Kaufman Connections is a 24-week hip hop dance program that introduces 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students to the choreographic process through weekly, one-hour sessions of integrated dance instruction at 32nd Street Elementary School.
The program is dedicated to integrating dance into the classroom curriculum. Recent studies have documented the positive impact that in-school dance education has on students, including improved literacy and STEM test scores; neurological benefits, including persistence at task; development of social and emotional coping skills; and increased teacher and school morale.
Through ongoing evaluations and participant reflections, Kaufman Connections provides a framework for USC and partner schools to consider a permanent dance instruction program in the future.
Following 12 weeks of initial instruction in the basics of hip-hop choreography, 32nd Street students spend the second half of the program choreographing their own work, culminating in a public showcase. With globally famous dance styles such as “locking” having originated nearby at LA Trade-Technical College, the program and its public events also seek to cultivate local awareness and pride among participating K-12 students.