Who We Are

Hello!

The everybody dance! team has an unmatched passion for dance and positive change that’s at the heart of the program’s success. Their confidence and commitment is an inspiration to the students they teach and to the communities they serve.

Wow!...We were all so impressed and magnificently entertained by your talented and gifted multi-age dancers...(T)he strength and variety of dance training you masterfully provide was clearly evident...you confirm the rumors I have heard, that you are a remarkable organization, based on high expectations,
rigor and consistent results.

- Richard Alonzo, former LAUSD Local Superintendent -
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Our Mission & History

Gabriella Axelrad & Liza Bercovici

The Gabriella Foundation was established by Liza Bercovici in 1999 in memory of her daughter, Gabriella Axelrad, a 13-year-old who loved to dance. When deciding where to begin, TGF noticed a lack of safe recreational spaces and arts education in Los Angeles, as well as raising childhood obesity levels in those very same areas. This correlation revealed a clear need for youth in underserved communities to have an encouraging place to express themselves in an empowering way without the burdens of their every day worries.

Our signature program, everybody dance! opened its doors in 2000 in an affordable housing project with 12 weekly dance classes taught to 35 enthusiastic children experiencing dance instruction for the first time in their lives. Learning of the after-school program, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, a local charter school, collaborated with us for in/after-school dance instruction. The students engaging in dance were rapidly more focused, engaged, and ready to learn. Immediately seeing the positive effects of dance on students when returning to class, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy connected with our vision and gave dance a chance!

In 2005, we opened Gabriella Charter School (GCS), a unique, Title 1, K-8 dance-themed public school, as a continued memorial of Gabriella’s desire to teach, and a key driver for the thriving future and overwhelming success of everybody dance! at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy. Every student at GCS studies dance as part of every school day, improving their day in a way that makes a striking difference in the present and can tremendously transform lives for a brighter future.

In 2013, we established Gabriella Charter School as a separate but linked non-profit entity to strengthen governance capacity, with everybody dance! continuing to provide its award-winning in/after-school model of dance training and creative youth development.

We – The Gabriella Foundation and Gabriella Charter Schools – continually seek to strengthen our historic partnership through strategic collaboration and cooperation in a variety of areas. As we grow together, we ensure that our core areas of focus remain competitive and resilient, working in concert to deliver the highest quality dance and academics.

Mission and Vision

The Mission of The Gabriella Foundation is to transform the lives of underserved youth in Los Angeles through high quality dance instruction.

Our Vision is for The Gabriella Foundation to be nationally recognized as a model for transformative work in the artistic expression of dance and creative youth development. To nurture and sustain communities where youth, regardless of economic or racial background, foster a lifelong appreciation of dance, are leaders engaging positively in their communities, serve as role models and mentors to new generations, possessing the self-discipline, confidence, and sheer drive to reach their full potential.

In 2017-18, The Gabriella Foundation’s everybody dance! program will provide high-quality, in/after-school dance education to 3,700 underserved children and youth at 14 sites throughout Los Angeles. On average, students stay with our program for 7+ years and 30% study more than one dance form – the depth of learning they experience becoming a part of them as they transition into post-high school college and career pursuits. Everybody dance! is anything but fleeting:

  • 93% of students surveyed say that everybody dance! improves their physical fitness
  • 89% said their self-esteem improved
  • 91%, their self-efficacy
  • 90% their sense of being supported by friends and the community.

A Transformative History

In 2017-2018, everybody dance! is anticipated to provide in- and after-school dance instruction to over 3,700 low-income youth at 12 sites throughout Los Angeles, making it a leader in the provision of quality dance instruction to underserved youth in Los Angeles, and the largest dance program in Los Angeles providing sequential, long-term dance training to low-income youth.

Our Flagship Partner: The Gabriella Charter School

Gabriella Charter Schools join academic rigor with the creativity of dance to engage the hearts and minds of young people in underserved communities, empowering them to excel both inside and outside the classroom.

In 2005, inspired by parent requests for an academic program with similarly high expectations as the everybody dance! program, we opened Gabriella Charter School, a unique, Title 1, K-8 dance-themed public school, each of whose 436 students study dance as part of every school day. In 2013, to strengthen governance capacity, we established the School as a separate, but linked, non-profit entity with everybody dance! This restructuring allowed everybody dance! To continue to provide its award-winning dance curriculum at the high-performing charter school, and opens doors for changing even more lives for youth in Los Angeles.

In 2016, GCS was awarded the California Gold Ribbon Award, the Title 1 Achievement Award, and the California Exemplary Arts Program marking its excellence in providing a rigorous, arts-infused program to its students while maintaining academic excellence. GCS was also named to the 2016 California Honor Roll as a Star School for its work in closing the achievement gap and listed as a Spotlight School in a new report from Great Schools.

In August 2017, GCS will open GCS 2 at the Trinity Elementary School Campus located at 3736 Trinity Street in Los Angeles, CA.

Join Our Team

Do you want to play a part in transforming young lives through dance?