Emily McCabe

Emily’s experience in Education and Arts Administration includes work with the Metropolitan Opera Guild, the New 42/New Victory Theater, New York Philharmonic, and more.

Emily McCabe

Program Manager


Prior to joining Dancing Classrooms Emily worked as the Senior Associate for School Programs at the Metropolitan Opera Guild, supporting both in school composition and choral residency programs, and student opera dress rehearsal attendance at the Met. In addition to this work she served as the part time Business Manager at Vineyard Arts Project, a residency and retreat space on Martha’s Vineyard serving dance, theater and musical theater artists. Additional experience in education and arts administration includes work at Songmasters, a small marketing and consulting firm working on an early stage education project, the New 42/New Victory Theater, New York Philharmonic, Bravo!Vail Music Festival, and Roundabout Theatre Company. Emily completed her Masters degree in Arts Administration at Teachers College, Columbia in Spring 2017 and is working towards a certificate in Learning Design and Technology from the Harvard Extension School. Prior to moving to NY, Emily lived in Vail Colorado and worked as a general music/violin teacher and ski instructor.

Diana Pettersen

A former Dancing Classrooms teaching artist, Diana is a dancer, educator of NYC youth, and founder of Sans Limites Dance company.

Diana Pettersen

Associate Director of Curriculum & Professional Development


Diana Pettersen is a Queens, New York native. For over a decade she has served NYC youth as a dance educator, working with students in grades K-12 in after-school programs, in-school arts-in-education programs, and as a full-time dance teacher for students with social, emotional, and learning disabilities. Diana first joined Dancing Classrooms in 2011 as a Teaching Artist and was a member of the last cohort trained by founder Pierre Dulaine.

In 2011, Diana founded her own dance production company and served as the Artistic Director until 2019. In addition to producing her own choreographic works, she oversaw more thanover 12 dance productions that provided 150+ guest choreographers/companies and 400+ dancers with performance opportunities.

Diana’s formal dance training includes Ballet, Flamenco, Modern, Contemporary, Ballroom/Social dance forms, Laban Movement Studies, Pilobolus-style partnering, and Contact Improvisation. An avid dancer for all her life, she has also informally studied Latin(o/a/e/x) and Hip-Hop dance styles within familial and social contexts. Diana holds a B.A. in Dance and Theater (with a concentration in Dance Therapy and minor in Psychology) from Manhattanville College. She is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Dance Education at Hunter College.

Now Hiring: Development Manager

Position Summary:
Dancing Classrooms (DC) is in search of a dedicated and experienced full-time Development Manager who will lead our grant management process and calendar, and assist with general fundraising campaigns and events. This position is responsible for writing grant proposals and reports for foundations and corporations, as well as local, state, and federal agencies. Previous experience prospecting for potential foundation and corporate funders is a plus.

The Development Manager will report to the Executive Director and the Development Director and work closely with the Deputy Director, Finance Manager, and Communications Manager. The ideal candidate will lead and develop strategies, craft narratives, assemble and submit grant requests, conduct prospect research, and maintain a calendar of submissions and oversee tracking systems and updating. The candidate should be an excellent writer and communicator, detail-oriented self-starter, kind, creative, energetic. The candidate should also possess the ability to prioritize tasks while adhering to strict deadlines.

Organizational Overview:
Dancing Classrooms (DC) cultivates essential life skills in young people through the joyful art and practice of social dance. Through standards-based, in-and-out-of-school residencies, we use the vocabulary of social and partner dance to support the social, emotional, cognitive and personal traits inherent in every child. Made famous by the acclaimed 2005 documentary “Mad Hot Ballroom”, Dancing Classrooms has been a leader in social dance education for 26 years, partnering with hundreds of NYC schools to deliver its Core Residency (DCNY) programs. DC has served over 600,000 children since its founding, and currently supports 10 affiliate sites worldwide.

