provided the dance entertainment.

Leadership Bakersfield Arts Day at the Fox Theater- April 3, 2019

Attendance: 32

KDA was invited to speak at the Leadership Bakersfield Arts Day about KDA’s impact in Kern County.  KDA Member, Brooke Jordan, provided the dance entertainment.

Distinguished Young Woman of California Life Skills Day- July 22, 2019

Attendance: 34

KDA was invited to speak at the Distinguished Young Woman of California Life Skills Day about becoming involved in community and how KDA impacts Kern County.  Young women were led through an improvisational movement workshop and listened to KDA President, Andrea Hansen, speak about the importance of giving back.

KDA Extras. . .

KDA Celebrity Reader at Louden Elementary School- March 22, 2019

Attendance: 35

KDA was invited to be a Celebrity Reader at Louden Elementary School during “Read Across America”.  KDA President, Andrea Hansen, read Giraffe’s Cant Dance to 35 3rd graders. 

Instruments Ballet Academy Performance at St. Francis Elementary School- April 1, 2019

Attendance: 200

KDA assisted Instruments Ballet Academy in securing a performance at St. Francis Elementary School during their California tour.  A Christina-based professional dance company, Interments Ballet Academy performed uplifting liturgical dance performances for 200 school children. 

Endeavor Elementary School Dance Day- June 21, 2019

Attendance: 418

KDA provided a Dance Day at Endeavor Elementary School for 418 school children during their 2019 summer school.  The event featured two Books in Motion performance (Goldilocks and the Three Bears) by Dancer’s Turnout Academy, as well as a dance history segment and choreography performed by Dancer’s Turnout Academy. 

Family Reading Night at Fletcher Elementary School- October 22, 2019

Attendance: 120

KDA provided a Books in Motion performance, Color Dance, performed by Spotlight Dance Academy at the annual Family Reading Night at the Fletcher Elementary School.  Children enjoyed a live performance and partook in learning the Books in Motion choreography. 

Adventist Health Community Block Party- November 2, 2019

KDA had the pleasure of providing dance classes for the 1st annual Community Block Party at North High School, hosted by Adventist Health Bakersfield.  KDA Members, Joel Hoffman- Line Dance (Bakersfield Line Dancers) and Suze DeArmond- Zumba (Dancer’s Turnout Academy) provided two super fun classes for over 50 participants!

KDA On The Cover

KDA 2019 Media Imprint

2019 KDA Season Announcement

January 29, 2019, Bakersfield Californian- Get toes tapping for Kern Dance Alliance’s new community-focused season 

January 30, 2019,  NBC/KGET- Kern Dance Alliance announces February events

Philanthropy on Tap

January 21, 2019, Bakersfield Californian- Philanthropy on Tap: Lifting our glasses to Kern County’s hardworking nonprofits

Bakersfield City Ballet Fundraiser

January 23, 2019, Bakersfield Californian – Pints en pointe for Bakersfield City Ballet fundraiser

Swan Lake

February 3, 2019, Bakersfield Californian- Fancy footwork for Super Bowl Sunday with ballet at Fox Theater

Two to Tango

January 28, 2019, Bakersfield Californian- It takes two to tango, more to mingle this Valentine’s Day

Idyllwild Master Class + Audition

January 30, 2019,  NBC/KGET- Kern Dance Alliance announces February events

KDA Dance/Movement Therapy Programs

March 28, 2019, NBC/KGET- Kern Dance Alliance dance therapy spring programs

April 26, 2019, ABC/KERO-Free dance classes for cancer patients

Give Big Kern

June, 2019, Kern Community Foundation-Give Big Kern- Report to the Community

Beautiful Bakersfield Awards

June 1, 2019, Bakersfield Californian-  Beautiful Bakersfield awards recognize contributors to the community

Books in Motion: DANCE + LITERACY

May 28, 2019, Bakersfield Californian: Books in Motion dance literacy program returns to libraries in June 

May 31, 2019, NBC/KGET :  Books to come to life at Kern County Libraries for the month of June

June 28, 2019, ABC/KERO: Books in Motion at Kern County Libraries

June 28, 2019, ABC/KERO: Books in Motion at Kern County Libraries

July 5, 2019, NBC/KGET: Kern Dance Alliance receives state arts grant

Just Dance: Pop-Up Summer Series for Adults

June 26, 2019,  Bakersfield Californian-‘Just Dance’ for free this summer with new KDA pop-up series

July 3, 2019, NBC/KGET- Kern Dance Alliance hosting pop-up dance class summer series

August 16, 2019, NBC/KGET-Pop Kern: Dance classes for adults

National Dance Day

September 18, 2019, Bakersfield Californian Strut your stuff with KDA for National Dance Day

September 18, 2019 NBC/KGETNational Dance Day celebrations hosted by the Kern Dance Alliance

September 19, 2019, FOX/KBFX-Celebrate National Dance Day with a 9-hour dance event

September 21, 2019 NBC/KGET- Locals celebrate National Dance Day with Kern Dance Alliance 

September 21, 2019, FOX/KBFX- Kern Dance Alliance & CSUB host National Dance Day on Saturday 

Ten Tiny Dances

October 8, Bakersfield Californian- Kern Dance Alliance hosts two events this weekend

October 9, NBC/KGET- Kern Dance Alliance community events

A Movement Flight

October 8, Bakersfield Californian- Kern Dance Alliance hosts two events this weekend

October 9, NBC/KGET-Kern Dance Alliance community events

October 11, 2019- ABC/KERO- Beer and a show at Temblor Brewing this weekend

Children’s Dance Education and Outreach Event

November 4, 2019, NBC/KGET- Kern Dance Alliance seeking volunteers

Call to 2020 KDA Board Members + Student Interns

November 4, 2019, NBC/KGET- Kern Dance Alliance seeking volunteers