SHINE for Girls: DANCE + MATH = SUCCESS is a nationally recognized, innovative, curriculum-based, after-school program 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 STEAM.

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.

SHINE girls have seen 100% improvement in math scores and confidence as measured by pre/post tests and surveys across several programs in numerous states. SHINE has received positive feedback from national media including CNN, CBS, Fox, the Boston Globe—and most importantly from the girls, parents, and teachers. Short-term objectives of empowering 6th-8th grade female students with both the confidence and mathematics skills to embrace math leads into the long-term goal of creating a pipeline of next-generation leaders in STEAM fields.

BAKERSFIELD is the FIRST city in California and on the West Coast to offer SHINE via a partnership with KDA.

Supporting local youth in education pursuits

H
arnessing self-esteem and confidence on stage and in the classroom

I
nspiring young women to pursue STEM fields

N
urturing a love of mathematics

E
mpowering women across America

Calling All Dancing Mathematicians - SHINE APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN!

With support from Chevron, the Arts Council of Kern, and Garces Memorial High School, KERN DANCE ALLIANCE welcomes back SHINE for Girls: MATH + DANCE = SUCCESS to the Kern County area!

SHINE 2024 in Bakersfield is a free, one-week program that combines dance with a tailored math curriculum to create an environment for girls (6th-8th grade) to explore math in a unique and creative way.

We strive to not only improve mathematical skills, but also empower students to chase after their passions with confidence!

KDA is seeking students (grades 6th – 8th grade) and mentors (high school/college level women) to participate in this year’s program!

Download our informational flyers to learn more and APPLY TODAY!

SHINE 2024 DATES + DEADLINES:

Student Application Deadline: Friday, July 12

Mentor Application Deadline: Friday, July 12

Mentor Training Date: Tuesday, July 16

Program runs Monday, July 22 – Friday, July 26 from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm

LOCATION:

Garces Memorial High School Dance Studio
2800 Loma Linda Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93305

Each session of SHINE serves 25 girls and 5 mentors.  An online application is required for SHINE girls and mentors. SHINE staff review applications and offer acceptance based upon applications.  Girls not able to join the current session of SHINE will be offered a place in a future SHINE session.

| SHINE GIRLS|

SHINE girls are 6th-8th grade girls interested in improving math scores, developing confidence, learning about STEAM careers, and participating in a program that empowers women.

| SHINE MENTORS |

SHINE mentors are local high school or college women who have qualified based on their math background, tutoring experience, dance experience, attitude and enthusiasm, and the results of a background check. The mentor training involves a customized online certification system along with a half-day mentor training session.

Mentors receive:

– Training in working with young girls and teaching math and dance

– The opportunity to give back to their local communities and advocate for women in STEAM

– Hands-on experience in the service sector

– Leadership opportunities at a young age

– A space to enhance their own skills through teaching and channel their own creativity

– Access to a national network of women in STEAM

– Recommendations and referrals for internships, colleges, and graduate schools

Every middle school teacher has had a girl in a math class say, “I can’t.” SHINE turns the “I can’t” around by creating an environment in which girls not only realize that they can, but that they want to. SHINE consistently improves girls’ math scores and sparks their interest in mathematics.

Utilizing kinesthetic learning, movement and action replaces more passive forms of learning, such as listening to a lecture. We have all forgotten facts once memorized in a classroom, but we seem to be able to remember dance moves we once learned. By connecting the different ways in which we learn, SHINE enables effective understanding and retention of information in addition to imbuing abstract mathematical concepts with a physical meaning.

For example, SHINE introduces algebra through choreography: girls can create a simple dance of three twirls followed by a jump and will write down 3x + y where x = twirl, y = jump. Through dancing, girls realize that 3(x+y) = 3x + y + 2y. Before they say “I can’t do algebra,” they already have. This begins the positive feedback loop of girls believing in themselves, and their confidence stems from knowing they have the ability to succeed.

SHINE’s proprietary curriculum has been honed over several years and has provided consistent reproducible results.

SHINE provides girls with the opportunity to become engaged in STEAM and assume leadership. Women in high school and college lead the sessions and also benefit from the experience by engaging in a network of women in STEAM.

The innovative and proprietary SHINE curriculum features 3 different levels and covers the following topics: 1) Arithmetic and Order of Operations 2) Fractions, Decimals & 3) Pre-algebra 4) Coordinate Geometry 5) Planar Geometry 6) Probability and Statistics 7) Advanced Word Problems

A typical day in the SHINE for Girls program will include:

– Snacks and Bonding – SHINE mentors check in with their girls. Mentors review any homework and challenge problems from the previous session.

– Kinesthetic Learning Activities – Each session a new math topic is introduced through kinesthetic learning- based activities. These activities are designed to teach the concepts in a new way and excite the girls about the material.

Dance – Girls learn dance in a formal setting from an experienced dancer. They will learn a dancer’s warm up and stretching routine, practice technical dance exercises, and rehearse choreography that will be performed in the final event. Attitude, confidence, teamwork, and dedication will be emphasized.

