Lawrence Summer Dance Institute 2021

2021 Theme: Kiltirèl Conexiones (Cultural Connections)

Click here to register for the Lawrence Summer Dance Institute 


Izizwe Dance Studio is entering its third year collaborating with Jean Appolon Expressions to offer a free summer dance institute based in Lawrence. The program includes classes for dancers ages 5-18, that are centered around movement, identity and social justice. This year’s program will highlight the similarities and cross-cultural connections between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, using dance as the main point of harmony. 

To donate to the Lawrence Summer Dance Institute 2021 click here

For 2021, JAE and Izizwe are closely monitoring CDC guidelines for safe and successful summer youth programs. Teachers will plan for fully remote, hybrid and in person activities until more details are available in early summer. Regardless of the format, JAE and Izizwe teachers will lead students through movement, choreography and meaningful reflection. On the final day of each session, students will perform in a small showcase either outdoors or online(Youth on July 30th and Teens on August 13th). This year, all Summer Dance Institute participants will be invited to attend a free professional JAE performance on Saturday August 15th outdoors in Lawrence that will also be streamed live. Even in these difficult times, we will continue to bring dance and connection to kids across the globe.

Youth (Ages 5-12): July 19th-30th

  • In Person Model at Izizwe Dance Studio:

    • max 10 kids until state guidelines change

    • Monday-Friday 9:00am-12:00pm (3 hours)


  • Remote Model via zoom:

    • Ages 5-8 Monday-Friday 9:30am-10:30am (1 hour)

    • Ages 9-12 Monday-Friday 10:45am-12:00pm (1 hour, 15 minutes)



Teen Program (Ages 13-18): August 2nd-13th

  • In person at Izizwe Dance Studio

    • max 10 kids until state guidelines change

    • Monday-Friday 9:00am-12:00pm (3 hours)


  • Remote Model via Zoom:                                                          

    • Monday-Friday 9:30am-11:00am (1 hour, 30 minutes)


JAE Professional Performance: Saturday August 14th

  • all Summer Dance Institute students and families will be invited to attend this free professional dance performance outdoors in Lawrence, MA

  • this Folkloric Dance performance aims to share, uplift and connect Haitian, Dominican and African dance traditions


    The Summer Dance Institute in Lawrence draws on the strengths of both JAE and Izizwe in order to offer the following:

    1. Classes in Yoga, Ballet, Contemporary, Hip-Hop, Haitian, African and Latin dance techniques

    2. Literacy-based arts activities and creative movement for ages 5-12

    3. Choreography and mind-body awareness workshops for ages 13-18

    4. Access to online content, instructional videos, performance videos, and choreography tutorials

    5. Instruction and choreography by professional dancers


    The 2021 Summer Dance Institute is made possible by individual donors like you!

    The 2020 Institute was funded in part by the Essex County Community Foundation's (ECCF) Greater Lawrence Summer Fund.




    Read what our students had to say about the Dance Institute! 

    • I learned that there are dances from all over, but they all connect as as one dance.
    • It made me appreciate it more than I did before and it makes me proud to be Haitian.

    • I can take the things I learned about expressing myself through dance can help me blow off steam through dance or help me through tough times in my life.

    • It was really fun learning new dances. I did the program last year and this year! I can’t wait to do this next year! Even over computer they make it fun! Thank you for such a fun time!!!!!!

    • I will take away more dedication and thinking about how my body moves through the world outside of dance.

    • This program helped me realize how much we are all different, but the same deep down and that is a good thing. This program helped me realize that you can always connect with someone, no matter how different they are, through dance, even if they speak a different language.

    • We are all connected when dancing as a team and that is pretty cool.

    • The Summer Dance Institute made me feel like I have a dance community outside of my own in Maine! I think that we all have something unique and different about each others dancing and I love how we can come together and dance in our differences.