“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
“When Conga Kids came to Wilson Elementary, my students didn’t have any self-esteem. After — it’s amazing. They understand their cultural roots, they’ve studied themselves, that self-esteem was built, and they love it! And now they’re going home and teaching their parents, that culture has spread.”
– Angela Baber, 5th Grade Teacher, Wilson Elementary (Lynwood)
“Dancing? I take it as an opportunity to be yourself, let go of the bad thoughts, and just have fun!”
– Evette Davis, 5th Grade Student, Estrella Elementary (Central LA)
Conga Kids performing at L.A. LIVE
We hold our Competition Grand Finals in downtown Los Angeles at L.A. Live and the Conga Room!
“I can’t begin to tell you how much life, hope, and inspiration your program has brought to my school community. My students have connected on a more personal level and have gained greater respect and appreciation for one another. My students who are struggling academically have found their voice. One of the girls who is on our competition dance team is scheduled to be placed in a special day program next year. In the classroom, she is muted by other talents, but when she is dancing, she shines like no other. Dance is where you see her!"
– Cristina Munoz, Principal, Euclid Elementary (East LA)
“I want to thank you for all that you and the Conga Kids instructors are doing for the students of LAUSD. I was so impressed and touched by the students' performance yesterday evening. Their enthusiasm, confidence, proficiency and performance energy was a beautiful thing to behold. There was such a sense of pride amongst all the performers, and I think they will all stand a little taller from now on. There were so many outstanding student dancers! I'm still smiling as I remember them - the salsa dancer from Estrella and his shimmy, the beautiful arms and sharp movements of the tango. Kudos to you for training them so well and giving them this opportunity to shine! I'm so glad I was able to attend and witness the good work happening in our District. Its up to all of us to keep dance important, and you are truly a dance warrior. Thank you again for all you do!”
– Shana Habel, LAUSD Arts Education Branch, K-12 Arts Specialist
"The students are rarely exposed to ballroom dancing. At first the children are nervous to ask someone to dance, but after a few sessions they become comfortable and then you see their confidence grow. Many have expressed interest in following their dreams in performing arts after having this experience.”
– Gabriel Arreguin, Principal, Estrella Elementary (South LA)
“I personally experienced the benefits and joy the program brought to Estrella Elementary, a South LA school in the 9th District who did not have the funds to participate in the program this year. These 100 students kept their composure and worked hard to finally wow the judges and win the Grand Final dance competition."
– Curren D. Price, Councilmember, 9th District
"The Conga Kids program has exceeded all my expectations. This is the first year we have had this program come to our school. All the other grade levels are on fire and are looking forward to it as well. It has been a tremendous success!"
— Raymond Schmidt, Principal, Wilson Elementary (Lynwood)
"The curriculum ensures children in underserved communities are supported through a variety of written assignments, assessments, and lecture-demonstrations that engage them and their parents.”
– Christine Shen, Ed. D., Director, UCLA Community Schools Initiatives UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies
“Conga Kids continues to make these communities a priority and has embarked on an English Language Arts aligned curriculum for 6th graders in association with the Univeristy of California, Los Angeles. Teaching history and geography through the platform of dance, this pilot program is believed to be the first of its kind to combine ethnic studies and english aligned curriculum through dance."
– Mark Ridley-Thomas, Chairman of the Board, Supervisor, Los Angeles County Second District