Welcome to the neighborhood, Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center! The center just opened last month on the second floor of 857 Lexington Avenue, just off Broadway. The founder, Dwana Smallwood, was born in Bed Stuy and became a principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater from 1995 to 2007. She went on join the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, leading the school’s dance program, and left to begin her own center right here in the neighborhood.
Here’s some info about the center via Facebook: “The Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center aims to use the arts, primarily dance, as a means to empower youth within New York’s inner city communities.” As you can see in the schedule above, there are a variety of classes set for June that include stretching, West African dance, modern dance and Afro-Fusion. There are also summer intensive sessions designed for dancers ages 7 through 18.