KDA Newsletter No. 7

NEWSLETTER — December 2020

YEAR IN REVIEW

2020 started out BIG—a new year, a new decade, and another chance to serve.

While celebrating 5 years, KDA anticipated reaching the most people EVER through unique, in-person programs, and we planned on hosting our first gala at the Historic Bakersfield Fox Theater.  

Instead, 2020 had other plans.

We launched our 2020 season on March 1.  On March 19, we were forced to suspend our spring programs.  The pandemic was affecting everyone worldwide, and Kern County was no different.

Like so many others, we were devastated to witness the impacts of COVID-19 on our community.  As the pandemic swept the world, we watched our 2020 season vanish before our eyes. 

But through the darkness, KDA fought to find light.  KDA agreed our role was to keep serving.  

One month after announcing the suspension of our programs, we launched a series of new programs aimed at offering support for artists and our greater community.

At the beginning of 2020, we set out to reach more people than we ever had.  To our surprise, we met that goal.  In 2019, we reached 12,333 community members.  In 2020, that number DOUBLED to 23,129. Harnessing the power of teleconferencing software allowed us to not only serve Kern County, but we found people participating in our programs from all over the world! 

In a year like no other, KDA chose to pivot.  And for that reason, our services have provided many with hope. KDA is optimistic that studios will be filled again, performances will thrill audiences, and community programs will be back to move us all!  

Of most importance is an acknowledgment of our donors, members, volunteers, supporters, and friends that have continued to GIVE to KDA in many ways.  We could not have lasted five years without you, nor make it through 2020 without your big-hearted ways! 

There have been a lot of lowlights in 2020, but we are choosing to focus on the highlights in hopes that 2021 will offer something brighter.  Step by step, we are in this together, and KDA is here to help!

In the spirit of dance. . . 

Andrea Hansen, M.F.A.

KDA President

KDA launched our 2020 season on March 1, anticipating our largest impact to date via new and returning programs.  As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, KDA informed the community on March 19 with our decision to postpone our 2020 programs until further notice. With so much uncertainty of what the immediate future held we took the necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of our community programs.  We closely considered the guidelines put forth by the Center for Disease Control, California Department of Public Health, and Kern County Public Health in making these decisions. We also took into consideration the fact that our programs are successful because of the partnerships we have formed with many organizations who must also follow the health and safety guidelines.  With the closures of hospitals, schools, and public venues, our programs could not run as scheduled. The following KDA 2020 programs were canceled due to the pandemic:

  • HealingMOTION, a dance/movement therapy program for cancer patients and survivors at Adventist Health AIS Cancer Center
  • MightyMOVERS a dance/movement therapy program for pediatrics patients at Dignity Health- Bakersfield Memorial Hospital
  • MemoryMOVES, a dance/movement therapy program for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients at the Alzheimer’s and Disease Association of Kern County (ADAKC)
  • Paso a Paso…Life is a Dance, a confidence building program for Latina high school students at Garces Memorial High School
  • Dancing With The Stars LIVE, the national tour at Mechanics Bank Arena
  • Doggie Dance Master Class + Performance at Temblor Brewing Company 
  • National Honors Society for Dance Arts Induction Luncheon for Kern County high school seniors at Stockdale Country Club
  • National Dance Day at California State University, Bakersfield
  • Ten Tiny Dances at the Greater Bakersfield Chamber Downtown Street Party
  • MOVE benefitting KDA at the Historic Bakersfield Fox Theater

2020 Silver Lining 

KDA has been methodological in considering our approach to staying relevant during the pandemic.  Because we had to cancel many of our 2020 programs, we reevaluated how we could continue to serve Kern County.  

We were able to pivot several of our 2020 proposed programs that were meant for an in-person experience and, instead, were able to offer the same quality programs in a digital format.  SHINE for Girls: MATH + DANCE = SUCCESS, ADAPTIdance: DANCE + DISABILITY, Books in Motion: DANCE + LITERACY, and the JUST DANCE: Digital Dance Class Series were all successfully executed within a digital medium – something we never would have considered possible pre-pandemic. 