As we emerge from a time of crisis and isolation, we at Dancing Classrooms strongly believe that our vision of schools and communities where every child is connected, respected and given an environment in which to thrive is more important than ever. This is why we have come together as an organization to expand our dance learning opportunities that will build essential social and emotional skills for young people, while remaining grounded in the elements of the renowned Dulaine Method of dance instruction.

Our Culture:
DC believes in the potential of every student and is dedicated to cultivating their artistic, physical, cognitive and social skills in order to support their long-term success. Our culture thrives by putting the remarkable young people we serve at the center of everything we do. Having worked remotely for several years, DC team members are proactive and self-driven, but also thrive in a collaborative environment where flexibility, creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit are encouraged and celebrated. Kindness, compassion, empathy and respect are at the forefront of the way we treat each other, our students, our teaching artists, our school partners, and our supporters. We strive to embrace our role as life-long-learners and to embrace diversity, inclusion, and cross-cultural understanding.

In line with our organizational values of respect and safe space, which includes both emotional and physical well-being, we are committed to prioritizing the health and safety of our students, TAs, staff, and school/organization partners. Before applying, please refer to the Covid-19 policies on our website at www.dancingclassrooms.org.

Working with the Executive Director and Development Director, the Development Manager will focus on stewarding the current portfolio while also developing new corporate, foundation, and government support opportunities. The main responsibilities include:
Preparing grant proposals and reports for foundation, corporate sponsors, and government contracts.
Maintaining and managing relationships with our institutional funders and connecting individual donors who have ties to corporations or foundations. Communicate on a monthly and quarterly basis with institutional and corporate donors and funders, and affiliated individuals.
Annual upkeep of giving profiles on charitable websites such as Guidestar and relationship management with platforms such as CharityNavigator or Double the Donation.
Working in tandem with the Executive Director, Deputy Director, and Development Director to write and/or edit requests for funding, review program evaluation data, create narrative content, and deliver documentation required for grant submissions and reporting, to raise approximately $400,000 in 2021-22.
Joining forces with the Development Director to mount DC’s annual gala and other special events, including corporate sponsorship and ad purchases, in-kind auction donations from corporations or local businesses, and other duties as assigned.
Devising and managing a grant calendar to track proposals, timelines and due dates, and moves management with funders.
Partnering with team members to project manage a variety of fundraising and institutional materials, such as annual reports, impact statements, and brochures, etc.
Collaborating with the Finance Manager and Development Director to enter new gifts, grant awards, application materials into Salesforce and acknowledge gifts.
A passion to tell the story of a dance and arts education non-profit, through the power words and data, in support of the students we serve.
Other duties as needed.

Minimum of 4 years of development experience, preferably in an arts or educational organization.
Working knowledge of foundation and government grant requests and opportunities.
Familiarity with database management; Salesforce experience is a plus.
Excellent expository writing, research, proofreading, and communication skills.
High attention to detail and knack for clean record-keeping and file organization.
Enjoys donor cultivation and relationship building.
Ability to multitask and be comfortable working on a small educational non-profit team.
Budget experience and familiarity with compiling financial information for funder reports.
Enthusiasm for dance, arts & culture, and education, and a commitment to Dancing Classrooms’ mission and vision.
Committed to advancing inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility in society at large, and within the realm of Dancing Classrooms’ work.
Must be comfortable working remotely.

Schedule and Hours of Work:
40 hours a week, 5 days a week. On occasion, and leading up to fundraising events or meetings, staff members are expected to be available at times they are not usually scheduled to be online, including evenings and weekends. Schedules are subject to change.

The Development Manager receives an annual salary ranging from $50,000 – $57,000, commensurate with experience, and a comprehensive benefits package including health care coverage, 401k, Wageworks Commuter Benefits, generous paid time off, and professional development opportunities.

Location: NYC-based. Mostly remote hours, but some in-person hours in NYC or New Jersey.
Status: Full-time, Exempt

How to Apply:
Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter detailing your experience and expertise in the aforementioned qualifications no later than January 31, 2022. Please send application materials to jobs@dancingclassrooms.org, with the subject line “Development Manager.” Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, with an anticipated start date in February 2022.

