Dancing Classrooms Greater Richmond, Inc.
5806 Grove Avenue
Mailbox # 330
Richmond VA 23226
Mission Statement
Our Mission is to cultivate essential life skills in children through the art of social dance.
Our Vision is to help create schools and communities where every child is connected, respected, and provided a safe environment in which to thrive.
Through standards-based, in-school residencies we use the vocabulary of ballroom dance to cultivate the positive feelings that are inherent in every child. The maturity necessary to dance together fosters respect, teamwork, confidence and a sense of joy and accomplishment which we hope to bring to every child. Ballroom dance is the medium we use to nurture these qualities.
CEO/Executive Director Mariya Vysotskaya
Board Chair Victoria Oakley
Board Chair Company Affiliation Educational consultant
Contact Information
Address 5806 Grove Avenue
Mailbox # 330
Richmond, VA 23226
Telephone 804 385-8204
E-mail info@dancingclassroomsgrva.org
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2012
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $136,717.00
Projected Expenses $123,620.00
Our Mission is to cultivate essential life skills in children through the art of social dance.
Our Vision is to help create schools and communities where every child is connected, respected, and provided a safe environment in which to thrive.
Through standards-based, in-school residencies we use the vocabulary of ballroom dance to cultivate the positive feelings that are inherent in every child. The maturity necessary to dance together fosters respect, teamwork, confidence and a sense of joy and accomplishment which we hope to bring to every child. Ballroom dance is the medium we use to nurture these qualities.
Dancing Classrooms Greater Richmond, Inc. is focused exclusively on bringing the Dancing Classrooms program to the Greater Richmond area.  During the 2012-13 School Year, we successfully piloted the program at Swansboro Elementary and expanded it to Greene, Chimborazo, Cary and Patrick Henry Elementary Schools in RPS, and to Highland Springs in the Henrico Public Schools district.
Dancing Classrooms program presently is in 13 Richmond Public Schools, 2 Chesterfield Public School, 1 Henrico School, and moving rapidly toward its goals of engaging as many schools as possible. Dancing Classrooms GR successfully expanded into Middle Schools in the spring 2016.
Program outcomes, based on student, teacher and principal surveys, are consistent with our mission and objectives.

Presently we are in the process of renewing our Memorandum of Understanding with RPS for School Year 2017-18. Overall, our goal is to add 2-3 Elementary Schools in the school year 2018-19, and to expand the program to at least one more middle schools.

Although RPS, and now Chesterfield and Henrico, are our current focus areas in GRVA, as the Sole Source Provider of the Dancing Classrooms program in the region, we are able and very willing  to offer the program to the entire Greater Richmond MSA, including the surrounding counties and the cities of Petersburg and Colonial Heights.

Our expansion goals for the 2017-18 Schools Year will require us to secure funding to cover the program costs and to recruit and train additional Teaching Artists, ahead of demand.  During our operation years,  financial support came from individual donors, fundraising events, corporate and community foundations and government funding, including a grant from the City of Richmond, thanks to the support of Councilman Parker Agelasto.
Our key needs are as follows:
  1. School District Support - The program is conducted during school hours and integrated into the school curriculum.  Strong support from the school administrators and teachers is needed to ensure success - specifically, they need to ensure we have 45 minutes available for each lesson so we can guarantee results.
  2. Public Awareness and Support - Strong public support and "pull" is needed to ensure the schools and school districts secure their share of the program funding via  government funding, PTA/parents, etc.
  3. Funding - Fully loaded program costs average $4,000/classroom across the other 34 cities offering Dancing Classrooms in the USA.  We expect the schools and school districts to cover 50% of the cost and we commit to raise the remainder of the money.  For 10 schools with three 5th Grade classrooms each, the total fully loaded cost of the program would be $120,000, and our share of that would be $60,000. However, in many cases schools are unable to raise their share of the cost, so we often need to secure the full amount.
  4. Board of Directors Growth and Development - We need to increase the size and capability of our Board  in order to successfully continue growing the program.  We are specifically looking to add board members with expertise in finance, accounting, advertising, public relations and fund raising who are comfortable with being part of a "working board" and willing to roll up their sleeves and help the staff.
  5. Capacity Building - We need to secure funds to continue working with a free-lance grant writer who can helps with research and applications for grant programs.  We also need assistance to develop and implement a capacity building program that includes Teaching Artist recruitment,  individual donor solicitation, better connections with school and city administrators, training for our staff in nonprofit excellence.

Dancing Classrooms is a social development program for 5th,7th and 8th grade children that utilizes ballroom dancing as a vehicle to change the lives of not only the children who participate in the program but also the lives of the teachers and parents who support these children.

The program was developed by Pierre Dulaine in New York City in 1994. Based on a holistic approach to build confidence and team work, stretch creative skills and support academic excellence, Dancing Classrooms uses the rich and varied vocabularies of social dance to increase cooperation, to improve concentration and to explore areas of commonality, understanding and cultural awareness. During the 2015-16 school year Dancing Classrooms served over 50,000 children in 599 schools in 25 cities.

All Dancing Classrooms Greater Richmond instruction takes place within the host school’s regular day. It can be integrated with physical education, fine arts, music, social studies, mathematics or other school appropriate curricula. Each class meets twice a week for 10 weeks and the program culminates in a showcase at the school in which every child performs. Audience members can include parents and families, the local community, lower grades and school staff.