Additionally, we launched KDA Cares, a multi-faceted program aimed at providing support for Kern County dance and arts organizations. KDA truly cares about helping our Kern County community through these times and we are optimistic that studios will be filled again, performances will thrill audiences, and community programs will continue to move us all!  KDA Cares is focused on helping our community to thrive again. 

The pandemic has forced KDA to think outside the box and we are proud to offer a glimmer of hope that we can still serve even during the most difficult of times.  Those that have participated in our 2020 digital programs have offered the most heart-whelming gratitude and have stated that KDA has provided a degree of normalcy during an abnormal time. 

One month after KDA announced the postponement of our spring 2020 programs and due to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, KDA announced a new campaign, KDA Cares: COVID-19 Support, an initiative aimed at supporting Kern’s dance + arts communities, while providing Kern County with opportunities to move at home.  KDA played a role California’s creative economy by providing dance studios with resources to stay open and dance artists with compensation.  

Additionally, to keep in step with our mission, KDA rolled out a series of pop-up digital dance classes and webinars throughout the remainder of the COVID-19 quarantine. KDA is optimistic that studios will be filled again, performances will thrill audiences, and community programs will be back to move us all!  Step by step, we are in this together and KDA is here to help!

KDA provided several systems of support via a variety of resources for dance businesses and artists.  KDA offered funding via a grants + scholarships program, office hours with KDA Board Members for professional assistance, and studio support in the form of advertising and marketing aid. www.kerndance.org/RESOURCES 

KERN COUNTY DANCE STUDIOS ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS!

KDA underwent a robust advertising campaign to acknowledge Kern County dance businesses providing classes throughout the COVID-19 quarantine. Dance studios pivoted away from traditional dance classes in studio and offered quality content online. KDA provided a listing of studios offering online classes on our website. www.kerndance.org/STUDIOS

Three Kern County dance organizations were awarded the KDA Cares Dance Organization Advertisement Grant – Bakersfield City Ballet, DANCENATION, and Dancer’s Turnout Academy.  In collaboration with KGET-Channel 17, KDA offered grants to create a commercial to air during 1-month of exclusive advertising.  A $5000 package that had the potential to reach over 150,000 households, Kern County dance studios were not charged for the commercial.  

JUST DANCE: Digital Pop-Up Series

29 Classes

11,156 Reached 

KDA was not able to offer in-person programs, but we were still on the MOVE!  We strive to help our community thrive through physical movement. Research also tells us that physical activity is good for mental health.  Where there is a need, we find a way!  We believed there was no better time to help people get back to their love for dance, learn how to dance for the first time, or dance in their living room just for fun. There is so much love for dance and movement in Kern County and we wanted to continue to reach those looking to move and groove from home. 

Sponsored by Valley Strong Credit Union, Kern County dance teachers from a variety of dance studios provided FREE LIVE classes for all ages and abilities via social media and teleconferencing software.  JUST DANCE was the chance for Kern County to move and groove from the comfort of their homes while helping to mitigate the feelings of isolation, stress, anxiety and depression felt from quarantine. KDA partnered with dance educators from across the country to teach 29 different classes. A full list of classes can be found on the KDA Cares website.  www.kerndance.org/CLASSES 

KDA CARES in the Press

NBC/KGET- Kern Dance Alliance offering virtual dance classes as part of “KDA Cares: COVID-19 Support”

The Bakersfield Californian – Kern Dance Alliance launches campaign for free online dance classes, other services

ABC/KERO – KDA offering free online dance classes

FOX/KBAK – Kern Dance Alliance offering digital classes, grants, and more amid pandemic

Books in Motion: DANCE + LITERACY- Summer 2020

3,637 Books in Motion Views

900 Craft Kits Distributed 

332 FREE Books Distributed

43 Dancers

7 Library Distribution Centers 

4 Dance Organizations

Program Overview:

Books in Motion® is a FREE literacy program that encourages reading through dancing! Originally intended as an in-person experience, Kern Dance Alliance, Kern County Library, and Kern Literacy Council launched a digital version of our annual summer reading program Books in Motion: DANCE + LITERACY.  As COVID-19 limited opportunities for in-person experiences, the organizations pivoted to continue to bring dance and literacy to life through digital dance performances. 

