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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Dance, Education, Youth Development

Mission: Groove With Me, Inc. is a youth development organization using free dance classes and performance opportunities as a tool to instill in the young women of East Harlem the leadership, pride, spirit of cooperation, creativity, joy and discipline needed to confront the adversity in their daily lives and throughout their future development. The program seeks to decrease teen pregnancy, truancy, crime, violence, prostitution, substance abuse and gang related activity by nurturing youth, building self-confidence, offering positive choices, and providing a safe place to go. Groove With Me, Inc. is a community based organization that provides girls with access to girls-only after-school and summer programming. As a youth development program Groove With Me seeks to meet the developmental needs of our youth while building up their competencies. Our dance program is guided by the recognition that all youth need safety and structure, a sense of belonging, opportunities for contribution and leadership, and ways to develop positive character. At Groove With Me, girls develop positive peer relationships, participate in creative activities, feel a sense of purpose and personal power, and meet their own high expectations. Only one quarter of youth programming in New York City is targeted at girls. While programming for boys and men exceeds that for girls and women in NYC, the increased risk for girls continues. A study by the New York Women's Foundation states that youth who are best able to negotiate the trials of growing up even in the harshest of circumstances often have an adult in their lives who provides sustained support, caring, and guidance. It is not poverty, as many believe, that is the greatest cause of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and violence in women. It is lack of validation and knowledge of options. At Groove With Me girls find the support they need from adults who are role models and mentors. Girls' access to after school activities is impeded by safety, household responsibilities, lack of programming targeting girls, lack of outreach by women role models, and peer pressure. Groove With Me addresses these obstacles by offering a large selection of class times and styles of dance that are separated into various age groups. Groove With Me, Inc. offers more than 35 dance classes for girls aged 4-18, six days a week, given by 40 volunteer dance instructors.

Results: 100% of seniors graduate from high school versus 60% in East Harlem.

Target demographics: Girls and young women ages 4-18 years-old who reside in East Harlem and the South Bronx

Direct beneficiaries per year: We enrolled 388 over the course of the year

Geographic areas served: East Harlem, NY

Programs: There are 35+ free weekly classes in hip hop, jazz, tap, ballet, theater jazz, Indian Dance, Latin Caribbean, creative movement, and modern. In addition to our dance programs, Groove With Me offers a Teen Leadership Program to our high school girls. Through weekly meetings, writing assignments, and group activities participants learn what leadership means. They then put that knowledge into action as they are given the opportunity to volunteer as teen teaching assistants for some of the younger classes at Groove With Me. The young women of TLC become role models to our younger girls and are empowered to make a difference in the lives of others and in their community.

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

GWM is an amazing organization! Fun, friendly, positive environment! Great staff, shows, and the memories created are priceless. My daughter has been a student for 4 years and she is just as excited as when she first started. GO GWM !

Client Served

Rating: 5

Both my daughters used to dance with Groove With Me for two years. We love the program and the staff! I loved that they had deep conversations with my teenager about the media's messages and self esteem. My girls stopped going to GWM because we moved but Meredith still keeps us informed @ all the different opportunities available in NYC. Thank you, Meredith! Miss you guys!, Maria, NayNay & Rae
(we recommend Groove With Me to people all the time)

Tavika K.

Client Served

Rating: 4

Today began my daughters experience with Groove With Me, Inc. and I must say she was less than excited. When we were informed that we'd missed the registration period for the dance classes she practically lost hope of enjoying herself. I signed her up for Nia: Imagination in Motion w Sarah & Cara because I was sure she would enjoy it and felt it would be a great introduction to dance. This morning on the way she insisted that she wouldn't "have any fun". Needless to say, the after class walk was filled with excitement and anticipation for next week. I appreciate that she was turned around right from the start and I look forward to my daughter learning lots and loving every bit of!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our daughter has been with Groove With Me for 5 or 6 years. She loves it and one can't help but notice the coordination improvement, as well as the growth in self confidence. When she started she was still and unable to physically interpret music and motion. We enjoy the staff, and we especially appreciate the sense of community that exists and gracefulness with which all of the young ladies and little girls carry themselves. This year, the end of year performance at the Apollo was especially well crafted.

glawtonmoore

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has attended GWM for 5 years. My daughter loves attending the classes. My daughter has a network of friends along with myself. The staff is AMAZING. My daughter cannot wait for the next fall classes. My child gets to perform at the Apollo where legends are made! GWM provides all the uniforms where we dont have to come out of pockets for those that can't afford. I would highly reccommend this program to everyone.

Simone R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Groove with me is the perfect afterschool program! My daughter absolutely loves it she has a network of friends,she went from being shy to very outgoing.The teachers are very nice and nurturing!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has attended GWM for 10 years. My daughter takes several classes each year and I must say she is an AMAZING tap dancer (Thanks Margarite). It has been a positive experience for her and my family. The staff is very caring. The staff has seen my daughter flourish into her teenage years. It is truly like an extended family. GWM staff monitors the girls/young ladies and ensure they stay focused and on task. In addition, GWM provides restrictions and encouragement when needed. I highly recommend GWM.

Thanks for all your hard work and dedication, not only to my daughter but to ALL those who attend!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Groove with me is an amazing dance school. My daughter is around positive and beautiful talented dance teacher. The staff are very nice and helpful. They have books in there waiting room so your child can read while waiting for her dance class. The parents are friendly too, I admire everything they have done for us. my daughter was in another dance school that i payed for and was treated poorly. I am so thankful for GROOVE WITH ME!!! It is an awesome place, i recommend all girls to attend.

Shaton A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Groove with Me is an awesome program. My daughter was attending a dance school that I was paying for and she preferred Groove with Me. The founder is very nice caring and professional. The staff shows genuine interest in all the girls that attend which is awesome.
I'm excited about sending my daughter back in the Fall since she was unable to attend the summer session.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has been attending Groove With Me for 2 years now. I'm so blessed to have find this free program! My daughter's passion for dancing has grown tremendously. Meredith is always sharing valuable information about programs and events going on in the city. I look forward to her emails :-)