Two research projects indicate that Dancing Classrooms does make positive changes in participant social development, and another two research projects indicate that Dancing Classrooms has a positive impact on some of the variables that lead to childhood obesity.  Furthermore, a recent study of the Dancing Classrooms program sponsored by our Pittsburgh Dancing Classrooms site (Mercy Behavioral Health) demonstrates that 5th grade students who participated in the Dancing Classrooms program had significantly improved grade point averages after three grade-quarters of observation. The grades were also improved for students participating in Dancing Classrooms when compared with the 5th grade students who did not participate for the subjects social science, science and math.

The DC curriculum has been reviewed in New York, California, Pennsylvania and Ohio and meets or exceeds the NewYork State Standards for the Arts, New York Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts, California Visual and Performing Arts Framework, Ohio's Academic Content Standards and the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for the Arts and Humanities.

Dancing Classrooms is a fully-inclusive program that serves a diverse population of children. Classes are conducted in English. All students are welcome - there are no pre-requisites and experience is never required. Each Dancing Classrooms’ residency can culminate in social activities geared toward family members, such as an evening dance for students with their parents, an assembly performance complete with literacy components, or a Ballroom Breakfast.

CEO Statement
Dancing Classrooms is often perceived by donors to be solely Arts/Dance program.  It is NOT.  It is an educational and social development program with proven impact on discipline, academics, attendance, bullying  and physical fitness.  Ballroom Dancing is a "partner" activity that requires the students to make physical contact in a controlled, respectful way.  This has a PROFOUND impact on interpersonal relationships-especially because of the very "inclusive" approach we take to teaching-where EVERY student is included and every Gentleman dances with every Lady (barring religious or physical impediments) in the classroom.
Board Chair Statement
The key challenge is building awareness and helping donors and educators understand that Dancing Classrooms is NOT an arts/dance program. The typical reaction is to associate dancing with arts and culture education-but that, although important and part of our offering,  is incidental to our mission rather than central.  This program makes a difference-and more so once it  is stable and broad based in any school , school district and city. 
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Tri-cities Region
Tri-cities Region
Richmond, City
Chesterfield County
Colonial Heights, City
Goochland County
Hanover County
Henrico County
Petersburg, City
Powhatan County
Our license agreement covers the entire Greater Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area,. Our focus in 2017-18 will primarily be the Richmond Public Schools, Chesterfield and Henrico Schools school districts, but we would like conduct a Pilot with another school district.
Board Chair
Board Chair Victoria Oakley
Company Affiliation Educational consultant
Term Aug 2016 to Aug 2018
Email info@dancingclassroomsgrva.org
Board of Directors
Board Members
Cecilia Barbosa Community Volunteer
Sheila Cosby Community Volunteer
Shannon Daily Hunton & Williams
Beth Gordon Community Volunteer
Kristen Johnson Community Volunteer
David Monday Commonwealth Retirement Advisors
Victoria Oakley Richmond Public Schools
Kamran Raika Wells Fargo Advisors
Phil Sisk USA Dance
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 8
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 5
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 75
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 75
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Board structure is still simple. We operate with a Chairman, a Secretary, and a Treasurer, and begin to develop a Committee structure, Plan is to increase Board to 13 or more members in 2017-2018, which will allow us to populate committees. 
Executive Director
Executive Director Mariya Vysotskaya
Senior Staff
Mariya Vysotskaya Lead Teaching Artist and School District Liaison
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 0
Contractors 5
Retention Rate 100
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Jan 2016
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
We have collaborated with Communities in Schools to bring the program to Henrico (Highland Springs Elementary), and with the Sacred Heart Center to offer a Dancing Classrooms Summer Academy in the Summer.  We have connected with SPARC, and will collaborate with them on identification of Teaching Artists candidates.  We will also learn from SPARC about their approach to measuring impact/results. We have also collaborated with Camp Diva and Relationship Foundation of VA, providing pro-bono dance instruction during one of their events, and plan to continue supporting them as appropriate. We also collaborated with Richmond Ballet, USA Dance, K Dance, Dance Masters, Dance for the Cure, and Simply Ballroom by having representatives of those organizations judging Dancing Classrooms Team Match Events. 
We plan to collaborate with area Big Bands for the DCGRVA Culminating events. 
To expand Dancing Classrooms to at least one elementary school in Hanover County. Cost is $ 4,000 per each 5th Grade classroom, for an average of $ 12,000 per school.
Budget $12,000.00
Description Expand DCGRVA program to up to 14 Richmond public School Elementary and Middle Schools in School year 2017-18
Description To continue the program at Our Lady of Lourdes School and to expand to at least one Elementary school in Henrico County in schools year 2017-18.
Description To continue the program in Falling Creek and Crestwood Elementary schools, and to expand to at least 1-2 Elementary schools in Chesterfield county in schools year 2017-18.  
CEO/ED/Board Comments
The challenge is to ensure we can grow continue to grow program  in GRVA, building critical mass in terms of Teaching Artist and securing commitments from schools, school districts and donors to support the program over time.
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $136,717.00
Projected Expenses $123,620.00
Endowment Value $0.00
Spending Policy N/A
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$74,034$42,096$22,175
Administration Expense$10,838$1,450$16,295
Fundraising Expense$3,510$3,923--
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.711.771.09
Program Expense/Total Expenses84%89%58%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue3%11%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$109,108$45,989$16,524
Current Assets$109,031$45,861$16,396
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0--
Current Liabilities$0$0$7,000
Total Net Assets$109,108$45,989$9,524
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities----2.34
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit 5/2015View
Organization Comments
We have  a licensing agreement with Dancing Classrooms NYC , which requires us to pay licensing fees of $ 32,000 over the first three years, and $ 5000 per year thereafter. The key challenge is to grow the program, increasing the number of participating schools  to spread the licensing and operating costs,  and enable us to hire dedicated administrative staff to support further expansion and programming.