Johnston Dance and Performing Arts began as a dance program at Johnston High School in 2007, and roughly five years later, they combined their long-term Thornton Performing Arts program, an after-school program for elementary school children, to create a fully inclusive program. However, it wasn’t until late summer of 2016 that J-DAPA finally became a state recognized non-profit organization. J-DAPA offers programs for children from the age of 3 until well past childhood and into any stage of adulthood. We offer many different types of dance including lyrical, ballet, tap, hip - hop, jazz and acro, as well as acting classes and singing lessons.
Our season typically consists of a fall cabaret, a spring musical and a May/June recital. The staff here at J-DAPA varies in age range and experience level but all have one thing in common: a passion to teach the arts and instill a love for performing in the hearts of all of our members. We also help young adults who are interested in the technical aspects of putting on a show to gain experience working with professional technology underneath trained professionals.
During the year, we hold many events for fundraising purposes. In the past, these have included summer camps, where children work on stage makeup, singing, acting, dancing and set art, as well as family bingos and family macaroni dinners, whose proceeds go towards paying for props, set pieces, updating technology, and additional costume pieces.
The goal of J-DAPA is to promote a love and appreciation for the arts through involving performers of all ages throughout the Rhode Island Community. We strive to raise funds in an effort to keep costs low for children and adults to partake in theatrical arts. Our goal is to better the lives of the individual members of J-DAPA as well as audience members through fostering an appreciation and education of the arts.