Girls laughing in dandelion field

The Dandelion Discovery Experience

The Dandelion Discovery Experience is our extended school outreach program.

Kea & Ashley

The Dandelion Discovery Experience is a relationship-based program that supports girls by providing them opportunities to experience their leadership and build their capacity by creating and discovering through the arts. Each week, girls get to move, create, discover, share and celebrate their voices.

We facilitate an 8-week Discovery Experience at your school to a group of students selected by you. Our workshops are co-facilitated by the young leaders of our Performance Company, helping to create the emotional safety needed for creativity, exploration, and discovery!

The Performance Company reflects the racial, religious, ethnic, and socio-economic diversity of our community. It also includes members of differing abilities and body types.

A bit about us…

Dandelion Dance™ is nationally recognized for its innovative approach to girl’s leadership and well-being.

We support the healthy emotional and social development of girls and young women of all backgrounds and abilities through arts-based experiential education programs.

We seek to create a culture of togetherness by actively celebrating diversity, and embedding inclusive and equitable practices in all of our programs. Through an attachment-based approach and the creative process, we foster a sense of emotional safety and belonging for every girl.

Emotional safety is paramount to the well-being of all students.

  • Seeing leaders that are relatable and reflect the diversity of our community, helps girls to see themselves as leaders too.
  • Having the diverse, positive, healthy and relatable role models of our Performance Company participate in the workshops, supports other girls to feel more comfortable with expressing their own ideas, actively participating in the workshops and taking on leadership roles.

  • Seeing our Performance Company members participate in the workshop encourages other girls to participate as well.
  • When it comes to taking risks and trying new things, comfort matters. Participants need to feel they won’t be teased or judged by others. They need to feel emotionally safe. We create this safety by placing Performance Company members in each small group during the workshop, and training them to warmly model vulnerability, respect and inclusion for all participants.

  • Seeing our Performance Company members look up to their Director helps other girls to feel comfortable with our Director too.
  • It can be challenging to get students to follow the lead of a new teacher or facilitator! We have found that when girls see our Performance Company members interacting positively with our Director, they tend to enthusiastically follow suit. This greatly enhances the experience for workshop participants, as the Director can more readily engage them in meaningful content.

Performance Company in laughing circle

Girls and young women need exposure to relatable, diverse and healthy role models that help them to imagine new possibilities for themselves.

We have developed specialized programs for girls of all ages to support them in discovering their best selves and stepping into leadership roles.

Why girls in grades 4 – 6 need the Dandelion Discovery Experience

Girl jumping

Reach young girls before social media does!

Before the ages of 9 to 11 years old, the way a child perceives and feels about their body is, overall, positive. As they reach the cusp of adolescence, however, girls are most vulnerable and, arguably most targeted, when it comes to messaging that seeks to judge, criticize, and control their bodies and their capacities.

Positive messaging is crucial.

Dandelion dancers highlight and celebrate diversity of bodies, diversity of abilities, and diversity of leaders, in order to make sure that this age group’s positive attitudes towards their bodies and their capacities, remain positive.

A lasting impact on how girls entering into adolescence perceive their bodies and their capabilities, as well as the bodies and capabilities of their peers.

Dandelion Dance™ Performance Company dancers are girls of all shapes and sizes, girls from diverse faith groups and ethnicities, girls with disabilities, girls that are both shy and strong, vulnerable and powerful. They model leadership by performing their own work and co-facilitating the workshops.

The teen years can be a very challenging time for girls. When girls enter adolescence equipped with a strong sense of self and are able to celebrate their unique voice and capacities, they can carry this with them throughout their teen years.

Why girls in grades 7 and up need the Dandelion Discovery Experience

Performance company members laughing together

Young women need exposure to relatable, diverse and healthy role models that help them to imagine new possibilities for themselves.

But what they see and hear on-screen and in their daily lives is having the exact opposite effect. Studies overwhelmingly show that girls experience a precipitous decline in their self-confidence and self- esteem as they transition into adolescence.

This is largely due to the widespread sexualization of girls in media of all kinds from a very young age. Girls grow up seeing women in public life being scrutinized for their looks and bodies. And all too often, girls from visible minority groups don’t see themselves reflected in powerful inspiring roles at all.

Struggles with body image and self-esteem greatly impact on girls’ participation in school life and extracurricular activities.

They stop too many girls from trying new things, sharing their ideas, and stepping into leadership roles.

And without exposure to diverse, relatable role models that challenge sexism, racism, ableism and conventional beauty standards, it can be very difficult for girls to believe that something different is possible.

'We are Children' performance

Two-thirds of girls say they don’t see enough relatable characters on film and TV. It is no wonder why: women held only 34% of speaking roles in the top grossing films of 2019. And, only 18% of major female characters were Black, 6% were Latina, and 5% were Asian.

60% of girls stop doing something they LOVE during adolescence because of anxiety over their appearance. Over 70% of girls between 15-17 avoid normal daily activities because they feel badly about their looks.

This must change

We must challenge subconscious notions of what a “leader” looks like, and who deserves to be seen and heard. We must create safe spaces for girls to discover and share their thoughts and ideas. We must showcase, elevate and celebrate the voices, visions and creations of girls and young women of all walks of life. And, we must help them to develop self-confidence and self-esteem, so that they feel more comfortable being seen and heard in the skin they’re in.

The Dandelion Discovery Experience does exactly that.

Dandelion members

Still touring during COVID-19?

You bet! (just a bit differently)

You have options! Our Dandelion Discovery Experience can be facilitated outdoors or online!

The Outdoor Dandelion Discovery Experience

Girls dancing in snow

Our outdoor program provides girls the opportunity to meet weekly to experience their leadership and build their capacity through creating and discovering through the arts. Each week, girls get to move, create, discover, share and celebrate their voices – all in the beautiful outdoors!

We use the natural world as an ever-changing source of inspiration for our artistic observations and creations. We move and create together in the sun, the rain, and snow!

Dress for the weather and discover together!

The Online Dandelion Discovery Experience

Performance company online zoom

Our online program provides girls the opportunity to meet weekly to experience their leadership and build their capacity through creating and discovering through the arts. Each week, girls get to move, create, discover, share and celebrate their voices – all through innovative online activities!

We have modified our activities to specifically engage and support online participants in being comfortable and participating in this new format. We’ve tried it – and it works!

Girls dancing, relating together

We offer Dandelion Discovery Experience packages for:

  • Girls in grades 4-6
  • Girls in grades 7-9
  • Girls in grades 10-12

Relationship matters (a lot!)

Smaller classes support relationship building when you are supporting girls to build trust, self-esteem and emotional
well-being. Therefore, this intimate, in-depth, Discovery Experience is best suited to groups of 15 girls.

Cost: $1,500 for 8 weekly one-hour workshops.

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