Ensuring that youth from all backgrounds experience the benefits of the performing arts, DIW offers high-quality dance instruction to more than 1,000 students each year. And its commitment to racial and economic equity infuses everything it does. At the School of Dance and at partner locations, students ages 2 to 22 receive pre-professional training in classical ballet and diverse dance disciplines, coupled with dance health, nutrition, academic enrichment, life skills, mentoring, and workforce development. This equity-based, holistic approach prepares students to pursue professional dance careers — with impressive results. 95% of graduates complete high school, with many moving on to excellent universities and professional dance companies. The Fabian Barnes Black Box Theater, named for DIW's founder, opens new possibilities for audience engagement, with masterclasses, performances by students, professional dancers, and featured artists that reach 6,000+ diverse audience members a year.

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

*2022 - DIW wins the NBC Project Innovation Award and Kahina Haynes wins the Black Voices for Black Justice Fund Award.
*2021 - DIW wins both the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Sports Award and the National Summer Learning Award. Kahina Haynes is named an American Express NGen Fellow.
*2013 - Fabian Barnes receives the Amtrak Pioneer Award.
*2011 - DIW receives the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from President Obama's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
*2008 - Fabian Barnes is named Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian.
*2000 - Oprah awards Fabian Barnes the Use Your Life Award.


Budget (FY2023)

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

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