Dancing Classrooms is an Equal Opportunity Employer that strives to represent individuals from all walks of life in its workforce. We want our employment community to be a representation of the diverse world we live and teach in. As such, we strongly encourage people from underrepresented groups to apply, and we ensure that every candidate who applies for a position is treated equally and fairly without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, veteran status, disability status, marital status and any other factor prohibited by law. We believe diversity in our teammates is paramount to our success as a not-for-profit organization serving all communities in New York.

Honoring Alumni Kevin Heredia

Celebrating the Life
of Alumni Kevin Heredia

We are deeply saddened by the passing of our Alumni Kevin Heredia, who was featured in Mad Hot Ballroom while attending P.S. 115 in Washington Heights. Among his artistic accomplishments, Kevin won Best Cinematography for his work on A Sorrowful Birthday at the Virgin Spring Cinefest in February 2021. We wish his family and friends healing and love. We’re honored to have shared our Ballroom journey with Kevin. He will forever remain in our hearts.

Pictured Top Left in Mad Hot Ballroom Image

Swing Uptown! A Celebration of Dancing Classrooms and the Roaring 2020s

Join us for a memorable swing dance masterclass with our senior teaching artists and swing pros, Akemi Kinukawa and Felix Pitre. Featuring live music by a six-piece collective of jazz phenoms, The Summer Camargo Swing Band!

Friday, January 28, 2022
7 – 8:30 pm


Virtual Ticket: $25 suggested donation
Streaming link will be shared via email.

LIMITED In-Person Livestream Ticket: $50 suggested donation
Prefer to dance in-person and have the special experience of being in the livestream? We will cap our in-person guests at 20 and Covid vaccination, masks, and social distancing will be strictly enforced.

A mid-winter night swing dance party that will be the cat’s meow and get you shaking and grooving, safely, to celebrate 2022.

ALL proceeds support our work in bringing the joy and power of dance (including swing!) to K-12 students in NYC and beyond. Make a donation and join the fun on January 28th!

Read about our Featured Guests and Covid Safety Protocols!

Swing Uptown Event Host Committee: 

Carrie Shea Steinmetz, Chair

Patrice Tanaka, Vice Chair

Harry Chung, Treasurer

Hilary Wolf Bayer

John J. Entwistle

Sheila A. Hoerle

Tyrone Bazelaire

Patricia Koyce

Slava Takhalov

Lu Mejia

Lu is a recent graduate from The New School with a BA in Culture and Media and a minor in Journalism+Design who is looking to make an impact and direct change through arts, culture and and emerging community spaces.

Lu Mejia

Communications & Events Intern


Lu Mejia is a bilingual, professional dancer, journalist, writer and content editor from Colombia based in New York City. She is a recent graduate from The New School with a BA in Culture and Media and a minor in Journalism+Design who is looking to make an impact and direct change through arts, culture and and emerging community spaces.

Lu started training in musical theater at 8 years old and moved to New York City to expand her dance training by attending Broadway Dance Center’s International Student Visa Program. At this time, she also found a new passion for visual arts, writing and media, which led her to pursue both fields professionally.

Her professional experience includes working with the NYC based non-profit “The Artists Forum” as their Video and Graphics Intern, “The Dance Safe” as their graphic designer, and she is currently a Freelance Content Editor for the trilingual magazine: “Latin Trade”. Also, as a dancer, Lu is part of the contemporary-fusion dance company: “The Catastrophe!” directed by Cat Cogliandro.

Akemi Kinukawa

Watch to learn more about Ms. Akemi:

Akemi Kinukawa

Senior Teaching Artist

Akemi Kinukawa began working for Dancing Classrooms in 2011 and by the end of the year was nominated “Rookie of the Year.” She is originally from Japan where she didn’t have any chance to explore the art of social dancing. It was when she was welcomed into the Lindy Hop dance community in Washington, D.C. that her life changed dramatically. For this reason, she is passionate about sharing social dancing with children. She also works as a Lindy Hop choreographer and instructor. Her work, from dance pieces to dance theater, champions Lindy Hop’s spirit by educating on its history and cultural context, furthering the legacy of inclusivity. Highlights of her career include performing at the opening night of Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing in 2017 as well as performing with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis in 2016.

