The Dance Institute of Washington

WISH LIST: $100: dance shoes and attire for 4 students; $500: pre-dance classes for 2 young students for 1 semester; $5000: Positive Directions Through Dance for 6 at-risk students

When Fabian Barnes retired from the Dance Theatre of Harlem he possessed two important things: a $7,000 pension and the desire to give back to others what dance had given to him. Barnes’s dream was to offer year-round, high-quality, pre-professional training to Washington, DC teens – regardless of their ability to pay. Today, DIW has a brand new facility in the heart of Columbia Heights and its Senior Youth Repertory Ensemble performs regularly at the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, and other venues. Many graduates move on to excellent university programs while others perform professionally at Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey II, and elsewhere. Personal and artistic growth are equally important, and DIW's Positive Directions Through Dance provides at-risk youth with classes, life skills workshops (from literacy to nutrition), and performance opportunities – all at no cost. A finalist for the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award and winner of the Bridge Builders Award from Partners for Livable Communities, DIW leapsinto its 25th year in 2012. Join the celebration.