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Dance For Life Program

A healing-centered approach to dance.

Dance For Life provides participants with therapeutic dance classes in an emotionally and physically inclusive and supportive environment. Since 2016, we have provided programs in a variety of dance genres, from hip hop to ballet, in juvenile detention halls, preschools, homeless shelters, hospitals, senior centers, parks, housing projects and homes for foster youth.

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Our Goal

Our primary objective is to instill and celebrate a sense of resilience and share how movement can be an effective part of the healing journey.  Dance For Life meets participants where they are, literally and figuratively. 

Though our classes are generally not open to the public, we do share culminating performances with the permission of participants. If you are interested in attending a class or performance, becoming an organizational partner and/ or financially sustaining friend, then please contact: Jamie@ponyboxdance.org

Dance For Life was founded by PBDT Artistic Director, Jamie Carabetta. Jamie knows firsthand that dance saves lives and that all people NEED the joy, vitality, beauty and power of Dance.  Jamie is a Survivor of Childhood Sexual and Physical Abuse, and dance provided a much needed way of transcending her circumstances.  The daughter of an Argentine immigrant,  she was not able to study dance formally until college, so Jamie made dances and learned as much as she could from books and films.  At the age of 17, she landed her first gig as a paid dancer in a musical and went on to perform in 3 other musicals.  She also began teaching dance and has since taught dance to students ages 3 to 83, from Japan and South Central Los Angeles, and is presently teaching in the college.  Jamie’s vision is to improve and change lives through exposure to world class contemporary dance performances and through professional dance instruction. 

Testimonials

"My students have benefitted tremendously. In addition to receiving free professional classes, the children have had the opportunity to perform in the Rose Garden at the Exposition Center and to attend a lecture/demonstration of Complexions at the Music Center in Los Angeles. In terms of mentorship, the students made African headwraps, received inspiring talks from African-American professionals, including a nurse, an attorney and filmmaker…..
This program has the potential to be life saving."

Kimberly McKinney,
20 year veteran of the Los Angeles Department of Probation
Officer, Imperial Courts Housing Project in Watts, CA.

“I had a great time. I would like to do this all the time. This is a stress reliever.”
“I had a wonderful time with this art/dance time and it will be very nice if we can do this more often. Because it opens us up more and brings out our feelings”
"Today’s class was once again relaxing and worth my coming. I love it! Each time I come I feel stress free, being able to perform in front of lot of people takes courage and I feel the class is also building up my courage."

Student Feedback

Partners

Organizations

Los Angeles County Department of Probation, Downtown Women's Center, Dimondale Group Homes, GEMS Uncovered, Precious Lamb Preschool, New Life Beginnings, Harlem GEMS, LA LGBQT Center, The Center, Nonprofit New York, Miller’s Women and Childrens Hospital, Hilldale Group Homes, Optima Group Homes

Funders

Annenberg Foundation, Danny’s Dance Warehouse, The Music Center, Ballet Barres West, The Dance Store, Whole Foods, LACAC, California Arts Council, Wells Fargo Foundation

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