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I Dance Because 

I Dance Because is a full-service non-profit organization, 501-C (3) that specializes in the development of academic, social and emotional needs of at-risk youth, their parents, through the healing power of dance and movement. I Dance Because has been designed to equip participants with the necessary social and emotional skills to live an excellent life.


I Dance Because was created from a question that its founder, Susan Pope, was asked, “why do you dance?” Her response was, “I dance because I like how it makes me feel. I like how it can transform an introvert into someone who openly and proudly celebrates themselves. I dance because dancing kept me alive during a time when my spirit was dying.” Susan, a trained dancer since the age of 6, used the healing power of dancing to heal herself after a challenging time in her life. She forced herself to dance her way into healthiness and wholeness. This process impacted her so profoundly that she wanted to share her ‘I dance because’ story with other people and, subsequently, find out ‘why’ other people danced. She wanted other people, especially women dealing with similar issues, to experience the same release and freedom that she had. In 2005, she set out to do just that! She obtained an ArtStart Grant to write a book, appropriately entitled “I Dance Because?” which provided a diversity of response within its collection of stories, essays, and poems about dance.



  • Mourning Into Dancing - embodied grieving process

  • Positive Me Program for young girls

  • Living Our Vows Program for Couples

  • Elder Stories - Narratives of Veteran Black Educators


  1. What Moves You Scholarship

  2. Kamal Johnson scholarship

  3. Elementary dance student gift basket

My latest projects
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