First Lady Michelle Obama presented the award to DREAM director Kelli Quinn and student Valeria Cruz.

At the White House yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama and the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities awarded the DC-based nonprofit dance organization, CityDance, the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award for its after-school program DREAM. The award honors organizations that use the arts and humanities to increase academic achievement and college enrollment, and it is the highest honor a youth arts and humanities program can receive. DREAM was one of 12 organizations honored at the ceremony.

Established in 2005, the program offers free after-school dance classes and performances to kids in grades 3–12. DREAM also provides mentorship and tutoring for students in underserved communities, in an effort to promote higher graduation rates.

CityDance plans to open a new arts center, The DREAM Center for Dance, in downtown Washington, DC, in 2018. It will contain dance studios, a black box theater and study rooms. For more info, visit: citydance.net.

Photo by Steven E. Purcell, courtesy of CityDance

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Stephen "tWitch" Boss and Michelle Obama at the 2015 White House Easter Egg Roll

We love how Michelle Obama promotes dance as a part of a healthy lifestyle. For the fifth anniversary of her Let’s Move campaign, she introduced the #GimmeFive dance with help from some “So You Think You Can Dance” all-stars. We first saw the upbeat number performed on “The Ellen Degeneres Show,” and then at last weekend’s White House Easter Egg Roll. Travis Wall and Stephen "tWitch" Boss flank the First Lady, with Wall on the mic directing the audience to dance along with them. Good thing he has experience coaching crowds of students on the convention circuit!

Photo via TV Guide

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