Recent National Endowment for the Arts’ peer panels called our seven-year sequential PreK-5 education program “a national model.”


New York University Research

A three-year NYU study showed increased math scores and improved writing and behavior.

Columbia Business School, 2010

Regarding our Social Return on Investment (SROI): “For every $1.00 contributed to MDD there is a $2.11 benefit to society.”

Johns Hopkins University Partnership, 2015-16

In Fall 2015 we launched a one-year study with Johns Hopkins University to evaluate the outcomes of our educational programs across eight NYC public elementary schools, including four schools serving as a control group. In Fall 2016, MDD will provide pilot programs at those four control schools for this year’s mixed-methods study of our programs’ impact on students’ academic accomplishments across Math and English Language Arts.

Success Story: Stanley

Stanley’s first year in Mark DeGarmo Dance’s dance and literacy program was as a second grader. Two years before, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The tumor was removed and he was home-schooled until entering second grade. The therapists working with him at the hospital had been unsuccessful in getting him to communicate. When Stanley entered the second grade class, he was a selective mute. Stanley was late academically as well.

On the first day of our dance class, Stanley stood in the back of the room and watched our dance instructor teach. He listened carefully and began to follow her instructions as the lessons progressed. His classroom teacher said that watching Stanley in dance became a chance for her to see him smile. He experienced a comfort level with his peers that she didn’t usually see in her classroom.

His dance journal writing also increased, both in length and in terms of more complex sentences. His classroom teacher said that our dance and literacy program helped him feel more part of her class.