Dance As A Vehicle to Success

For the past 30 years, Armour Dance Theatre (ADT) has created opportunities for the youth of Miami through dance-focused programming. 

Our Community Programs serve over 400 children in four diverse, under-resourced neighborhoods. When these students reach middle school age, ADT helps guide families through the magnet-school admission process to ensure all students have access to the best schooling opportunities.

Intermediate level students performing at the annual spring concert.


Obstacles arise when students are accepted into “A-rated” magnet programs too far from their homes, and Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) cannot provide suitable transportation. ADT offers support through stipends for private transportation.

Each year, an average of 29 students graduating from our Community Programs require transportation assistance to get to school and ADT’s main site Academy, where they continue receiving advanced dance training. Transportation stipends amount to $1,380 for each student per year. 

Community program students at Little Haiti Community Program site.


ADT aims to raise $40,000 annually to ensure we not only support our students in their admission to “A-rated” magnet schools, but we support their ability to attend them.

Will you join us today by helping to support our transportation fund? 

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, the first $20,000 raised will be matched dollar-for-dollar!

Please consider… 

  • A $30 one-time donation provides a student transportation for one week.
  • A $115 monthly donation supports one student’s transportation to a brighter future for one year.
  • A $1,380 one-time donation provides a student transportation for one year. 

Change a child’s life by giving the gift of dance this summer.

This year, Armour Dance Theatre’s Community Programs will host Summer Camps in four diverse, under-resourced neighborhoods. The camps will be eight weeks long and will be held daily from 7:30 am – 6 pm. There are no fees charged to participants. ADT will serve at least 300 students through its summer camps.

Our unique, dance-focused camps will include:


Dance is the foundation of our summer camps. Every summer students receive 320 hours of dance lessons over the course of the program. Genres include ballet, West African, jazz, tap, musical theater, modern, Bollywood, hip hop, flamenco, and more.


One of the main goals of our summer programming is to prevent learning loss during the summer break. Reading intervention and math lessons are provided to every student 3 to 4 times per week.


Summer camps are also an opportunity to allow our students to express themselves through new art forms. Every student will take art classes with a certified master art teacher and percussion lessons taught by a local organization and partner, Miamibloco.


Students’ mental health is a priority year round. Our summer camps will provide group therapy (ADT’s Group Talk program) with a licensed mental health professional once a week, as well as daily mindfulness exercises. These activities create an environment where children can build healthy friendships.


Programs are enhanced during the summer weeks to expose our students to a variety of activities and opportunities. Fashion design will be a part of this year’s schedule and will provide students insight into costume making and other aspects of the performing arts. Additionally, field trips and workshops will take place to give students a fun way to explore things like literature and cooking.

Will you support a child this summer? Use the button below to make a donation today. 

What you’re supporting on Miami’s day of giving

Thursday, November 21st is Miami’s biggest day of giving and we want you to get involved. Every year The Miami Foundation hosts Give Miami Day , a 24-hour fundraising event. Organizations across the city raise funds for their incredible missions that make a huge impact on our community. Throughout the day there will be prizes all organizations are eligible for and a percentage of every donation given will be matched. Here are the programming and projects you’ll be supporting if you choose the Thomas Armour Youth Ballet this Give Miami Day.


Quality after-school programs at an extremely low cost? We know what you’re thinking…..not possible. Thanks to the support of the Children’s Trust we expanded our four sites that once just danced classes after school to a full after-school program with reading, homework assistance, dance lessons, and emotional literacy. We want to continue to build on this programming across four sites and you can support that by participating on Give Miami Day.


Scholarships are offered at the main site for dance training at the main site during the school year and for summer intensives. All scholarships are based on financial need and are given on a sliding scale. Families are able to pay what they can rather than cutting back on valuable training for their children.


The Nutcracker is a huge part of who we are and Miami’s history. Our production of The Nutcracker is no ordinary production of the holiday classic. This Nutcracker is the longest-running Nutcracker production in Miami, it is the most diverse production of the Nutcracker in the city, and we do not charge families to participate in it. Students from all of our sites audition for the performance and aren’t charged a fee for rehearsals, costumes, makeup, etc. This makes participating accessible to everyone. This is what makes our Nutcracker so unique.


