DIW offers high-quality dance instruction to more than 1,000 students each year, ensuring that youth from all backgrounds experience the benefits of the performing arts. At its School of Dance in Columbia Heights, students from ages 2 to 22 receive pre-professional training in classical ballet and diverse dance disciplines, while accessing wrap-around services (free meals, academic enrichment, mentoring) that support their success – with impressive results. Some 95% of graduates complete high school, with many moving on to excellent university programs and professional dance companies. Free programming at local schools and childcare centers further demonstrates DIW’s dedication to racial and economic equity in the arts. And the public benefits too – performances, special events, ensembles, and master classes bring the talents of DIW’s students and diverse professional company to more than 7,500 audience members each year. Won’t you join the dance?

Headquarters: DC-Ward 1

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; DC-Ward 1; The Columbia Heights neighborhood of Ward 1; Washington, DC.

Age Groups Served: Pre-K (3-4); Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49); Seniors (50+)

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Asian American; Caucasian; Latino/Hispanic

Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students

Schools They Work In: Columbia Heights Educational Campus

Awards & Recognition

*2008 - DIW Founder Fabian Barnes named "Washingtonian of the Year" by Washingtonian;
*2009 - Bridge Builders Award from Partners for Livable Communities;
*2011 - The Dance Institute of Washington's Positive Directions Through Dance outreach program was recently honored as a Winner of the 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
*2012 - DIW student Donte Corley honored and invited to perform at National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day; Fabian honored as Donte's Hero of Hope.
*2012 - DIW celebrates its momentous 25th Anniversary! A culminating gala is being planned for November 2012.


Budget (FY2014)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • The current budget for The Dance Institute of Washington, Inc. is: $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

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