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17 hours ago

Danceworks, Inc.
Now is the perfect time to mark your calendars for the first show of Danceworks Performance MKE's 2022-23 season, “I Am Because You Are…”! 🗓📲💃🏻I Am Because You Are…November 12-13, 2022Baumgartner Center for Dance128 N Jackson St. Milwaukee WI🎟️ to learn more about the show? Read all about it below 👇“And you are because I am.” In DPMKE’s 25th anniversary season, the company explores the philosophy known as “Ubuntu” by looking back at the unforgettable work that has shaped Danceworks, Inc. through the years. This philosophy, a belief in which our common bonds with others shape us deeply, single handedly reflects our community’s investment in helping shape our identity. We are also able to fully become who we are by unapologetically sharing ourselves with others and our history as a company runs through the veins of each new work we present.Please venture back in time with us to remember through a documentary telling and live embodiment of the company’s touching, comedic, and curious works that have become Danceworks favorites. Los Angeles artist and Milwaukee Native Taryn Vander Hoop (@tarynvanderhoop ) will set new repertoire on DPMKE and Dawn Springer (@dawncspringer), Gina Laurenzi (@gina_laurenzi ) and Christal Wagner (@waitingforutah ) will revisit and craft brand new works for the stage respectively. ... See MoreSee Less
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2 days ago

Danceworks, Inc.
Happy #MKEMonday! Today is a special day because it is the first day of Emoji Yogi, an outreach program for K5 and 1st grade students that guides students through movement, breathing exercises, yoga and storytelling. 🧘🏿🧘🏻‍♀️ Danceworks is proud to be partnering with the Choose Love Movement for this program. The Choose Love formula of 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐠𝐞+𝐋𝐨𝐯𝐞+𝐅𝐨𝐫𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬+𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐢𝐧 𝐀𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 will help form each lesson. 💙 You can learn more about Emoji Yogi & the Choose Love Movement when you go to ⬅️ ... See MoreSee Less
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5 days ago

Danceworks, Inc.
Our students are putting those brand new light weight, adjustable barres to good use! A huge shoutout to all of the amazing Raise the Barre donors from this past summer. Because of YOU, we were able to purchase 27 new barres for the studio!! #thankyou If you donated $100 or more, your names are still going on the barre. Keep a lookout - coming soon 👀 ... See MoreSee Less
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Danceworks Blog

A Little Dancing Makes a Big Difference

Posted on by Deborah Wenzler Farris

Peggy S. Paar understands the big difference a little dancing can make in a person’s life. Many times, I have left Danceworks on a Friday evening just as Peggy and her husband Michael are arriving. They end their workweeks dancing together in our adult ballroom class.

By day, Peggy is the General Music Teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School in Wauwatosa and that’s how we first met nine years ago–Roosevelt was one of the first schools to sign up for Mad Hot.


Peggy Paar

When Danceworks started the program, our goal was to serve city schools that were lagging in arts education and gym. Early on, we began to receive requests from suburban schools as well, and opened the program up because we didn’t want a segregated program. Dance is a great vehicle to bring people together that wouldn’t otherwise connect.


As the program developed, Mad Hot self-selected its participating schools. Suburban schools didn’t have time for it. Of our 43 schools participating today, 39 are Milwaukee Public Schools; two are private city schools and two are suburban.

Peggy has been one of our greatest advocates over the years and has led Roosevelt to share the joy of dance far beyond the structure of the program. Roosevelt’s Mad Hot students share their newly developed skills at performances both in and outside of school—at nursing homes, restaurants, even local grocery stores every year.

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Debrasha Greye, Danceworks faculty member, with Roosevelt students performing at the Lutheran Home

Peggy is proud of the students’ achievements and shares it whenever she has the chance. When I visited the school last week, she had some wonderful words to share about the program along with the students’ dancing.

“The growth in the young people has been enormous.  At the beginning, the students were shy, embarrassed, reluctant and terribly concerned with who their partners were going to be. Now they know they can dance respectfully with anyone in the program. There is this new energy, with lots of smiles, as the boys confidently lead the girls in twirls and twists. Sometimes I’ll see students working out a step by the water cooler, or while they are waiting for a class to start or out on the playground.

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Roosevelt students dancing around the room at the Lutheran Home

“Students are communicating and talking with classmates they’ve never noticed before.  My relationship has also changed with these young people.  I see them in a whole new light and I feel they now have new skills that will help them as they transition to middle school and as they continue their life journey.

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“The arts really make a difference to every student in the public school. This is a program that makes a difference, not just with the dancers, but within the school, the community, and with the families.”


We look forward to seeing all our ballroom and tap students give testimony to Peggy’s words at the Mad Hot Competition next weekend. But don’t take our word for it. Come experience it first hand and join us Saturday, May 21, at the BMO Harris Bradley Center for the 10th Anniversary Mad Hot Competition. Tap begins at 9:30 am and Ballroom at 1:30 pm.

And then…I’ve been talking about taking that Friday evening Ballroom class with my husband.  Anyone want to join us…? You don’t have to have a partner. Everyone dances together!


About Our Blog

Welcome to the Danceworks blog, where we're hoping to share a little bit more about the heart and soul behind Danceworks… what made us join the dance and keeps us dancing, what keeps us inspired, and where we can share some of the stories worth telling.