Irise Dance Project


Introducing the 2024 members of Irise Dance Project!


Irise Dance Project is a 501c3 organization based at Izizwe Dance Studio. Irise aims to empower youth and communities through the transformative power of dance. Our mission is to make high-quality dance education accessible to all individuals and to provide the opportunities and support needed to elevate professional dance in the communities we serve. To achieve our mission, we employ three key strategies. 

First we offer professional dance training, performance opportunities, and career guidance to promising young people. Irise members are chosen through invitation or auditions which are held each August. Once selected, dancers take 3 or more weekly classes and engage in rehearsals where they learn and create choreography focused on themes exploring identity, culture, and expression. Throughout the year, Irise dancers perform at various events and have the chance to attend workshops and master classes with esteemed guest teachers. We also provide specialized counseling to help our dancers excel in higher education and pursue fulfilling careers in dance. Our priority is to create a supportive and nurturing environment that promotes the overall well-being of our dancers, ensuring their success as individuals and leaders in the performing arts field. 

Secondly, we actively collaborate with schools and community organizations to bring dance education directly to their spaces. By working closely with our partners, we aim to create an inclusive and supportive environment where dance is utilized as a tool to promote creativity and empowerment in the lives of young people. 

Lastly, we are committed to cultivating a thriving dance community in Lawrence and beyond. We strive to create an environment where dancers can prosper both artistically and professionally through job creation, studio access, collaborative opportunities, and networking platforms. By fostering a supportive network, we provide ongoing support and opportunity to dance artists. 

Irise Dance Project needs your support!

Click here to donate to our first fundraising campaign 

Where does your donation go? 

~ Tuition cost for each dancer is $125 per month for 3 weekly dance classes plus rehearsals.

~ $100 per dancer for attire. This includes proper leotards, tights, dance shoes, etc.

~ $150 per dancer for dance costumes for performances/showcases

~ Funds for college mentorship and guidance. Irise will support dancers in college pre-screens, transportation to and from auditions, hotel costs, food, and private lessons in preparation for auditions.

~ Funds for field trips to see professional dance to expose our dancers to the performing arts world.



Current scholarships are supported in part by a grant from the Lawrence Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.



Over the past three years, Izizwe Dance Studio has supported dozens of promising students by offering free/discounted tuition, provided job opportunities and studio space to local dance artists, and expanded access to dance education through free summer programs alongside our non-profit partners.