Our after-school program is for children ages 5-11 years old. What happens once they age out of the program? We offer a scholarship at our main site to continue quality dance training.


Every year we provide room and board to students attending summer intensives in New York City. Attending summer intensives at professional companies can be very expensive for families. To make this once-in-a-lifetime experience available we cut the cost by offering this program.


In order to provide more programming, we are renovating the space and adding THREE more studios! This project will begin in 2020 but if you would like to make a contribution toward our capital campaign it’s never too early.

We hope after reading about our current programming and future plans you feel excited to make your contribution on Give Miami Day on Thursday, November 21st.


Thomas Armour Youth Ballet’s After School Program Featured on NBC 6 Miami

Thomas Armour Youth Ballet had the privilege of being featured on the back-to-school segment on Miami NBC 6. News anchor Kristin Sanchez came to visit our West Coconut Grove site to see our students in action. To see the full segment watch the video below. Big thank you to Kristin Sanchez and the NBC 6 team for coming out to see our program.


Master Class With Dancers From Ballet Hispanico

Last week, students at Robert Russa Moton Elementary had the amazing opportunity to be part of a workshop led by Ballet Hispanico Company members.

The workshop was a great change of pace during a week of testing, and a great experience for young artists who not only learned about communicating through movement but also got a glimpse into what it is like to be a traveling performing dancer. Ballet Hispanico is known for their work in communities and the dancers who came to Robert Russa Moton Elementary to work with the students showed a great deal of love and passion for working with young kids. We are grateful to have been able to bring such a wonderful group of professional artists to work with our students.

The workshop was made possible by South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center in collaboration with Thomas Armour Youth Ballet.

If you would like to learn more about Thomas Armour Youth Ballet’s programming please click here.

Emotional Literacy and Meditation – Another way TAYB prepares students to succeed in life.

Meditation is a hot topic of conversation in today’s world. We are quickly learning of the benefits it brings both at a neurological and emotional level, as well as the positive long-term impact it can have in someone’s life. That is why the practice is becoming more and more common at schools and programs such as TAYB’s After School & Summer Camp programs.

Schools like The Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore, MD have been using mindful meditation as an alternative to detention for the past few years. They report that in the last year, they have seen zero suspensions and no suspensions so far this year. And they are not alone, other schools using mindful meditation have shown a dramatic decrease in suspensions, bullying, and fighting as well as an increase in attendance and performance.

Unfortunately, students from underserved neighborhoods don’t always have access to these “in trend” wellness activities as quickly or as consistently as their peers from more fortunate circumstances do. Because we want to level the playing field and ensure all students are ready to face life’s challenges with emotional soundness and an arsenal of tools for dealing with life’s curveballs, TAYB brought in the evidence-based Triumph Program to its Satellite Sites last summer.

As their website explains, “Triumph is a systematic, consistent and simple program that was designed with students and teachers in mind. Triumph takes into consideration the multiple responsibilities educators have, and gives an effortless, easy to use program with limitless benefits for the students and teachers. Designed to help students become goal-oriented, empowered, centered, creative, and socially responsible members of society. It includes a set of tools and strategies to help students get in touch with their unlimited potential to create the extraordinary life they deserve”

Through affirmation and calming 5-minute audios that are easy to implement, students (and staff) are able to settle their mind, find the power within, and rewire their brain with positive phrases and reassuring statements regarding their own self-worth, intelligence, and power!

In under one year of implementing this program at the satellite sites, we are already seeing results! Students from the Morningside K-8 Academy site participated in the filming of a promo video for the program and were interviewed by triumph’s founder Beatriz.

Students were asked questions such as “How do you think the audio helps you”, and “What is your favorite part of the audio” and their answers were amazing and inspiring! Students claimed they are able to manage their emotions, are able to get rid of jitters before tests by recalling the messages in the audio, and are even inspiring their parents to take up meditation!

We are so excited for what is to come as we continue to explore the impact that Triumph and like-minded programs can do on our students and cannot wait to share the promo video with you once it is published!