Dance Break!

Covid Vaccination & Safety Policy

Dancing Classrooms requires that all employees be fully vaccinated before returning to work on September 13th, 2021, unless a reasonable medical condition or sincerely held religious beliefs prevents them from safe vaccination. Employees that are granted exemption will be required to provide a negative PCR test weekly, wear a mask, and keep a 6-feet social distance during meetings, any in-person events, or activities. Because most of our partners have similar or stricter policies, non-vaccinated teaching artists will only be assigned virtual residencies.

Safety Practices:
All employees, regardless of vaccine status, will be required to wear masks when teaching or visiting DC programs in-person. In addition, all employees, regardless of vaccination status, are required to follow any and all COVID-19 safety policies of the spaces in which classes or meetings are taking place, such as the Department of Education, Riverside Church, etc., including but not limited to presenting proof of COVID-19 vaccination, proof of negative COVID-19 test, social distancing, etc.

Our residencies will practice physical distancing until further notice.

Read more about the New York City DOE guidelines and the CDC recommendations below:

DOE Guidelines

CDC K-12 Schools Guidelines

Danielle Biggs

Danielle is a dedicated fundraiser and marketer in the non-profit arts and culture sector.

Danielle Biggs

Development Director


Danielle Biggs previously served as the Membership Manager at The Public Theater in New York City, and prior to that appointment, served as the Individual Giving Manager at McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, New Jersey. In 2020, Danielle completed social justice leadership and community organizing training with the Supermajority Education Fund in the inaugural cohort of Majority Leaders. Danielle is a Masterclass Coach with The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation, and is a proud and active alumna of Elon University, with a BA in Arts Administration and a BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography. She also serves and volunteers as a member of her alma mater’s Young Alumni Council. In addition to stepping into this new role on the Dancing Classrooms team, Danielle is currently pursuing a Master’s degree from American University (Washington, D.C.) in Education Policy & Leadership. As a lifelong learner, Danielle is excited that she will be trained to abide by a multifaceted approach to lead social justice efforts and sound education policy for children and young people in the United States and globally. She is most excited to engage in research and graduate studies while being able to apply learnings from the classroom to the front lines of her fundraising and community service, in real-time.

In her free time, Danielle is a dance educator and Zumba® instructor! Her favorite genres of dance to participate in, other than dance fitness and social dance, are West African and modern; and she has been dancing since she was only two years old. She loves leading energetic dance sessions to learners of all ages, and is overjoyed to join the Dancing Classrooms team to continue to harness the healing power of movement and social dance.

Yvonne Winborne

Yvonne is a passionate educator, dancer, choreographer, teaching artist, and mental health advocate.

Yvonne Winborne

Associate Director of Curriculum & Professional Development


Yvonne Winborne is originally from Philadelphia, PA, and is currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Yvonne obtained her B.S. in Childhood and Early Adolescent Education and Dance Minor from The Pennsylvania State University and her M.A. in Dance Education from New York University. She is trained in ballet, modern, hip-hop, West and East African dances, step, heels, and street jazz and has danced internationally in Ireland and Uganda. After starting the dance curriculum at New Bridges Elementary School in 2015, Yvonne transitioned to the field of teaching artistry. For the past several years she has worked as a teaching artist for Urban Arts Partnership and Lincoln Center Education, along with freelancing at several camps and studios. Yvonne believes that dance should be accessible to all and approaches her teaching practice with a focus on cultural responsiveness and mental health awareness. Yvonne also teaches heels and dance fitness classes under her own brand, “Vibin’ With Vonna, LLC” while being a professional dancer in the commercial dance industry. Yvonne is very excited to join the Dancing Classrooms faculty as one of the new Associate Directors of Curriculum and Professional Development and looks forward to supporting the teaching artists as they continue to grow in their artistry!