Throughout the summer of 2020, various Books in Motion performances were released online to inspire children to read through dance!  Featuring beloved children’s books like 12 Dancing Princesses and Elephants Cannot Dance, Books in Motion videos featured a narration and performance of the book, as well as choreography children could learn to promote the book’s theme while keeping fit through movement and dance!  Additionally, the videos featured a craft session utilizing pipe cleaners to create dancers so that children could continue to role play at home.  Finally, children were able to pick up a FREE book and a craft kit from seven Kern County libraries via curbside pickup throughout the county.  Library branches included Arvin, Beale, Delano, Kern River Valley, Ridgecrest, Taft, and Tehachapi. 

Books in Motion is geared for students in the early literacy stages (K-3rd grade) and is designed to tap into their imagination and encourage them to read books. For some, reading is a concept that is too foreign to understand due to age and brain development. Books in Motion bypasses this intangible feeling by allowing children to see the magic of a book laid out on with real characters coming to life. Children do not have to read the words – they can read the dancers’ movements. By tapping into curiosity, children will be motivated to explore literacy, which leads them back to the written words that brought the book to life.

The 4th annual Books in Motion program was a collaboration with four contracted Kern County dance organizations: Bakersfield City Ballet, McLaughlin Dance Collective/Civic Dance Center, Polynesian Spice, and Spotlight Dance Academy.

Books in Motion was generously funded by Chevron, the Robert Grimm Family Foundation, Virginia and Alfred Harrell Foundation and Kern Family Health Care. 

Books in Motion Links (all videos can also be found at ww.kerndance.org/BIM):

Bakersfield City Ballet: 12 Dancing Princesses by Bridgette Berrager 

Polynesian Spice : Hilda Must Be Dancing by Karma Wilson

McLaughlin Dance Collective/Civic Dance Center: Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp by Carol Diggery Shields

Spotlight Dance Academy: Elephants Cannot Dance by Mo Willems

Director Testimonials:

Books in Motion has reached over 6000 children and has given away nearly 2500 free books since our inception in 2016. This is program is an amazing collaborative effort with organizations that truly care about literacy in our community. We are so proud to continue to offer this program to Kern County children so that they may find a love for reading and dance! – Andrea Hansen, Kern Dance Alliance President 

One of the most valuable gifts you can give to your child is the ability to read. The ability to read unlocks the door to success in nearly all aspects of life and provides a lifetime of opportunities. Grow, dream, learn, laugh, experience, READ. -Sherry Wade, Kern County Library Regional Supervisor 

Reading aloud daily and the number of books in the home are two key factors in school success. Kern Literacy Council applauds all the partners in Books in Motion Digital for keeping kids reading and dancing this summer. -Laura Loller Wolf, Kern Literacy Council Executive Director

Program Accolades:

In a year where nearly everything had been unexpected, KDA was extremely proud of the work in pivoting Books in Motion from a live, in-person experience to a digitized platform.  

  • Books in Motion dance organizations stepped up to the challenge of creating dance for film! Most dancers/choreographers are used to creating dance for stage. Envisioning dance for film requires an extra skill set and we are so grateful to Bakersfield City Ballet, McLaughlin Dance Collective/Civic Dance Center, Polynesian Spice, and Spotlight Dance Academy for their creativity and work! Dance organizations not only created the dance, they enlisted production crews, editors and sound technicians to bring their books to life.
  • A large aspect of shifting Books in Motion to a digitized experience included gaining the approving of the rights from the publishers to record the narration of the book and make them available in a public domain.  The Kern County Library was instrumental in this process.  If we had not received the approval from the publishers, the digital version of Books in Motion would not have been possible. 
  • In 2019, Books in Motion served 1,442.  One year later, the digital platform allowed us to double the number of people we reached to 3,637!  Making Books in Motion available via Youtube, our website and social media accounts allowed us to reach a much larger number than we had anticipated.  Thats a lot of inspired reading through dance!
  • The Books in Motion results confirmed that children were yearning for summer activities that  were not only educational but also fun and physical.  Children and families reported that books, dancing and crafting were one of the best ways to spend their summer.  Additionally, we found that the Books in Motion curriculum to be successful with 75% reporting that the performances inspired them to read. 

