Our mission is to promote social-emotional wellness through partner dance.
Our program promotes creativity, teaches critical inter-personal communication skills, and sets a foundation of respect, teamwork, confidence, and leadership. We are committed to expanding a culture of music, dance, and partnership in Los Angeles County.
“I am an absolute believer in Conga Kids. They successfully braid social-emotional learning into their work and provide students with healthy ways to manage their emotions. They also teach students to establish and maintain positive relationships. Conga Kids is a STELLAR program!”
– Dotty Ysais, M. Ed., Los Angeles County Office of Education
Co-founded in 2016 by Brad Gluckstein (Apex Realty CEO & Conga Room Founder) and Daniel Ponickly (the former Artistic Director and Creator of Ballroom Madness), Conga Kids is a 501(c)3 arts education nonprofit organization. Together, Mr. Gluckstein and Mr. Ponickly established Conga Kids as Los Angeles’ premiere classroom-based dance program, reimagining the curriculum to speak more to the demographic of our local population, focusing on social dances like Salsa, Merengue, and Swing, along with more traditional ballroom dances like Foxtrot and Tango.
In our first programmatic year, 2016/17, Conga Kids provided programming in 3 school districts, encompassing 30 schools and reaching 3,100 students. This number nearly doubled in the 2017/18 scholastic year, as Conga Kids partnered with over 52 schools in 7 school districts throughout Los Angeles County, reaching over 6,000 students in underserved populations including Lynwood, Boyle Heights, Central Los Angeles, Compton, Mar Vista, El Monte, Pomona, and Hollywood. We are proud to increase our district and school partnerships year-over-year; our impact for 2018/19 included 97 schools in 8 school districts — allowing us to reach over 10,000 students — and adding partnerships in the communities of Pico Rivera, Glendale, and the Pico-Union area of Los Angeles.