We are moving and shaking with Dance 2B Free! We are officially a non profit as of 5/28/15 and our board has grown to include Robyn Tighe who brings grant writing expertise and a background in communication consulting. Thank you Robyn for joining the team!
Gayle and Lucy went to the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility last week and were given a tour of our state prison that houses 975 women in a maximum security facility.
We were shocked as our stereotypes and assumptions were shattered once we entered the prison doors and went through the metal detectors and walls of barbed wire. The staff, guards, sergeants, and inmates were friendly, socializing with each other and welcoming of our presence. The general atmosphere seemed to be focused on rehabilitation, which I personally assumed was not the case in most prisons.
On the drive down, I was having fears of the inmates glaring at me, the staff being uninterested in our program and some sort of altercation erupting. It was remarkable to see dog training programs, a beautiful wood shop and to be introduced to the offenders who were articulate, smiling and high functioning.
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Our first actual trip to the Denver women's correctional facility for our facility orientation! We were blown away by the welcoming staff, smiling #offenders, rosebushes and dog programs! This environment was much more about #rehab than I ever imagined! Sounds like we can bring #dance 2B free into the #prison by late June! These women are ready to dance! #womeninprison #joy #nonprofit
They’ve approved our first playlist, they have the space, speakers and screen allowing us the capability of teaching in person along with DVD’s to be played between our personal visits. When they asked why we were there, I said, “To teach dance classes,” at which point the women screamed out with joy!
Our first class is scheduled for 7/1.
This whole experience gives me huge hope to take this program out of state. If this is the potential of what could happen in a maximum security prison, imagine the possibilities of reaching less funded or resourced facilities around the country!
Lucy Wallace, MA
Board Member and Founder, Dance 2B Free