Momentum is a nonprofit organization that engages children in dance, music, and performance to develop lifelong habits of self-discipline, teamwork, and self-confidence. Founded in 2003 by Monica Kridler, the program is celebrating its 15th year and continues to expand its programming to serve even more children. Teaching artists and keyboard accompanists work weekly with more than 1,000 students from around the Greater Columbus community.
Students in the 30-week program take class once a week in their school gymnasium. Two teachers and a piano accompanist engage the students in movement, music, and choreography, using dance to focus on The Big Four: Do Your Best; Work Hard; Never Give Up; Be Healthy.
“Dance, music, and performance are the vehicles to enhance the children’s lives,” said Liane Egle, executive director of Momentum. “For these children to be able to excel, it spills over into the families, too.”
“Students who demonstrate The Big Four are given a scholarship to Momentum’s advanced programs,” explained Janine Lawson, managing artistic director at Momentum. “They’re invited to come in on Sundays for the extra rehearsal, they get an extra dance in the end of the year show, and if, at the end of the year, they’re still working hard, we continue their scholarship. They go to summer camp, and then they go into the XO program, which gives them additional opportunities – like Harmony Project.”
For The Concert For US, Momentum will present 84 students.
“It wasn’t a hard sell for our students,” said Liane. “They’re so excited to be part of this show.”
The partnership with Momentum isn’t just about the shared love of the arts – it’s about the shared vision for lifting children in the community up through arts education.
“It’s a bonus if our students go on to dance. But it’s about fostering those twenty-first century skills: collaboration, creativity, and conflict resolution,” said Liane. “We know that arts education has many benefits in an academic environment – like retention and graduation rates.”
For more information about Momentum-Excellence, check out their website.