Teens Don't Miss A Step With "Dancing To Connect & Con Edison" Education Program Keeps The Arts Alive

Fifteen year-old Fabricio Nolasco dances to express how he feels, but he says it's tough to stay in step when many public schools had to reduce or cut dance and art classes.

"I've been dancing since I was in elementary school and I've learned how to move my body according to how I feel; to tell a story and share what is inside. But it all stopped when I entered middle and high school," said Fabricio, who is one of 30 students who participated in the Dancing to Connect program through the Battery Dance Company.

Dancing to Connect takes the thinking and creative processes into a physical space, providing students with non-verbal means of expression. It is a weeklong series of four-hour workshops with world-class dancers as their instructors and a formal performance at the end of the week.

"Students create their individual choreography based on their own levels, movements, themes, and feelings, "said Jonathan Hollander, Artistic & Executive Director of the Battery Dance Company. "Students also learn self-respect, tolerance, team work, and the ability to channel emotion and thought into a physical creation.

Con Edison contributes $15k annually to the Battery Dance Company for continued philanthropic endeavors based on arts and education. Students from Washington Irving High School, Gramercy Arts High School, and Union Square Academy for Health & Sciences participated in the Dancing to Connect program.

"In addition to supporting mainstream cultural institutions, Con Edison understands the need to support cultural organizations under the radar that do so much for our city, like Battery Dance Company," said Caroline Landau, Con Edison Assistant General Counsel and Board Member of Battery Dance Company.

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*Con Edison supports hundreds of nonprofit organizations in New York City and Westchester County to strengthen neighborhoods, sustain communities and improve lives. These philanthropic efforts support the arts, environment, and important educational initiatives in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Many of Con Edison's 14,000 employees share a personal commitment to the region's vitality through their own volunteer efforts and also choose to support education by utilizing the company's matching gifts program.*