Bringing the Art of Dance to Jersey City since 1976
Executive/Artistic Director-Diane Dragone
79 Central Ave., Jersey City, New Jersey 07306
The Kennedy Dancers Inc. is a nonprofit NJ based professional repertory co., Inner City Youth Pre- Professional training program & dance school founded in 1976 by Diane Dragone. We bring high quality performances, dance education & professional training to children, teens & adults throughout NJ & greater metropolitan region. Since inception the co. continually transformed its programming to respond to the needs of our audience which includes young children, at risk incarcerated teens referred through the juvenile justice system, low-income families, people with disabilities, older adults, & Black, Indigenous, & People of Color (BIPOC) & Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders (AAPI). 85 percent of all dance students (all ages) are low to moderate income by HUD standards.
The New Jersey Council of the Arts supports The Kennedy Dancers Inc. (all three of our main programs The Professional Repertory Company, Inner City Youth Pre-Professional trainee program, and the dance school through a General Operating Support grant) because we believe the arts are central to every element we value most in modern society, including but not limited to: human understanding, cultural and civic pride, strong and developed communities, excellent schools, lifelong learning, creative expression, and economic opportunity.
New Jersey Council of the Arts distributes three million dollars to over 700 different arts organizations located in New Jersey to find ways to serve artists, art workers, and nonprofit organizations that engage and inspire communities throughout the state. And The Kennedy Dancers is one of them.
The art industry is essential in shaping New Jersey communities as an economic driver as well as contributing to the layman’s’ quality of life. As the largest funder in the state of New Jersey, it is most challenging for nonprofit organizations to receive funding because it is critical for their success. Operating dollars that we receive from New Jersey Council of the Arts allows for non-profit art-based businesses to create and sustain jobs, present live art, and attract and serve people in our community, especially those who would not normally have access to fine performing art.
Our resiliency depends upon our current programs and practices as well as public feedback from the broadest possible audiences. This funding is a resource that promotes freedom of expression and facilitates the inclusion of performing arts in Jersey City and New Jersey.
The Kennedy Dancers Inc., a 501C3 Corporation was founded in 1976 by Artistic/Executive Director, Diane Dragone. Diane, a lifelong resident of Jersey City, has danced professionally throughout the New York Area and studied with Martha Graham and Bob Fosse.
* A Professional Dance Company that has performed hundreds of concerts throughout the East Coast as well at the White House. featuring Diane’s original choreographies. Diane’s choreographies are mostly based on real Hudson County Stories whether it be “Caven Point” about young parishioners during World War II visiting Italian prisoners of war at the camp or “Meadowlands Serenade” commissioned to combine dance with the finesse of indigenous and migrating birds who inhabit our environs, or “Vo Tech Bus” about the years that Diane taught in the Hudson County School system. Over the past 12 years the Kennedy Dancers have performed more than 50 free concerts on the J.Owen Grundy Pier in Jersey City.
* The Kennedy Dancers also sponsor the Inner City Youth Junior Dance Company providing economically disadvantaged boys and girls the opportunity to begin a career in dance through free scholarships. Hundreds of teens have learned the skills of professional dance performing in concerts throughout the Metropolitan Area on the same program as the Professional Company.
* A School of Dance, located at 79 Central Ave. Jersey City, N.J., where thousands of students from 3yr olds to seniors have been trained in a wide selection of styles of dance over the years. Senior classes are FREE five times a week and more than 60% of the students are either free or subsidized. The Kennedy Dancers Inc. has also traveled to educate the disabled, the imprisoned, and underprivileged. Among sites of instruction are the Juvenile Detention Center of Hudson County, St. Joseph’s Home for the Blind, and numerous public schools throughout New Jersey.
* A television production company televising many of the Kennedy Dancers concerts as well as producing “DANCE VISTA” (seen in more than 20 states) which features conversations and clips about the creativity of choreography featuring dance companies and dancers from the Metropolitan Area.
For more than four decades the Kennedy Dancer have inspired countless young people and helped to develop many young artists as well as created a huge audience of dance lovers. The Artistic torch of creativity has consistently remained and created an enduring legacy for many current Performing Arts Organizations in Jersey City to build upon.
Executive/Artistic Director of the Kennedy Dancers Inc.
Diane Dragone is the founding director/choreographer /teacher for the Kennedy Dancers Repertory Company and the Kennedy Dancers School since 1977. The Kennedy Dancers is a non-profit corp.
Diane Dragone created the Dance curriculum for the Hudson County Schools of Technology. She taught the gifted and talented and special education dance programs at Hudson County High Tech and Hudson County prep schools as well as classes at the Hudson County Juvenile Detention center.
She was also a returning guest teacher of dance at Hudson County Community College. Ms Dragone is a certified teacher of dance in the state of New Jersey. During her career she has performed and created countless choreographies for many regional dance, theater and opera companies
The Kennedy Dancers have performed in over 400 grammar, high schools and universities and performed in theaters up and down the eastern seaboard including the White House as well as U.S.O. tours.
The Kennedy Dancers are 6 time award winners of Citations of excellence from New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
Diane is the executive producer of the 8 time award winning cable television program “Dance Vista” seen on assorted cable television systems throughout and beyond 22 states.
The Kennedy Dancers Inc. has taught and nurtured Culture and Art in Hudson County for more than 45 years!
Kennedy Dancers Repertory Center School of Dance
79 Central Ave., Jersey City, New Jersey 07306
DANCE VISTA PRODUCTIONS
Since the Early 1990’s, The Kennedy Dancers have presented more than 100 television shows featuring Concert performances as well as the Television Series “DANCE VISTA” airing throughout New Jersey, New York and around the Country!
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Kennedy Dancers Repertory Center
79 Central Ave., Jersey City, N.J. 07306