Mona Dance School

Creating Positive Community Change Through Dance in Nigeria
Okrika, Nigeria
Project Story
The Mona Dance School was founded  in April 2008 out of a desire to engage the three arms of the Performing Arts (Music, Dance and Drama) in the Niger delta. Their mission is to teach and build a dance program for all ages with the sense of commitment to societal transformation, healthy lifestyle as an art form, and to promote education for sustainable development and hope in an area that has suffered greatly from environmental degradation.

Since their inception, Mona Dance school has been able to raise over 600 dancers and has taught over 1,000 students to-date, many going on to become professionals in the industry. More than dance instruction, rehearsals and classes offer opportunities to build tenacity, provide mentoring sessions and encourage nearly 50% of youth to return to school. A number of their students are using dance to make an impact in the world and secure jobs in fields of entertainment.
Purpose Earth’s grant funding helped to support the launch of Mona Dance School’s “Diamond In The Swamp” program. Centered around "dance creating positive change," this program has identified and mentored five inspirational youths between the ages of eighteen and twenty-three to become SDG (sustainable development goals) Ambassadors and change agents within the Okrika Local Government Of Nigeria. They were offered classes in dance education, (theoretical and practical) and were given an in-depth introduction to the sustainable development goals to support their active involvement in community-centered solutions with a global impact.

Since receiving their grant, they have also been able to purchase a needed generator set and repair 2 laptops and refurbished a computer system for the school. Alongside financial support, Purpose Earth’s mentorship program has helped Mona Dance School gain a broader understanding of how to implement social media into their brand strategy.

“We are glad to say that teaching these goals have made a positive impact in the way [the participants] think, behave and respond to challenges which are seen within their immediate family and environment. The participants have moved from being strangers during auditions, to classmates, to friends and now are a creative family. ...The energy in the class is palpable because now, they see themselves as being part of something worthwhile and impactful. Now, there is a sense of ownership and belonging amongst them.”

- Elo Inyeinengi-Etomi, Founder and Creative Director

View Project Website:
Project Impact and reach to date:
1,000+ dance students participating
5 youth mentored in collaboration with Okrika Local Government Of Nigeria
16 employed dance instructors
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