Dance Program for teens and adults with disabilities
Empowering people with intellectual disabilities, enlightening their communities, and inspiring inclusion through the art and discipline of dance.
Let Us Move You!
Our Dance Programs
Devenio provides a dance experience that is rigorous, supportive, and fun! Long-term, continuous participation promises time to forge lasting relationships, enduring performance skills, and growth in work and life competencies outside the dance studio.
- High-quality dance instruction;
- Support and training for instructors to work appropriately with our special population;
- A setting that supports independence and collaborative skill building;
- An environment that nurtures social connections and peer relationships;
- Performance opportunities in the community and beyond.
Who Can Participate?
Teens (age 14+) and adults with and without mild to moderate cognitive/developmental disabilities who:
- Can follow simple movement instruction;
- Do not require one-on-one assistance in the classroom;
- Do not require mobility supports in the classroom;
- Can regulate behavior in classroom and performance environments.
A partnership with Joy of Motion Dance Center
DEVENIO IN MOTION
Classes are a high-energy mix of dance styles including hip-hop, jazz, and contemporary.
Thursdays, 6:30-7:30, Joy of Motion Dance Center | Friendship Heights
5207 Wisconsin Avenue, Washington, DC 20015
Sundays, 6:00-7:00, Joy of Motion Dance Center | Bethesda
7315 Wisconsin Avenue #180e, Bethesda, MD 20814
A partnership with Elements Dance Company
DEVENIO DANCE at EDC
Classes are a high-energy mix of urban dance styles with an emphasis on hip-hop.
Mondays, 4:30-5:30, EDC at Dance Loft on 14
4618 14th Street NW, Washington DC, 20011
Natasha Hawkins is a core faculty member at Joy of Motion Dance Center, the Company Director of Groove Element, a Joy of Motion youth performance company, and Artistic Director of EDC Junior Company. Natasha began dancing at the age of four at the RJV School of Dance in Washington, DC and has trained with local and national talent in hip hop, ballet, and modern. Hawkins was the former Director of DCypher Dance, Joy of Motion Dance Center’s resident adult hip hop company, and a dancer with Life, Rhythm, Move Project. Natasha has performed at venues throughout the region including the White House, the Kennedy Center, National Theater, Atlas Performing Arts Center, and Jack Guidone Theater.
Tina Fowler is a dance artist and activist from Bethesda, MD, a faculty member at Joy of Motion Dance Center, and a principal dancer with Fierce Collabo in Washington, DC. She holds a BA in Social Justice Studies from Miami University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2017. Fowler started dancing as a child and loved everything about it, especially performing. She trained in tap, jazz, ballet, and modern for years until discovering her love for hip hop. Fowler’s hip hop journey took off at Joy of Motion Dance Center, where she was part of Groove Elements and Urban Impact, two youth hip hop companies. In college, she continued dancing as a member of Miami University’s hip hop crew. It was also in college that Fowler became passionate about using arts to promote inclusion and diversity. Some of her foundational experiences include performing with Best Buddies Friends Choir, a choir for adults with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities, and interning with AXIS Dance Company, a professional dance organization changing the face of dance and disability. Fowler ultimately strives to use dance as a tool to bring about positive social change.
Owoade Ayorinde is a dancer, teacher, and community advocate who enjoys dancing and creating joy with others. She has been a semi-professional dancer for several dance teams including the Washington Capitals Red Rockers, Texas Legends Dancers, and Baltimore Brigade Dancers. Her true passion involves teaching and coaching her students across the Washington metro area. This is her second season as a Devenio in Motion faculty member and her sixth season as a choreographer for the Montgomery County Special Olympics cheerleading team, the JOY Supernovas. Her passion for dance has led her to perform in stadiums and venues across the country including the Theater at MGM Grand National Harbor, The Fillmore, Capital One Arena, and the Washington School of Ballet. Currently, Owoade is completing her Master’s degree in Education Policy at American University and conducts education research as a policy intern at the New America Foundation.
Mackenzie Shimon is the Artistic Director for EDC Elementary company. Mackenzie began competing in Southern California, at the age of six, in jazz and tap. In her teens, she trained with Emmy-nominated and American Choreography Award-nominated Monie Adamson (La La Land) and worked with Tim Stevenson, known for his choreography of music videos and tours for Jennifer Lopez, Destiny’s Child, and Mandy Moore. Shimon choreographed for her high school’s award-winning musicals, which produced Broadway and Hollywood performers. Shimon also served as dance captain and main choreographer for her high school varsity dance team alongside Gigi Torres, who is now one of the industry’s leading hip hop teachers and choreographers. In college, Shimon began training and choreographing in contemporary and hip hop. After graduating from James Madison University with a Minor in Dance, Shimon began training solely in hip hop in Washington, DC. Since 2010, Shimon has performed at The Kennedy Center, The White House, The Verizon Center, and in concerts in NYC, NJ, and PA. Shimon hopes to help her students of all ages and styles grow, both technically and in their love for dance.
Devenio Dance is inspired by HeartBeat of 24-7 Danceforce Studios in Kane'ohe, Hawaii, whose members have been dancing together since its inception in 2007. Founding member of Devenio Dance, Gabby Fleming, spent 20 months with HeartBeat. Back from Hawaii, she deeply missed her irreplaceable HeartBeat community, and something more: a sense of purpose, meaningful work, and opportunities for self-expression born through the art and discipline of dance. Our passionate wish to establish a special experience of dance here in the Washington DC metro area is granted by Devenio and its studio partners, inspired dance communities built on the foundation of inclusion, collaboration, purpose, and meaningful work for all involved. We can’t see the work, the adventures, the love and learning that lies ahead. We just know there is dance in our journey, and joy waiting at our destination. Welcome to our story as it unfolds.
We want your business to be a contributing member of our community! Sponsorship for tuition is our priority, but sponsorship for costume pieces and company t-shirts, and in-kind food and venue donations for social events are also needed. Let us know how you can help us succeed! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Our partnerships are essential in realizing the vision of inclusion and diversity in the dance community, and in pursuing Devenio’s mission to provide enduring opportunities for people with cognitive disabilities to engage and contribute to the community.
As Devenio Dance grows, classes, concerts, and programming will increase. Inherently creative and collaborative, the art of dance can change lives. Pairing our partner studios’ strength in dance education with Devenio Inc.'s history with disability and community groups, Devenio Dance is a singular opportunity to make dance, and its myriad benefits, more accessible to teens and adults with special needs in the Washington, DC metro area.
“Devenio Dance is cool. I get to jam with my friends.”
- Devenio Dancer