Saturday, December 27, 2008

[Wadabo_updates] Djoniba's Centre of NYC to close...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Djoniba Centre to close

[Note: I have just received the following announcement from the
Djoniba Dance & Drum Centre. These are very tough times for most dance
professionals and institutions. If you can manage to help in any way,
please visit the Centre's site for more information.]

Djoniba Dance & Drum Centre, the legendary New York City multi-ethnic
dance school and not-for-profit organization, is closing its doors on
December 31st, after 15 years of "exceptional contributions to our
city" (New York City Council proclamation). Hit by the economic
crisis--with fewer students attending classes -- and a major rent
increase, DDDC has no other option but to sadly shut down.

The immediate result would be 55 teachers and drummers losing their
jobs. Hundreds of children from lower income families losing the
opportunity to receive free dance scholarships, along with thousands
of adult students losing their community workout, a place to release
stress and convene "Since its establishment, Djoniba Dance & Drum
Centre-one of New York City's largest minority-owned cultural
centers--has dedicated itself to connecting men and women of all ages
and ethnicities through the arts.

In a letter of June 2007, Mayor Bloomberg wrote, "As we look back on
the incredible accomplishments of DDDC's 15 years, we also look
forward to even greater achievements on the horizon."

"I am confident that the New York community and government officials,
who understand the profound impact that our philosophy and ethnic
dance taught in our institution has on so many lives, will rally up
and help us continue our mission of providing health, fitness, and
harmony amongst New Yorkers" says the founder Djoniba Mouflet.

How you can help

DDDC needs funds for a new home and is urgently seeking aid. You can
make donations online or by mail. Contributions will allow for
construction, fundraising, architectural design, web design, building
materials, office furniture and equipment. Who knows how long this
economic climate will last--but what kind of city will be left when
it's over, if we allow our community owned cultural institutions to

About Djoniba Dance & Drum Centre

Since its inception in 1992, as a not-for-profit cultural and
charitable organization, the Djoniba Dance and Drum Centre has strived
to celebrate our global diversity through world dance and music and is
dedicated to bridging the gap between all ages, ethnic groups, and
cultures through dance and music. The Centre is one of New York City's
largest minority-owned dance studio, and the only cultural center in
the world specializing in multi-ethnic dance and drum. The Centre
serves thousands of adults and children annually, has a roster of 35
master teachers dancers and drummers, who teach more than 100 dance
classes per week in more than 30 different styles of movement and
music from around the world.

Founded and directed by Djoniba Mouflet, the internationally-acclaimed
drummer, dancer, teacher, performer and choreographer, the Centre
houses three dance studios, a children's program and an adult evening
program. DDDC has become a popular cultural and fitness spot, attended
by celebrities like Tyra Banks, Julia Roberts, Brook Shields and
featured in several magazines, newspapers and major TV shows.

Awarded "Best New York Dance School" several years in a row by The
Village Voice, New York Magazine, New York Press and AM New York, DDDC
has also been recognized by city officials-including Mayor Bloomberg,
The New York City Council, Manhattan Borough president Scott M.
Stringer, as well as New York State Assembly N. Godfrey for its
outstanding service to the New York community.

"I applaud Djoniba Dance & Drum Centre for your strong commitment to
the culture and community." (Richard N. Godfrey, New York State

"It is the tradition and custom of the New York City Council to honor
its most distinguished citizens, and today we are pleased to recognize
Djoniba Dance & Drum Centre, Inc for its exceptional contributions to
our City. Today, we honor Djoniba Dance & Drum Centre, Inc., an
organization that has distinguished itself in service to the
community: is has enriched us with its presence and achievements and
is worthy of the esteem of all New Yorkers." (Proclamation by The
Council of the City of New York)
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