Every day, Hyde Square Task Force works to fulfill the immediate needs of the community by making resources available to youth and their families through our enrichment and in-school Afro-Latin dance programs. We deliver high-quality arts and educational programs both in Boston Public Schools and from our Youth Community Development Center to serve the needs of children and teens ages 6-18. We have designed and implemented student-centered curricula that encourage positive engagement through in-school Afro-Latin dance classes. Through our music, dance, and theatre enrichment classes, children and youth have access to regular the arts opportunities.
The Music Clubhouse, a partner of the Music and Youth Initiative, provides youth with free, high-quality instrumental and vocal instruction (solo and ensemble), songwriting and performance opportunities, and access to musical-instrument technology, as well as strong personal encouragement and support. In a largely Latino and African-American community where music and the arts are woven into the cultural fabric, yet access to arts instruction and meaningful adult relationships is limited for many young people, the Hyde Square Task Force Music Clubhouse’s impact on young people’s lives is tremendously positive. Within this exciting and nurturing musical environment, the youth increase their musicianship and develop crucial personal skills including leadership, self-confidence, poise, teamwork, pride, critical thinking, and self-advocacy. The youths’ musical studies and activities are an outlet for positive self-expression and provide opportunities for them to become leaders and voices for change. With encouragement and mentorship from students of Berklee College of Music who serve as instructors of the program, youth are able to have the highest quality of music instruction that otherwise wouldn’t be available to them.
Learn Through Dance
Learn Through Dance (LTD): Started in 2005, Learn Through Dance is an innovative program that partners with Boston Public Schools to bring Afro-Latin dance instruction into schools during the school day. LTD allows schools to provide culturally appropriate and highly engaging arts and physical activity to fill a gap that schools do not have the capacity to fill. Hyde Square Task Force trains professional dance instructors, including Ritmo en Acción program alumni, to bring our award-winning curriculum to hundreds of elementary, middle, and high school students. BPS students who participate in our Learn Through Dance program have the opportunity to be physically active during the school day, explore culture, and express creativity through dance. The fun involved in learning dance techniques, basic choreography, and partnering encourages positive engagement. Since its inception, LTD has reached over 3,000 students. Current partnerships are with the Blackstone Innovation School, James W. Hennigan K-8 School, Boston Community Leadership Academy, and Boston International High School and Newcomers Academy. Past partnerships include the the John F. Kennedy Elementary School, Boston Green Academy, Curley K-8 School, English High School, Fenway High School, the Guild Elementary School, and the Agassiz Elementary School.
Baila! Latin Dance Classes
Baila! (ages 12-18): Do you want to learn to dance a variety of Afro-Latin dance styles (e.g. Merengue, Bachata, and Salsa) with a fusion of other styles (e.g. Hip Hop, Modern, and Jazz) in an upbeat and creative environment? Then this class is for you. The session culminates in an end of session performance. Open to all levels of dance experience. Don’t miss a step and sign up today!
Baila! Kids (ages 5-11): Get your young one up and moving to Afro-Latin rhythms! In this class, children will learn Merengue and Bachata while making friends in a safe and fun environment. The session will end with a performance that showcases what your child has learned in the classes. This class is open to all levels of dance experience.
Narradores (Storytellers) (ages 7-10): Sign up for this exploratory storytelling theatre class. Children will learn about different Afro-Latin myths, legends, and folktales from the Caribbean islands. Using these stories we will delve into theatre exercises and games that introduce character creation, explore the folktales, and create a performance inspired by these tales. Don’t miss out on this chance to discover new tales with your friends and family!
Improvisadores (Improvisors) (ages 11-17): Don’t miss out on this improv class for middle school youth this fall. Youth will learn the basics of improv: trusting their imagination, active listening, saying yes to themselves and others, and working collaboratively. By the end of the session we hope to share their progress with family and friends.