At The Wooden Floor, Dance Classes Are First Steps Toward Soaring for Talented Kids

Photo credit: Emily J. Davis

Imagine a nun more than 35 years ago, teaching children to dance in the basement of a Santa Ana church. Sister Beth Burns’ vision has since become The Wooden Floor, a nonprofit that “uses the power of dance to help young people from low-income communities reach their potential,” CEO Dawn S. Reese says. Housed in a beautiful custom building that includes three dance studios, a community center, and an education area, the group offers tutoring, scholarship programs, and family services in addition to its after-school dance classes for kids starting in third grade. A second location opened last year, and a third one is planned, as the group keeps expanding. “Our big vision is to break the cycle of poverty,” Reese says.

100
Percentage of graduates who finish high school and enroll in higher education

$27.2 million
Fundraising goal for four years

20
Percentage of applicants accepted to the program each year

1983
Year the group was founded

475
Number of students enrolled in year-round services at two Santa Ana locations

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