Books in Motion Press:

Kern Dance Alliance was pleased to receive media coverage for our summer 2020 Books in Motion tour:

July 29, 2020 NBC/KGET Channel 17: Books in Motion program combines dance with reading

August 5, 2020 The Bakersfield Californian: Fancy footwork brings back Books in Motion with a digital spin

August 5, 2020 FOX/KBAK Channel 58: Kern Dance Alliance launches virtual literacy and dance program

Measurable Results:

The goals of Books 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

Due to the nature of the online experience, KDA did not receive as many completed assessments as the in-person program.  Access to the assessments were provided in each video, on the website and social media. While the collection of assessments were low, we still found the data to be exceptionally helpful. KDA received 8 completed assessments. 

Ages of children assessed:  2-10 years old

Assessment zip codes: 93301, 93306, 93309, 93312, 93311, 93555

Which performance did you see?

12 Dancing Princesses – Bakersfield City Ballet- 12.5%

Hilda Must Be Dancing – Polynesian Spice – 50%

Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp – McLaughlin Dance Collective/Civic Dance Center – 12.5%

Elephants Can’t Dance – Spotlight Dance Academy – 25%

Did you know the story before you saw this performance?

Know it and love it – 12.5%

Know it – 12.5%

Know it and didn’t like it – 0%

Don’t know it – 75%

After seeing the performance do you feel like you know the story?

Know it and love it – 75%

Know it – 25%

Know it and didn’t like it – 0%

Don’t know it – 0%

Did today’s performance inspire you to read?

Yes – 75%

No – 0%

N/A- 25%

What was your favorite part of the event?

Book/Dance – 87.5%

Dance- 0%

Craft- 12.5%

What did you like most about the book, dance, or craft?

    • Getting to dance too! 
    • The creativity used to turn the book into a song!
    • the part where the squirrels ask to learn the elephant dance. All the dance moves.
    • Fun & colorful. Nice activity with movement. Cute craft!
    • Everything was great, but I really love crafting.
    • I liked how it incorporated a different style of dance. The story was a good one and the craft was easy enough to do.
    • The illustrations are beautiful!
    • happy kids dancing and having fun

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

    • Loved the creativity!!
    • AMAZING
    • Thanks for all your work! Enjoyed watching each of the shows!
    • Books, dancing and crafts are the best way to spend a summer day!,
    • I love you KDA!

The future of Books in Motion:

We learned a lot about shifting Books in Motion from in-person to a digital platform.  While the decision remains to be made regarding the platform at which Books in Motion will be offered, there is no doubt we will carry this program into it’s 5th year in 2021!

NATIONAL DANCE DAY- September 19, 2020

1,692 Reached 

11 Winners 

KDA hosted a National Dance Day celebration on September 19, 2020.  We had anticipated an exciting celebration similar to our 2019 event at California State University, Bakersfield  but 2020 turned out to be a little different.  While we did not host an in-person celebration, we DID host an all day online party filled with raffles, giveaways, and more!  

KDA raffled off 1-hour private lessons via our social media accounts with seven dance industry professionals:

Tiler Peck- New York City Ballet, Ballet @tilerpeck

Michelle Elkin- Musical Theater @michelleelkin 

Comfort Fedoke- So You Think You Can Dance, Hip Hop @comfortfedoke

Saleemah Knight- USC Kaufman School of Dance, Commercial Dance/Jazz @saleemaheknight

Joshua Blake Carter- Giordano Dance Chicago, Jazz @jbcchoreography

Chelsie Hightower- Dancing With The Stars, Ballroom @chelshightower

Sean Carmon- Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater/The Lion King National Tour, Modern @hookedonsean

Additionally, KDA raffled one dance photo shoot with Lisa W. Dance Photography, a free lesson at Dancer’s Turnout Academy and DANCENATION, and one grand prize winner won a private lesson with a dance professional of their choice, $150 towards a dance-related expense and a free KDA membership. 