Click here to learn more about what we do at our outreach after school programs and summer camps.



What A Summer: Thomas Armour Youth Ballet’s Outreach Summer Camps 2017

They came, they saw, they danced. Another summer camp season has passed, leaving behind a plethora of memories and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

We welcomed over 250 campers across our four outreach sites this past summer and for the first time ever offered music, art, spoken word, and cooking classes! Of course, with 8 hour days, the kids were still able to participate in reading and dance classes- which by the way,  included Bollywood, Salsa, Flamenco and Musical Theater, Hip-Hop, and West African in addition to ballet, modern, and tap.

Thomas Armour Youth Ballet’s amazing staff went above and beyond to make sure the kids were not too bummed about the reading…. Ms. Deborah turned her classroom into the setting of “The Hideout” novel by Peg Kehret which made her classroom look like a hotel room, enchanting all the students. On some days, they took the books outside and read under a tree while drinking cold lemonade… oh to be 10 again….

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, students participated in field trips to an African Drumming Workshop, the Frost Science Museum, Key Biscayne Nature Center, and Seminole Theater.

Non-field trip days were exciting too though! Campers received visits from Gabie’s Bus, Oral Health Institute, and YES Institute throughout the 8 weeks.

We are so happy with the success of our camps and beyond thrilled about all the memories and friendships that were made all while improving reading scores, gaining life skills, and DANCING.

Still, want to hear more about the summer camp we had this year? Check out the video below!



Our Connect Miami Project At After School Program In Little Haiti

It was a time where students, parents, and staff, worked together on a community project, in a way that was different for everyone. We worked on creating a “sawdust alfombra” meaning a carpet made from sawdust. In several countries, this is an Easter tradition as communities would work together to create a colorful display on specific streets. These are judged for competition (design, colors, how elaborate, creativity) in some Central American countries during “The Holy Week” of Easter bringing many to watch and admire these carpets that sometimes take up many blocks.

At Morningside, we began by coloring the sawdust with food coloring. However, that was insufficient, so we added paint and or dye, to get more vibrant colors. Some little ones added too much water and were saddened when they realized we were not making soup. Sadly, they had to wait a day or two to allow the sun to dry it up. After that, all groups were listening and trying to follow directions to avoid messing up.

When colors were reached that satisfied each group, we put them out to dry in the sun. Days later, instead of using the ground where school children traveled, we built frames so that we could move them after completion. We have three classes and within each class, we had smaller groups of 3-4 students. Then they were charged with a theme and whatever they chose to contribute to that theme, they will design a cardboard mold that the sawdust will go in. Eventually, the PreK-1st grade students used shapes to create a robot or scarecrow, depending on your angle when viewing.

The 2nd – 3rd-grade students depicted a floral arch used as the background for beautiful pictures or a variation of pinwheels if you’re looking from a side angle.

Finally, the 4th-5th grade students had much more to sort out because there were many “chiefs and no Indians.” Eventually, they designed a colorful sign with the letters: TAYB. The landscape surrounding it merged many colors to exhibit the diversity and unity among them; yet, their freedom to innovate. The last box was an abstract design to complete our carpet.

There were happy times and frustrating moments; clean areas and messy, dirty workstations; Ms. Deborah had a lot of dirty clothes while Ms. Judith did not enjoy sawdust in her hair and face. Mr. Jacques’s fingers stiffened from stapling cardboard shapes and Mr. Bernard sunburnt from building the frames. Ms. Jeanette was snapping pictures while monitoring those argumentative moments when group members were trying to abandon one group for another that looked more successful at that moment. Finally, Ms. Dashon, created the banner by having all students, parents, and staff, trace one hand and decorate it, promoting that connection.

Several parents helped along the way in various ways and everyone had fun. The best part was the big smile when that finished product was displayed.  Almost daily, some students are asking when will we do it again while others suggested, let’s do it for Christmas. Regardless of the next time, clearly, our sawdust creations conceived memories that will linger for ages, big and small, proudly show off to any person entering the premises of TAYB Morningside.