Published on: Sunday, May 1, 2016 Takoma Park Newsletter

Dance Exchange announces 2016 Teen Leadership Institute

As the weather starts to warm up and Takoma Park is setting its sights on the summer ahead, Dance Exchange is inviting youth from across the city to participate in its 2016 Teen Leadership Institute. Happening June 23-25, the Teen Leadership Institute brings together young people ages 13-19 to build their skills as artists and leaders in their community using dance, song, poetry and storytelling.

The Teen Leadership Institute is a summer tradition at Dance Exchange, an intergenerational dance company with a long history in Takoma Park. Teens will experience a range of art forms throughout the three-day Institute. Working alongside professional artists and community organizers in the DC area, participants will build their creative and leadership skills through dance, art and storytelling workshops, group conversations and public engagements.

Dance Exchange Resident Artist Matthew Cumbie explains that this opportunity “gives teens a chance to explore their capacity to transform ideas into action through artmaking. By the end of the Institute, teens really understand the role of art in building community and creating sustainable change.”

The 2016 Institute will focus on the experiences of LGBT youth, as well as youth who consider themselves friends and allies. “Everyone needs a safe space to tell their story,” notes Teen Leadership Institute Co-Facilitator Amanda Newman. “We’re excited that through dance, storytelling and more, this year’s Institute will create that safe space for LGBT youth and allies to share their experiences, challenges and hopes.”

Teens of all orientations and identities are welcome—with or without dance experience. Registration is now open, and a limited number of scholarships are available through an application process. To learn more or to register your teen, contact Matthew Cumbie at

This article appeared in the May 2016 edition of the Takoma Park Newsletter. The Takoma Park Newsletter is available for download here.