KDA tracked the social media impressions and analytics with the following results:

Facebook:  

    • Average of 200 people saw our individual post on Facebook
    • Largest post had 992 people view with 36 shares

Instagram:

    • 22 new followers on the day of National Dance Day
    • 20,000 people saw our page 
    • 500 people viewed our stories with a 95% completion rate (meaning that they watched all of our stories and did not exit or skip them) 

Overall Demographics: 

    • 80% of people were from Bakersfield CA
    • 2.7% from LA 
    • 1.7% from Delano 
    • 1.3% from Tehachapi
    • 1.3% From New York

The 2020 KDA National Dance Day winners were:

Grand Prize- MAYA WRIGHT

Dance Photo Shoot- ISELA TREVINO

Dancers Turnout Academy Dance Lesson- DESI LORELLI

DANCENATION Dance Lesson-  ANGELIQUE DIAZ

Tiler Peck- JILLIAN WUERTZ

Michelle Elkin- SOFIA PASUMBAL

Comfort Fedoke – MAKENA WEIR

Saleemah Knight – MORGAN WEIR

Joshua Blake Carter- LILEE BROOME

Chelsie Hightower – STEPHANIE SHEFFIELD

Sean Carmon- DELANEY PARKER

SHINE for Girls: MATH + DANCE = SUCCESS – Fall 2020 

Participants Enrolled in the Program: 15

Volunteers Assisted withe the Program: 5

KDA launched the 7th annual, FREE virtual version of our annual STEM program,  SHINE for Girls. SHINE is an innovative, curriculum-based after-school program that utilizes dance to teach math for middle school girls. As COVID-19 limited opportunities for in-person experiences, KDA pivoted to combine formal dance training with rigorous math instruction to improve girls’ math scores and spark their interest in STEM via a virtual platform.  

SHINE provided five sessions that combined math and dance to teach math competency on Saturdays for one hour. Following the one hour of instruction, SHINE girls had the opportunity to participate in 1 on 1 tutoring and mentoring sessions provided by the SHINE mentors.  SHINE was taught by Kern County high school and college female mentors that have been vetted by the SHINE program as outstanding tutors and mentors. The fall 2020 SHINE session also featured five women in STEM guest speakers, including Dr. Lynnette Zelezny – CSUB President, Alissa Carlson – KGET Chief Meteorologist, and Dawn James – Microsoft Corporation Americas Energy Lead, to inspire the next generation of women in STEM leaders. 

New in 2020, SHINE Mentors created videos to encourage girls to increase their math competency through dance.  Videos featured the lesson of the week paired with a 15-30 second dance explaining the lesson.  All videos can be viewed at www.kerndance.org/SHINE and are directly linked below.

SHINE for Girls: MATH + DANCE = SUCCESS, Week One – EXPRESSIONS

SHINE for Girls: MATH + DANCE = SUCCESS, Week Two – EQUATIONS

SHINE for Girls: MATH + DANCE = SUCCESS, Week Three –  FRACTIONS

SHINE covers national math standards from 6th-8th grade, while improving overall girls’ confidence and attitudes towards math through a positive feedback loop, resulting in higher test scores and participation in classes. Short-term objectives of empowering 6th-8th grade female students with both the confidence and mathematical skills to embrace math leads into the long-term goal of creating a pipeline of next-generation leaders in STEM fields. 

Supporting local youth in education pursuits

Harnessing self-esteem and confidence on stage and in the classroom

Inspiring young women to pursue STEM fields

Nurturing a love of mathematics

Empowering women across America

An online application was open and required for all Kern County SHINE girls.  SHINE 2020 required students to have access to a computer/laptop and WiFi to connect to the virtual SHINE sessions. 

Now, more than ever, we believe our young girls need mentorship during distance learning and we welcome the opportunity to get Kern County girls up and dancing while they learn math! – Andrea Hansen, KDA President

SHINE was a 5 week program that ran on Saturdays from 10:00-11:30, September 19 – October 17, 2020. 

At the culmination of the program, the girls, mentors, and their families participated in a virtual graduation. Special guests included Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh and Assemblyman Vince Fong as key note speakers. Girls were presented with graduation certificates, letters of encouragement from their mentors, a goodie bag, SHINE t-shirt, a commemorative certificate from the Mayor’s office. 