– Small Group Tutoring – Students join their mentors to review customized math problems corresponding to their curriculum level and the session’s topic. Girls are encouraged to work together, support one another, and lead the group through problems.

– Final Day of SHINE– Girls perform choreography in front of family, friends, teachers, complete with costumes, awards, and snacks. Parents and teachers will have the opportunity to speak with their students’s mentor about their students’s progress.  

Jessica Johnson is a professional dance artist, a bilingual woman in STEAM, and she has directed KDA’s SHINE program since 2017. Born and raised in Bakersfield, she holds a Bachelors of Science in Statistics and a minor in Psychology from CSU, Bakersfield. She has worked as a data analyst for Adventist Health and has taught math and computer science in both middle and high school. Her love of dance comes from the nearly two decades she spent performing and coaching Color Guard teams throughout Kern County.

Wendy Wisheropp-Brice is a professional dancer and woman in STEAM and has worked with the KDA SHINE program since 2023. Born and raised in Delano, she holds an Associate’s Degree in Mathematics from BC, a Bachelor in Science in Mathematics from CSUB, and a Masters in Education, Curriculum and Instruction from Fresno Pacific University. She teaches 9-12 grade Advanced Algebra, GATE Geometry, and AP Statistics at Liberty High School. She began dancing at 4 years old at Precision Dance Center  and began teaching her own classes as she entered high school. She’s trained in all styles: Ballet, Tap, Jazz, HipHop, Lyrical, Contemporary, Pointe and spent years as a dance teacher for all ages. She choreographed for the competition team at PDC and has also taught locally at American Dancer’s Workshop. She’s trained with Melinda Cordell, Greg Russell, Miguel Zarate, Dee Caspery, Marty Kudelka, Mandy Moore, Mia Michaels, Richard Elszy, Donna Sheperd, and many others.

SHINE is FREE to all participants and is made possible by generous donations from our community. You can help others to SHINE:

  • $100 affords snacks and water for one SHINE session
  • $175 affords one SHINE tuition
  • $250 affords one SHINE Curriculum
  • $875 affords five SHINE tuitions
  • $4,000 affords one SHINE session
  • $15,000 affords an entire year of SHINE 

To date, Kern Dance Alliance has graduated a total of 186 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. 

The success of SHINE is measured through evaluations from the students, parents, and mentors and the results of pre/post tests and surveys to mark a change as a direct result of the program. Such changes include increased confidence, interest in pursuing STEM, believing that as girls they are capable of succeeding in STEM, greater self-worth, increased teamwork and leadership, and enhanced math problem-solving skills. KDA is proud to produce the following results:

Girls Reported:

Prior to the beginning of the SHINE program, girls participated in a pre-event survey indicating how they felt about:

  1. 1. math skill competence
  2. 2. confidence level
  3. 3. dance skills
  4. 4. knowledge of STEM careers
  5. 5. their ability to do anything they put their mind to

On a scale of 1 – 5 (1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest), girls averaged between a 2.1 and 3.9 rating when scoring how they felt about the measured fields on the first day of the program. 

At the culmination of the program, girls reported a 70-90% increase in the fields measured with girls averaging between a 4.3 and 4.8 when asked to rate the same questions asked on the last day of the program. 

Girls not only increased their averages with respect to measuring their math skill competence, confidence level, dance skills, knowledge of STEM careers, and their ability to do anything they put their mind to, they also objectively increased their math scores when comparing their pre-test scores to their post-test scores.

Girls were given a math test on the first and last day of the program to score their math competence. 100% of girls scored higher on their post-test problems after participating in the SHINE program.

Mentors Reported:

In addition to measuring the progress of SHINE girls, KDA also measures the impact SHINE makes on our mentors who volunteer their time to help run the SHINE program.

100% of mentors stated “YES” the following questions: 

  • ~ I am more confident in my abilities since I have been in SHINE
  • ~ I enjoy math more since joining SHINE
  • ~ I have more of a positive attitude towards STEM subjects since joining SHINE
  • ~ I am considering a STEM career since joining SHINE
  • ~ I believe I can accomplish just as much as men
  • ~ I connected with my girls during SHINE
  • ~ I have benefitted from SHINE
  • ~ I feel proud of what I have accomplished during SHINE
  • ~ I would recommend SHINE

SHINE was an amazing way to mesh my love for math and dance while also working on my leadership skills. This week I was able to evaluate myself and become more confident in my leadership abilities. I loved connecting with all of the girls, and it was so amazing to see how far they progressed. Overall, this program was extremely inspiring!! – 2023 SHINE Mentor Testimonial 

Parents Reported:

SHINE also measured parents/guardians of the girls to mark their experiences through the program.

