Embracing Community Through Dance: The Joanne Langione Dance Center’s Outreach Programs

At the Joanne Langione Dance Center (JLDC), we believe that dance is more than just movement—it’s a powerful tool for building community, fostering creativity, and inspiring individuals of all ages. Our commitment to community outreach reflects this belief, as we strive to bring the joy and benefits of dance to a wide audience.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of community outreach and how JLDC is making a difference through our programs.

The Power of Dance in the Community

Dance has a unique ability to unite people. It transcends language barriers, bridges cultural gaps, and provides a universal form of expression. Engaging in dance can boost physical health, enhance mental well-being, and foster social connections. When brought into the community, dance can:

  1. Enhance Well-being: Regular physical activity, like dance, improves physical fitness and mental health, reducing stress and promoting overall well-being.
  2. Foster Creativity: Dance stimulates creativity and self-expression, helping individuals discover new ways to express themselves and solve problems.
  3. Build Social Bonds: Group dance activities create a sense of belonging and community, fostering relationships and enhancing social skills.

JLDC’s Commitment to Community Outreach

At JLDC, we are dedicated to bringing dance into our community. Our outreach initiatives are designed to share the joy and transformative power of dance.

1. Free Community Classes

We offer free dance classes at various community centers, schools, and public spaces. These classes are open to all ages and skill levels, providing a welcoming environment for all. JLDC "Dance Me A Story" program.

Find us all year long at the Newton and Needham Library. JLDC has partnered with these libraries to bring our “Dance Me A Story” program to life. By providing a 30 minute dance class paired with story time, we have been able to bring the world of dance straight to the community in a fresh and exciting way. 

2. Partnerships with Local Organizations

JLDC regularly collaborates with local schools, non-profits, and community groups. These partnerships allow us to reach children who might not otherwise be able to attend classes at our West Newton studio. Through these collaborations, we provide regular classes, and events that enrich the community. It is not uncommon to find the dance center at local farmers markets, such as Cold Spring Park or even team up with Newton’s local girl scout groups working toward their dance badge. 

These partnerships are not limited to children! The Joanne Langione Dance Center has teamed up with the city of Newton Parks and Recreation Department for the past 8 years to bring a ballet class for dancers ages 55 years and older. They call themselves the Silver Swans and it is as incredible as it sounds! 

3. Community Performances

JLDC students and faculty regularly participate in community events and performances. From local festivals to charity fundraisers, our dancers share their talents with the community, spreading the joy of dance and inspiring others to get involved. 

Dance is all around us and JLDC has made it a mission to inspire others! 

4. Workshops and Masterclasses

We host workshops and masterclasses with guest artists, open to the public, offering unique opportunities to learn from professional dancers and choreographers. These events provide valuable exposure to different dance styles and techniques, enriching the cultural fabric of our community. 

One of the many highlights at JLDC is our Un.Convention workshop. Un.Convention® Boston is a unique dance workshop that delivers the best aspects of a dance convention in a private studio setting. During this four-day intensive, dancers will take classes in hip hop, tap, contemporary, jazz, ballet, improv, musical theater, and more working with world renowned teachers, choreographers and JLDC faculty. Un.Convention® Boston is an unparalleled, experience that features small classes, individualized instruction, intimate performances and many opportunities to work one-on-one with leading dancers in the field. 

Making a Difference Together

Community outreach is at the heart of JLDC’s mission. We are committed to using dance as a vehicle for bringing people together and enriching lives. By offering many avenues to dance, fostering partnerships, and engaging in community events, we strive to make a lasting impact.

We invite you to join us in our efforts. Whether you participate in a free class, or support our community outreach initiatives, your involvement helps us bring the joy of dance to more people. Together, we can create a more inclusive, vibrant, and connected community through the power of dance.

For more information about our community outreach programs or to get involved, please visit our website https://jldancecenter.com/specialevents/ 

Let’s dance together! 

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Shawn Mahoney

Shawn Mahoney began his ballet, tap, and jazz training at the Joanne Langione Dance Center and his early performing career with Jose Mateo’s Ballet Theatre in Boston, MA. As an apprentice, Shawn danced for American Ballet Theatre before joining Boston Ballet. At Boston Ballet, Shawn performed in Petipa, Balanchine, Kylian, Forsythe, Bejart and others. Shawn performed as a chosen member of “Tharp!”, a national and international touring company directed by Twyla Tharp. Ms. Tharp invited Shawn to be part of the creative and choreographic process for her Broadway hit “Movin’ Out” and performed in Tharp’s “Red, White, and Blues”. Shawn performed with the Suzanne Farrell/Balanchine Project, Sean Curran Company, Washington Ballet, and Bale Estado de Goias. As an educator, Shawn has taught internationally for Festa de Danca in Sao Paulo and Bermuda Civic Ballet. Currently, Shawn is on faculty at Emerson College, instructing dance classes to actors and musical theatre students and is a teacher and lecturer at Days in the Arts. Shawn founded Mahoney Agency, representing dancers for national engagements for the Nutcracker Ballet. Shawn is a sought out mentor for emerging artists and choreographers in ballet and contemporary dance.