To date, KDA has graduated 163 girls from the KDA SHINE program. 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, Stria, California Resource Corporation.

Results. . . 

Fall 2020: September 19- October 17

Fall served 15 girls and 5 mentors

Session results according to SHINE pre/posttest results:

Girls reported:

    • 100% of girls scored higher on their post-test problems after experiencing a SHINE lesson.
    • 100% of SHINE girls stated that the program helped improve their math skills and confidence.

Parents reported:

    • 100% 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. Encouraging their girls to try their best
    3. Math skills

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

This is the BEST program I have ever been a part of!! I cant wait to come back again next time. -SHINE Girl 

SHINE for Girls is the program I wished I could’ve been a part of as a young teen! I remember being that age and not knowing what I really liked or how to feel comfortable in my own skin at school. Now we’ve created this program perfectly made to help girls deal with those exact feelings! Through mentorship and tutoring we show girls what it looks like to be a woman in STEM, and how they can get there too! We also use dance as a way to enforce their math skills and help build the confidence to put themselves out there and SHINE both on stage and in the classroom. – Jessica Reyes, SHINE Lead Mentor

ADAPTIdance: DANCE + DISABILITY- Fall 2020

Participants Enrolled in the Program: 21

Dance Student Interns: 10

Kern Dance Alliance (KDA) and the League of Dreams (LoD) were proud to host the 4th annual ADAPTIdance: DANCE + DISABILITY program this fall.  ADAPTIdance is Kern County’s ONLY adaptive dance program that serves people with disabilities, ages 5-22 and is produced in collaboration with the LoD, a nonprofit adaptive sports league.  ADAPTIdance participants learn inclusive and creative dances that are accessible and adaptable for movers with and without disabilities.

As COVID-19 limited opportunities for in-person experiences, KDA and LoD pivoted to continue to offer adaptive dance classes.  While ADAPTIdance was a virtual experience in 2020, the program continued to offer excellent instruction paired with meaningful mentor experiences. ADAPTIdance ran on Saturdays, October 3-31, with three different classes offered based upon age, ability, and experience. ADAPTIdance wias led by ADAPTIdance Lead Volunteer, Sakina Hansford who was trained by AXIS Dance Company, one of the nation’s most acclaimed performance ensembles of disabled and non-disabled dancers. In addition to Ms. Hansford, student dance interns from different Kern County dance studios assisted in teaching the classes, including KDA student interns- Myka Steele and Riley Thompson. 

Registered ADAPTIdancers were given a dance tool-kit the week prior to the start of the program that was full of props to assist the dance classes in creating a fun and engaging experience.  The five-week program hosted weekly classes that were goal-oriented and driven towards success.  At the culmination of the program, ADAPTIdancers were invited to a safe, socially-distant final performance featuring the ADAPTIdance student interns at the Riverwalk in Bakersfield.  The final performance was a chance for the entire ADAPTIdance program to come together, in person, while adhering to COVID-19 state and federal guidelines.   

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. 

KDA and LoD have worked really hard to make this year’s virtual version of ADAPTIdance to be MORE than just another Zoom session.  Classes have been meticulously thought out to promote not only dancing, but also social and emotional learning.  ADAPTIdance student interns are focused on creating meaningful relationships with our ADAPTIdancers and cannot wait to see them in weekly classes this October. -Andrea Hansen, KDA President

The League of Dreams is excited to once again partner with Kern Dance Alliance for ADAPTIdance. This program has been vital to our athletes over the years because of the uniqueness and the excitement of the program. Although ADAPTIdance will look different this year, we know that the outcomes will be great because of the time and efforts that have been thoroughly thought out by the League of Dreams, Kern Dance Alliance and our volunteer instructor and interns. We cannot wait for our dancers to feel the positive social, emotional and physical impacts of the virtual program.” – Jessica Mathews, League of Dreams Executive Director 

Registration was open and required for all ADAPTIdancers. New dancers had to provide a diagnosis confirmation or first page of an IEP and be between the ages of 5 and 22.  ADAPTIdance 2020 required students to have access to a computer/laptop and WiFi to connect to the virtual sessions. ADAPTIdance was made possible by grants from Chevron, Robert Grimm Family Foundation, Cynthia Lake Charitable Trust, and Valley Strong Credit Union.  

