Dance: Positively Changing Lives of Urban Youth–An ADTA Talk

Utilizing Dance to Empower Youth

In this ADTA Talk, Dr. Charné Furcron, LPC, BC-DMT, BCC, ACS, discusses and embodies the powerful effect that dance has on youth development. Furcron’s work over the past 20 years utilizing a Positive Youth Development Model, has helped cultivate competencies, empowerment and a sense of belonging among children in metro Atlanta.

“As I began to explore how dance impacts lives, I realized that many of the students in my program were a lot like me,” says Furcron. “They needed a safe place to transform – to find their authentic self.”

Many of the children Furcron works with face challenges such as poverty, single-parent homes, and abuse. But the power of dance helps them transform from the cocoon of challenge into a resilient butterfly.

Furcron measures the impact the program has on self-confidence, self-concept, positive youth development goals, emotional and physical health and dance technique. Themes such as bullying, peer pressure, and anger are frequent topics mentioned by the participants.

Bringing the program to life, Furcron shares a special story about one program participant who overcame abuse through the positive impact of dance. She illustrates the parallel process between results in the program and positive transformation.

And the results are significant. Over 51 percent of Georgia youth do not graduate on time. Yet not only do 100 percent of teen dance members in Furcron’s program graduate on time, but they go onto college, vocational school or the military. Furthermore, 30 percent return to the program to teach classes, serve on the board or volunteer.


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