100% of parents/guardians stated “YES” the following questions: 

  • ~ I think my girl improved in math since joining SHINE
  • ~ My girl seems more confident in her abilities since she has been in SHINE
  • ~ My girl seems to enjoy math more since joining SHINE
  • ~ My girl shows more of a positive attitude towards STEM subjects since joining SHINE
  • ~ I think my girl may consider a STEM career since joining SHINE
  • ~ My girl believes she can accomplish just as much as a boy
  • ~ My girl enjoyed dancing and is now considering attending more dance classes since joining SHINE
  • ~ My girl connected with her mentor during SHINE
  • ~ My girl made new friends through SHINE
  • ~ My girl enjoyed participating in SHINE
  • ~ My girl benefitted from SHINE
  • ~ SHINE added value from regular schoolwork
  • ~ I saw positive effects of SHINE in my girl’s schoolwork and attitude
  • ~ My girl feels proud of what she accomplished during SHINE
  • ~ I would recommend SHINE to other girls

My daughter is painfully shy and was in tears the first day and did not want to go or stay. I spoke to the instructor to let her know and she assured me she would watch over her. When I picked her up the first afternoon she was all smiles and could not wait to go back the next day. On the eve of the last day she is tearful again as it is all coming to an end tomorrow. She had so much fun and learned so much. She can’t wait to do it again. Thank you SHINE! – 2023 SHINE Parent/Guardian Testimonial 

Math has been a struggle for my daughter for the last couple years. She plays travel soccer, but during the summer it’s slower so I was looking for something to cover learning and keep her active.


SHINE was absolutely the best answer. She has loved it so much and I love that she has enjoyed it. Her confidence in Math has improved and she feels ready for the school year. She has really enjoyed the dancing component so much that I am looking at dance studios to add dancing into her schedule by her request.


I hope that we are chosen for next year, but in all honesty, I wish this program was run year-round so we could continue to be part of this marvelous program. – 2023 SHINE Parent/Guardian Testimonial 


My daughter was so excited to be blessed with this whole experience, and we are so thankful that it exists for girls to enjoy. – 2023 SHINE Parent/Guardian Testimonial

Fall 2020 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

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

Fall served 25 girls and 10 mentors

Session results according to SHINE pre/posttest results:

80% of girls feel more confident both IN and OUT of math class

100% of girls feel proud of what the accomplished during the program

Fall served 22 girls and 6 mentors

Session results according to SHINE pre/posttest results:

  • 95% of SHINE Girls reported an improvement their math skills.
  • 100% of SHINE Girls reported an improvement in their confidence level.
  • 95% of SHINE parents have stated that their girls reported a heightened interest in STEM and dance.

Spring served 19 girls and 9 mentors

Session results according to SHINE pre/posttest results:

  • 93% of SHINE Girls reported an improvement their math skills.
  • 100% of SHINE Girls reported an improvement in their confidence level.
  • 100% of SHINE parents have stated that their girls reported a heightened interest in STEM and dance.

Fall served 15 girls and 8 mentors

Session results according to SHINE pre/posttest results:

  • 100% of SHINE Girls reported an improvement their math skills.
  • 100% of SHINE Girls reported an improvement in their confidence level.
  • 93% of SHINE parents have stated that their girls reported a heightened interest in STEM and dance.

Spring served 12 girls and 6 mentors

Session results according to SHINE pre/posttest results:

  • 97% of SHINE Girls reported an improvement their math skills.
  • 100% of SHINE Girls reported an improvement in their confidence level.
  • 93% of SHINE parents have stated that their girls reported a heightened interest in STEM and dance.
"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 Johnson
SHINE Lead Mentor
"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 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

Bakersfield Now – KBAK/Fox 58 KDA’s free SHINE program combines dance, math while boosting overall self-confidence for girls

CNN “Can’t do math? Dance it out”

CBS Evening News “Dance Program Shows Girls and Math Can Add Up”

Boston Globe “In After-School Program, Girls Link Elegance of Dance and Math”

FOX 25 “New Program Uses Dancing to Get Children Excited About Math and Science”

Education Week “MIT Student’s After-School Program Uses Dance to Improve Girls’ Math Skills”

Edutopia “Kinesthetic Learning: Moving Toward a New Model for Education”

MIT Alumni – Slice of MIT “Girls SHINE Dancing Hip Hop Variables”

MIT Community Service Fund “SHINE for Girls”

MIT News Office “MIT Students Help Middle-School Girls SHINE in Dance and Math”

MIT Public Service Center “Math and Movement”

Kern County Family Magazine “Kern Dance Alliance First on West Coast to Present SHINE Program” 

The MoneyWise Guys Radio Show

KUZZ Radio “Prestigious Dance Program Gets Middle School Girls Into Math”

The Bakersfield Californian “Girls to Shine in Dance and Math Program”

NBC/KGET Channel 17 “New Program is Boosting Girls’ Confidence While Boosting Their Math Scores”

NBC/KGET Channel 17 “SHINE program incorporating math and dance for middle school girls.”

ABC/Channel 23 “Kern Dance Alliance Shine for Girls: Math + Dance = Success”

SHINE Class - Summer 2023

SHINE CLASS- Fall 2019

SHINE CLASS- Fall 2018

SHINE CLASS- Fall 2017

SHINE CLASS- Spring 2017

SHINE CLASS- Fall 2016

SHINE CLASS- Spring 2016

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software