GIVE BIG KERN- May 5, 2019

Number of Donors: 18

KDA raised $1153 during GIVE BIG KERN on May 5, 2020!! KDA hosted a 24-hour social media Give Big Kern campaign to encourage donations. 

BRAVO to all that donated, liked, clicked, and shared – we are humbled by your bighearted ways!!

KDA CELEBRATES 5 YEARS

On May 1, KDA celebrated 5 years of moving Kern County.  We’ve watched over 50,000 community members participate in our programs since 2015 and we’ve never been MOVED more.  We anticipated hosting our first gala at the Historic Bakersfield Fox Theater on November 13, but had to postpone the celebration due to the pandemic.  Nonetheless, we still found ways to celebrate five years throughout 2020 by giving back to Kern County in various ways via our programs and services.  We will continue to commemorate the last five years while creating fun celebrations until our sixth birthday on May 1, 2021! Stay tuned to 2021. . . 

KDA PSA (Public Service Announcement)

We created our first public service announcement with our friends at KGET! In honor of five years, it was time to go prime time.  We teamed up with several KDA Members, supporters, and friends to produce a 30 second commercial that continues to air on NBC/KGET-Channel 17.  Our message?  KEEP MOVING KERN COUNTY! We have found this message to be especially inspiring throughout the days of the pandemic and stay at home orders.  While we encourage movement and healthy living, now (more than ever) we encourage Kern County to keep moving ahead, even in the bumpiest of times.  

A very special thank you to all that helped to create our PSA, including. . . 

ADAPTIdance Dancer, Yasmin Sanchez

Adventist Health Bakersfield and Chief Nursing Officer Heather VanHousen

Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh

Ballet Folklorico Ihtotiani de Shafter

Daniel Auyon-Carrillo

Grimmway Farms and Brett Grimm

KDA Board Member Tiara King and Caleigh King

KDA Board Member Valerie Hashim and Chuck Hashim

Kelly Hargraves

KGET Maddie Jenssen 

KGET Administrative + Production Staff/Crew

New York City Ballet Principal Dancer and Bakersfield-native, Tiler Peck

Poise Pilates Barre and Carly Jenkins

Sully’s and Tim Sullivan 

VIEW IT HERE (or down there): KDA Public Service Announcement

KDA on the HISTORIC FOX THEATER MARQUEE

We mentioned we anticipated hosting our first gala, MOVE, at the Historic Bakersfield Fox Theater on November 13.  All systems were a go and we were working especially hard to secure donors, sponsorships and in-kind donations at the beginning of 2020.  We had our eyes set on raising the most we had ever raised in five years in one night, yet those plans were put on ice until it safe to proceed again in the future.

Nonetheless, we still found a chance to celebrate five years by putting our name in lights on the Historic Bakersfield Fox Theater marquee on the night MOVE was set to launch.

   

KDA 12 Days of Giving– December 1-12

KDA embarked upon twelve days of gift giving to keep Kern County active and motivated during the holiday season.  The KDA 12 Days of Giving was also a fundraising campaign that KDA hoped would MOVE the community to give back as well!

KDA made a list and checked it twice, we were giving gifts of hope, and it sure felt nice! Inspired by the 12 Days of Christmas,  KDA announced a new gift giveaway for twelve days.  Beginning December 1st, gift giveaways ranged from personal massager kits, portable dance barres, Hydroflasks, dance shoes, Starbucks gift cards, and private lesson with Kern County dance educators.  

The KDA 12 Days of Giving is an initiative aimed at giving back to Kern County. It is our goal that the 12 days of gift giveaways will inspire dancers + artists to stay motivated to keep training, while encouraging the greater Kern County community to keep MOVING!” – Andrea Hansen, KDA President

To enter to win a gift from the KDA 12 Days of Giving, people had to visit the KDA Instagram and Facebook accounts.  A new gift was announced daily via our social media handles.  To be entered to win the gift, participants had to submit their name in the caption of the post or email info@kerndance.org with their name and the title of the gift they wished to win.  Winners were announced after the 12 Days of Giving campaign ended on December 12. 

