Dance – The Next Generation (also known as DNG) is The Sarasota Ballet’s original community engagement program focusing on community engagement and providing a tuition-free dance education to underserved children in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Operating after school, students in grades 3-12 are immersed in an inclusive, diverse, and well-rounded dance program including academic support, mentoring, and enrichment opportunities.
DNG is more than a dance program, it is a program to nurture, enrich, and support the entire child. By breaking down financial barriers and providing a supportive environment for children to thrive, DNG is making a meaningful impact to those often underrepresented in classical dance. The Sarasota Ballet’s commitment to the holistic well-being of each DNG student contributes to creating a positive and transformative experience for all.
To nurture and enrich underserved students through quality dance education while supporting academic growth leading to high school graduation.
DNG Program Goals
Provide a progressive dance education to foster a long-term appreciation for dance and the arts.
Enable students to achieve academic and personal goals while fostering skills leading to high school graduation and post-secondary success.
Enhance the research-proven behavioral and social skills gained through long-term engagement in dance education.
The DNG Expansion
As DNG moves into its third decade of program offerings, opportunities arise to expand DNG further into Sarasota and Manatee Counties with the intent of impacting more students through the discipline, structure, and the innate inclusivity of dance.
Starting Fall 2023, DNG welcomes three divisions to its program: DNG Workshops, DNG On Location, and DNG at Tallevast. These three offerings will allow expansion of DNG programming and impact while also utilizing spaces within communities DNG has served for over 30 years. Both DNG On Location and DNG Workshops allow The Sarasota Ballet to reach further into Sarasota and well into Manatee Counties, while traditional DNG programming continues at Tallevast Studios.
Held at sites within the community where DNG Faculty and staff travel to locations providing a DNG experience including after-school snacks, free DNG t-shirts, enrichment, and classes in two dance genres.
Workshops meet for three to six sessions and culminate in an informal in-studio presentation for family and friends.
DNG on Location
All the benefits and offerings of DNG but held at sites within the community for an entire semester or academic year.
DNG At Tallevast
DNG in its traditional format, held at The Sarasota Ballet’s Tallevast Studios.
“To me DNG means passion – I get to dance with my emotions. It also gives me an opportunity to have a career in the future. It gives me the privilege to learn new steps and different types of dances. I’m very grateful to be dancing at The Sarasota Ballet and to have a dance group to call my own.”
~Mia Zavala; DNG student since 2018, Class of 2028
“DNG means a lot to me because it gives me opportunities that other programs may not give. It gives me a brighter idea of what I want to be in the future, and they care a lot about their students and support them.”
~ Nora Askeri; DNG student since 2017, Class of 2027
“DNG means so much to me because I was that child whose family couldn’t afford dance classes, and I was given this special opportunity to experience what it means to be a dancer. Now that I am in my last year of the program, I see how those same values are benefiting new children entering the program and that DNG continues its legacy to give back to others like me. DNG has brought me lifelong friendships I wouldn’t have had unless being a part of this program.”
~Makayla Holmes; DNG student since 2014, Class of 2024
“DNG means that you try your best and your hardest to succeed. It means a lot to me to be here because when I was a little girl, I used to always dream of being a dancer. I love being able to dance with my friends, learning new moves and new forms of art.”
~Aymia Hinson; DNG student since 2021, Class of 2030