Expanding A Movement


Contact: Julia Miele, Executive Director
Telephone: (213) 365-2491

Expanding a Movement

The Gabriella Foundation Transforms New Communities Through the Power of Dance

South Los Angeles, CA: The Gabriella Foundation’s everybody dance! program is reaching more underserved Los Angeles youth than ever. In February, its headquarter offices will move to South Los Angeles – near Santee Alley and the Fashion District – to the second floor of a light manufacturing warehouse formerly occupied by the Century Spring Corporation (222 E. 16th Street, Los Angeles 90015). With large windows, brick walls, and two newly built-out dance studios, the organization’s new “Santee” site will serve the South Los Angeles community with high-quality after-school dance education in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip hop and break dancing.

Photography by Charles-Ryan Barber

With in-school dance education newly offered by The Gabriella Foundation (“TGF”) in South Los Angeles at Gabriella Charter School 2 and Dr. Maya Angelou Community High School, TGF’s new Santee site will provide low-cost after-school dance education for students who want to master specific dance forms beyond the last school bell.  TGF will further extend its in-school reach in South Los Angeles through a new partnership with LAUSD that will bring the organization’s award-winning everybody dance! program to elementary and middle schools with low Arts Equity Index scores (1, non-existent; 2, basic).

Throughout expansion, TGF will maintain and continue growing its presence at current sites in the MacArthur Park and Watts areas, with in-school programming already launched in fall 2017 at eight new school sites. In total, TGF will serve nearly 3,700 students at 18 sites with 277 hours of weekly dance instruction during the 2017-2018 dance season.

TGF’s award-winning everybody dance! after-school program helps underserved youth reach their full potential in life by fostering a culture that promotes high expectations and performance, community building through parental involvement, and sequential, long-term training.  Everybody dance! in-school, a pathway to the after-school program, provides a creative outlet for students during the school day and uses dance as a tool for learning by incorporating movement into academic curriculum.  In both models, TGF hires professional dance instructors who inspire students to achieve their very best in the dance studio, teaching beyond technique by imparting life skills and instilling confidence, commitment, creativity and community. Over 90% of everybody dance! students surveyed report higher levels of self-esteem and self-efficacy, enhanced physical fitness, and an improved sense of being supported by family and the community.

About The Gabriella Foundation: The Gabriella Foundation was founded in 1999 by Liza Bercovici in memory of her daughter, Gabriella, a 13-year-old who loved to dance. The Mission of the Foundation is to transform the lives of underserved youth in Los Angeles through high-quality dance instruction. In 2005, Liza founded Gabriella Charter School, with dance integral to the curriculum, believing that the same rigor dance provided could be carried over into the classroom. Today, The Gabriella Foundation and Gabriella Charter Schools continually seek to strengthen their historic partnership through strategic collaboration and cooperation – working in concert to deliver the highest quality dance and academics.


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