The KDA 12 Days of Giving also doubled as a fundraising campaign for KDA.  We hoped to raise $12,000 in 12 days. As a non profit dance advocacy organization supporting dance + the arts in Kern County, we have some big plans, and they need financial support to keep moving Kern County. KDA is all-volunteer organization, where every dollar raised is spent directly on our programs and services. Donations support KDA programs that use dance to teach math and literacy, improve life with dementia, encourage respite from the difficult effects of cancer, aid with disabilities, inspire impoverished communities, and motivate dancers to dream big. www.kerndance.org/GIVE. 

For it is in giving that we receive.” – St. Francis of Assisi

Results. . . 

KDA engaged in an aggressive social media and email campaign to not only give away gifts for 12 days, but also to raise $12,000 in 12 days.  KDA Board Member, Sarah Hadley, created her own rendition of the “12 Days of Christmas” by singing the “KDA 12 Days of Giving” and KDA Board Members and Student Interns each made their own 30 second video expressing their reasons to encourage giving to KDA!

The following gifts were given away to 82 winners:

    • One dance photoshoot 
    • Two Pivo cameras 
    • Three Poise Pilates Barre private lessons 
    • Four pairs of dance shoes 
    • Five portable barres 
    • Six massager kits 
    • Seven $20 Discount Dance gift cards
    • Eight $10 Starbucks gift cards
    • Nine Hydroflasks 
    • Ten foam rollers 
    • Eleven-person social media branding package 
    • Twelve private lessons 

Over 40 donated to our fundraiser of raising $12,000 in 12 days.  We are so thankful to have raised over $4000 that will go towards our 2021 season!!

KDA Community Grants + Scholarship Program

KDA was pleased to award the following grants and scholarships to deserving Kern County dance artists and organizations:

KDA Grant:

Bakersfield City Ballet: The Nutcracker Tea

KDA Scholarship:

Noor Elkereamy: American Ballet Theater Summer Intensive 

Beautiful Bakersfield Awards- October 24, 2020

KDA was nominated for a fourth Beautiful Bakersfield Awards in the category of Arts and Culture.  Additionally, KDA President, Andrea Hansen, was nominated in the Humanitarian- Individual category.  While KDA, nor Andrea Hansen, received an award, the recognition as a contender in the category was truly an honor! 

 

KDA Receives 1st Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce Grant

KDA was honored to receive our first Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce grant in recognition of our work in creating diversity, equity, and inclusion in dance + the arts in Kern County.  

KDA is deeply aware of the pain caused by racism. We recognize that dance has frequently not been a welcoming or even safe place for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color).  In fact, dance has been historically racist in many explicit ways, and the legacy of that must be fought every day. KDA supports our Black dance community and since our launch in 2015, our activism has been rooted in our actions displayed through our programs and services.  Racism has no place in dance, and we will continue to work to bring the joy of movement to every part of our beautifully diverse community.

KDA strives for diversity and, as a result, hosts a variety of annual programs that are focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.  KDA worked with Erica Edwards, an accomplished consultant and public speaker who champions change to advance the art of dance, on May 4 and 11 by hosting a 2-part series, “Discussing Diversity in Dance”.  As a result of the success of both sessions, KDA was honored to bring Erica back for a more focused topic, “Defining an Anti-Racist Learning Environment” on June 12.  Participants from the sessions were  unanimous in agreement that they would like to partake in more discussions hosted by Erica Edwards.  As a result, KDA is working to provide a multi-series discussion for our community in 2021.

Kern Dance Alliance is an amazing non profit organization that impacts our community in so many positive ways. I have had the opportunity to be student intern this past year and it has been incredible even throughout our circumstances we are in. KDA still made the most out of their programs even when they were done virtually. I got the chance to help with Adaptidance and it still was very successful. I am so glad that even in times like right now we were still able to pull through and make it another successful year of impacting our community through dance. It was truly a memorable year. – Myka Steele, 2020 KDA Student Intern