Danceworks Generations

Danceworks Generations is an intergenerational, multi-arts residency that partners second and third grade students and seniors in memory care, nursing homes or other senior centered sites. Together they build community through dance, visual art, and other art disciplines.

The 2023-24 Generations Program will include 12 shared sessions lead by Danceworks’ Teaching Artists. Bussing to and from the senior site is included.

Inspiration for Intergenerational, Artful Exchanges

Danceworks Teaching Artists begin the creative process by posing an open ended question to intergenerational participants. Some examples of questions could include, “If you had a superpower, what would it be and why’?”, “What do you treasure in your home – and why?” Students and seniors learn about one another through these thoughtful, open-ended questions that invite personal reflection and expression.

The intergenerational participants’ responses to questions inspire the collaborative creation of visual art and dance. The theme for the 2023-24 program is “Up, Up and Away”. The participants will explore everything in our skies through a multi-arts approach. Danceworks’ Teaching Artists will use the participants’ ideas to guide each session. The intergenerational participants’ responses to prompts will inspire unique artistic collaborations. The sky is the limit!

Health and safety protocols will be observed by all in order to keep everyone safe.

Danceworks Generations Primary Goals are:

  • To improve effective and appropriate communication skills across generations.
    • To improve critical thinking skills by making correlations across art forms.
      • To improve empowerment through creating intergenerational relationships that build community.


      Generations Program Fee
      School Program Fee: $900 per classroom of up to 36 students.
      Includes bussing and all supplies for 12 sessions. *An orientation and follow-up session will take place before and after the start and completion of program and will take place in the classroom.


      Danceworks Generations School Interest Form

      Senior Center Program Fee: $900 per senior center group of up to 24 seniors.
      Includes all sessions and materials


      Danceworks Generations Senior Center Interest Form

      We have outreach programming for ages K5-senior adults. You can bring a customized bundle of these programs to your facility to serve all ages abilities. Multi-program discounts are available.

      Danceworks Generations FAQ’s

      Can more than 1 group participate? Yes! Participating sites/shcools can have multiple 2nd/3rd grade classrooms of up to 36 participate. Senior sites may have multiple sessions with up to 24 participants. An additional fee will be charged and extra classes are only available if the corresponding site partner is available.

      Can we combine classrooms so that multiple classrooms can participate? No. Over our 30 years of community engagement, we have discovered that the most successful classes come from the same classroom. Often when multiple classes are joined there are more challenges with teamwork and regular attendance at scheduled classes. If this is the only option for your school please contact Community Programs Manager Jessica Fastabend at

      Can we hold our classes after school? Due to the nature of the program the program can only be done during the school day. Students are bussed to and from their partner site and do not have after school availability due to regular school drop off.

      What is the program cost? Each classroom/adult site of up to 36 participants or 24 for seniors, is $900 and includes 12 in person shared sessions per school year as well as busing and all art supplies. Danceworks never turns away an interested school or site please reach out to us with further questions regarding program cost.

      What does the school site/site need to provide for the program? Generations partner schools are responsible for their own permission slips and appropriate supervision on the bus to and from the senior partner site. Senior sites provide a space for dancing with tables available for visual art projects.

      What does Danceworks provide? Danceworks provides 2 professional Teaching Artists for the 12 in person classes as well as all necessary art supplies, props, transportation and music.

      Do students have to finish the program if they are uninterested? Over the years we have found that the students that are the most reticent at first become classroom leaders. Danceworks asks that the program not be used as reward/punishment and that should a student need to be removed from the program that the Danceworks Teaching Artist is included in that decision.

      When do we have to pay? Danceworks has 2 options for invoicing. We can invoice in February or at the end of the program in May. Schools will be asked which option is best for them.

      Can we use outside funding to pay for the program? As stated above we do not turn away schools and will work with you to bring Generations to your school. We ask that our partner schools check with us before seeking outside funding as it may interfere with our larger program fundraising plans. We will not invoice a third party. 

      What happens if we have a snow day or other cancellations? Danceworks will provide make-up classes due to an emergency cancellation (snow days, seniors needing to quarantine etcetera). If a bus is not available for the make-up class we will provide individual site classes (i.e. Adults at their site with no kids and vice versa). Cancellations by site or school with less than 24 hours notice will not be made up. This may incur an additional cancellation fee for the bus.

      Generations Photo Gallery

      The Danceworks Generations program has made so many wonderful memories over the years. Here are just a few of our favorites. Enjoy!


      Thank you to our sponsors!

      Danceworks Generations program is funded through charitable contributions from a variety of foundations, corporations and individuals including:

      • Bader Philanthropies
      • Maihaugen Foundation
      • United Performing Arts Fund
      • Froedtert Community Investment Fund
      • Anonymous Donor


      Questions about Danceworks Generations? Contact Jessica Fastabend, Community Programs Manager, via email.