Santa Barbara Dance Institute’s 10th Anniversary!


Kaila Mackenzie at 203-206-1356, or






Santa Barbara, CA, August 20, 2014 – Santa Barbara Dance Institute (SBDI) celebrates a decade of helping low-income, at-risk children throughout the county learn critical life skills, build confidence, improve their health and set a new standard of excellence for themselves through its unique educational dance programs.


Ten years ago, SBDI’s founder, Rosalina Macisco created an expressive outlet for Santa Barbara’s underserved children using methods developed by the National Dance Institute (NDI). Since then, over 3,000 students have participated in SBDI’s programs. Starting with just two schools and 80 students, SBDI has grown quickly to serve 12 schools and organizations with over 550 students per year. “Every year more students attend our classes, more teachers see the positive effect of our programs, and more schools request our services”, says Rosalina Macisco, Executive & Artistic Director.


What We Do

Through highly structured educational dance programs SBDI helps children discover their potential by empowering them to believe in themselves, work together in a team, and develop a personal standard of excellence. We teach high energy, joyful, physically and mentally demanding classes that instill confidence, pride, work ethic, and a mentality of never giving up. Our programs increase neuroplasticity in children’s brains through the utilization of medically proven movement sequences and dance routines (e.g. cross-boy moves). In SBDI’s Partner Programs, classes are held weekly over a 30-week period. Children experience an immersion in dance and music to promote achievement, teamwork and dedication. SBDI’s Residency Programs are held either during the school day or after-school for six-eight weeks. For every program, no matter the length or number of participants, SBDI has a close working relationship with the school.


All SBDI programs conclude with a performance event. SBDI’s Event-Of-The-Year is a professionally written original show involving students who attend SBDI’s full-year programs to perform for their community, family and friends at The Marjorie Luke Theatre. Bill Cirone, County Superintendent of Schools says about the performance, “This is one show you won’t want to miss!” The show has been coined the “feel-good show of the year,” by County Arts Commissioner, Ginny Brush.

Past themes include:

  • 100 Years of American Music and Dance
  • Literature
  • Imagination and the possibilities it brings
  • Bullying


  • “The arts have a unique ability to inspire and motivate children, and enable them to seek excellence, develop discipline, and find joy. The SBDI program is extremely effective in transmitting these goals and fostering remarkably high achievement.” Bill Cirone, County Superintendent of Schools
  • “SBDI’s programs are exciting for our after-school students and provides enrichment that they may otherwise not experience. SBDI provides an opportunity for physical skills and reflexes in relationship to brain activity. This program serves students who are in the lower percentiles of achievement and family socio-economics.” Sharon Velarde, Director of Carpinteria Unified After School Programs
  • “I want to thank SBDI for providing their wonderful dance programs to the children of Santa Barbara.” Helene Schneider, Mayor of Santa Barbara

 About Santa Barbara Dance Institute

SBDI was founded in 2005 with the belief that the arts have a special ability to inspire children toward excellence. The teaching artists are professional dancers, choreographers, who have been rigorously trained in SBDI’s teaching methodologies and who believe that the arts should be an integral part of every child’s education. SBDI’s Partner Programs have served more than 3,000 children and over 12,000 audience members have seen their performances. SBDI elicits in children a personal standard of excellence by using dance as the medium to teach children a valuable life lesson: that energy, discipline, hard work, commitment, and joyful concentration lead to success. For some children, dancing with SBDI is a life-changing event; for all it is an amazing experience they will never forget. The Independent named SBDI’s Event-Of-The-Year show, “Best Youth Performance”.

Surveys conducted with students and teachers over a period of 9 years show that:

  • 90% of students see the benefit of teamwork, working hard, doing your best.
  • 90% of students believe in themselves more.
  • 100% of teachers report improvements in their students’ overall behavior.
  • 100% of teachers saw improvement in grades as a result of their participation in the SBDI program.

Possible stories

o      BULLYING: Can one dance program be the solution to children accepting each other?

o      Why dance should be in all schools

o      A Before and after with a school’s principal: Before SBDI was in the school and after.

o      Schools and the Arts: a timeless battle!

o      Pick a student and follow their transformation from beginning to end of year

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