Can self-esteem, school performance, and positive life choices of at-risk middle school students be influenced by their participation in an after-school dance program?
Project or Program Summary
Please provide a summary of the project/program as demonstrated in the case study: 
Under the direction of two Young Audiences teaching artists, 6th-8th grade girls at three Tyler, TX ISD middle schools participated four days per week in a year-long dance residency which provided a solid foundation in dance technique and prepared them for high school drill teams. Additionally, journaling and self-esteem building techniques that address issues faced by girls during the critical middle school years were incorporated into the curriculum.
Portfolio Purpose and Rational
Portfolio Purpose and Rationale: Why has this case study been submitted?: 
Research has identified the middle school age as the time that girls develop their lifelong image of themselves. Students participating in this program come from schools that qualify for Title I funding, having 87.6 % disadvantaged populations. While there has been improvement over the last several years, these schools continue to see below-average standardized test scores and high rates of non-advancement. This MetLife program strives to teach the art form of dance while engaging middle school girls with a goal of improving academic indicators and life choices.
Overall Conclusions
What are your overall conclusions regarding the documentation gathered for this case study?: 
Video-taped interviews conducted at the conclusion of the program showed that, in addition to learning the art of dance, this program helped participants learn to work in groups and be part of a team, to overcome their fears of performing in front of a live audience, to identify strengths they didn't previously know they had, to be creative, to learn the importance of practice and dedication, and it gave them a "chance to shine!" All dance performances were video recorded and photographed, which provides a permanent record of what was learned and can be used as a comparison with future and past programs.
Assessment Conclusions
What conclusions have you drawn from the responses to the assessment tools you have developed?: 
Research conducted suggests that this program may be effective in improving academic excellence in participating students. Participants received higher than average grades in almost every domain when compared with their peers. Further research is needed to determine whether this is a causal effect or a correlational result. Participants had a higher attendance and continuance rate than their peers, which may suggest that the dance participants are less likely to miss school or drop-out. Self esteem of the participants in the program was relatively high and did not change during the course of the program.
Answering the Inquiry Question
Back to the initial inquiry question, can it be answered?: 
Yes. Since this was our first attempt at conducting formal research with this program we will work to improve the process by ensuring a more stable population, a longer period of study, and possibly some more specific inquiry questions.
Conclusions: What Was Learned
What was learned?: 
In continuing to offer this program to middle school girls in Tyler ISD we will use the data collected as well as information and feedback received from participants, site coordinators, researchers, and Young Audiences staff to make adjustments and improvements. Our research involving self-image of participants revealed that 87% of the views that these girls have about themselves are performance and behaviorally based which provides validity for the work we are doing.
Conclusions: What Can Be Done Differently In The Future
What can be done differently in the future?: 
In the sixth year of offering a dance program to middle school girls in Tyler ISD, this has been the first year that the program has been offered exclusively in the after-school time period rather than during the school day. This change has presented some challenges in regard to consistent attendance and program structure. We will continue to provide professional development for our teaching artists and will work closely with school administrators to ensure adequate support and structure for our programs. We also are in the process of attempting to move the dance program back to the in-school period whenever possible.
Conclusions: How Will This Inform The Work Moving Forward
How will this inform the work moving forward?: 
Teaching artists will be provided opportunities and additional tools for specifically working with students during the challenging middle school years. Over the summer, we will be working with teaching artists and site coordinators to work with the design of the dance program to provide greater structure and consistency during the school year.
Core Content Standards
Mathematics: 
Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
Attend to precision
Speaking and Listening: 
Comprehension and Collaboration
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Science / Dimension 2: Crosscutting Concepts That Have Common Applications Across Fields: 
Patterns
Scale, proportion, and quantity
21st Century Learning Skills
Themes: 
Health Literacy
Learning and Innovation / Creativity and Innovation: 
Think Creatively
Work Creatively with Others
Learning and Innovation / Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 
Make Judgments and Decisions
Solve Problems
Learning and Innovation / Communication and Collaboration: 
Collaborate with Others
Life and Career / Flexibility and Adaptability: 
Adapt to Change
Be Flexible
Life and Career / Social and Cross-Cultural : 
Interact Effectively with Others
Work Effectively in Diverse Teams
Life and Career / Leadership and Responsiblity: 
Produce Results
National Core Arts Standards
National Core Arts Standards: 
Creating
Performing/Sharing
Responding
Connecting/Connections
Local Standards
Describe Any Local Standards Met By The Program: 
There are no dance standards for the middle schools in Tyler ISD.

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Project Summary
6-8
Afterschool/Extended Day
Suburban
Dance
Physical Education
Attachments
Institutional Overview
Organization(s)
Young Audiences of Northeast Texas
200 E. Amherst
75701 Tyler , TX
United States
Texas US
School District(s)
Tyler ISD
1319 New Sunnybrook Drive
75701 Tyler , TX
United States
Texas US
School(s)
Boulter Middle School
2926 Garden Valley Road
75702 Tyler , TX
United States
Texas US
,
Dogan Middle School
2621 N. Border
75702 Tyler , TX
United States
Texas US
,
Stewart Middle School
2800 West Shaw
75701 Tyler , TX
United States
Texas US