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Dream Big Afterschool Program - 2021

What: A dance and music enrichment program

Who: Approximately 20 2nd grade children

When: Weekly,25 minute sessions from March-June

Where: P.S. 5

Funders:  This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, through a CASA grant from City Council District 8 and Diana Ayala.



Teaching Artist Yvette Martinez led a virtual dance class over Zoom for 20 2nd grade students at PS 5 in the Morrisania neighborhood in an exploration of music and dance to inspire students to create their own original music and dance compositions that celebrate the rich cultural traditions of the Bronx and Afro-Latino culture. Yvette Martinez is a founding member of the Afro-Latin dance group, Retumba!


Each student received a bag of materials in order to participate in the program remotely over Zoom. Materials included a mini speaker, headphones, clave sticks, yoga mats, sweatbands and speakers. Each session, the students would begin by completing a short breathing exercise before learning about a new dance step, a unique way an instrument works within a musical composition, or about a Bronx luminary like Dr. Valerie Capers. At our virtual ending celebration, students performed a dance composition that they had worked on for several weeks for parents and caregivers, set to a piece of music originally written and performed by Dr. Valerie Capers. 


"We take this opportunity to extend our gratitude to you and your team for offering The Big Dream Music and Art program to our students at PS/MS 5. It was a very interesting and inspiring program that our students looked forward to having every Thursday and Friday of the week. It came at a time when due to the COVID-19 restrictions, students were not allowed outdoor recess. The music and dance program gave them the opportunity to get out of their seats and have some well needed movement and dance which they found to be a fun activity. Students also had art classes in which they were exposed to different art forms. They gained experience in creating collages, self-portraits among other interesting activities. They were inspired by viewing videos of great artists and their work. The learning was tremendous. The celebration on the last day was a great way to share with our parents and families the way our students engaged in the music and dance activities of the program and worked together as a community. We at PS/MS 5 would be happy to continue with this program next school year. Thank You." -Ms. McDonald and Ms. Mendoza (Second Grade Teachers)

"I really liked having Ms. Yvette again, and learning how to dance. I make up a lot of dances at home so that they’re fun, but learning some real dances was fun, too." -Emely, student


"I listen to spanish music at home already. It’s nice to listen to it at school and learn how to dance. I never cha cha’d before or did salsa. I don’t dance a lot, but I really liked this." - Kiomary, student


"Rap music is the best music! I never listened to this kind before, but the piano music (Valerie Capers “Saborsa”) was good. I liked to use the claves when I listened to it."  -Little Nicholas, student 

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