Community Spotlight

New Hampshire Dance Institute


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NHDI brings dance into schools to empower, enrich, and energize all children while teaching confidence and inspiring excellence.

How New Hampshire Dance Institute serves our community

What does NHDI do?
NHDI brings an exceptional arts-rich opportunity to over 4,500 children throughout the year. While we do provide several summer day camp experiences, the majority of our programming is done in schools as part of the school day. This is “Arts Equity”. Many children that we serve do not have the means to get to a studio or after-school program. Perhaps they simply don’t have the transportation, perhaps they are involved in other activities. In some cases our dancers are needed at home to serve as care-givers. When NHDI comes to them, during their day at school, every child has an opportunity to experience the joy of dance and music and performance with exceptional teaching artists. NHDI’s artistic content is linked to the math, science, language arts or history curriculum of children in grades K-8 and partners the academic component with SEL (Social Emotional Learning), helping children to regulate their behaviors and feelings through movement and music. NHDI is trauma-informed education—assuming that any of our participants may have experienced a trauma (or in the case of a pandemic, a collective trauma), our classes are designed to heal and restore as we follow the five guiding principals; safety, choice, collaboration, trustworthiness and empowerment. Our classes teach sequencing of steps, musicality, emotional expression, story-telling and culminate with a lively, inspiring performance.

How does NHDI serve our community?
NHDI’s Residency Program provides an original work; incorporating music, dance, story and curriculum, taught by exceptional artists, to area schools. This entire experience, including a joyful performance, is entirely free to the participating children and their families that attend the show. All of the instruction happens as part of their school day; there is no studio! We’re often asked the question, “Where is your studio? Where do you hold your classes?” Our response is “wherever the children are!” During Covid, we met in fields, parks, parking lots… anywhere we could safely experience the arts together; in some of the most rural parts of New Hampshire. As a result, NHDI received the Governor’s Silver Lining Award for providing excellence during the pandemic. We were grateful for the recognition, however, it is what we do… For more information about how to support NHDI, visit, call (603) 355-8911 or email

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  • Leadership

    Kristen Leach, Executive and Artistic Director

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  • ’Make a mistake and Bake it a Cake!’ which refers to loving the process— throw your ‘mistake’ a party and celebrate it!