This residency program was created to bring quality dance learning experiences to students across Minnesota by pairing a subject area with style of dance to help entire grade-bands learn new educational concepts through movement. Teaching Artists visit classrooms – either in-person or virtually through our innovative distance learning technology – to lead 3- to 5-day residences.

The Cowles Center is now accepting interest forms for the 2018-19 dance residency program: Dance Without Barriers. After receiving this form, Cowles Education Staff will invite a select number of schools to fill out a formal application. Since these residencies are free to schools in the state of MN, The Cowles Center expects that applying schools understand their responsibilities and expectations as partners in Cowles Center Dance Residences. These expectations include:

• Attending a planning meeting with all classroom teachers and Teaching Artist
• Preparing students with clear goals and expectations prior to the residency
• Collaborating with the Teaching Artist during the residency days
• Completing a final evaluation

Competitive applications include schools who face cost barriers or have little to no access to arts programming. All selected grade-band classroom teachers must be willing and invested in taking on the responsibilities of planning, scheduling, and establishing curriculum when collaborating with a guest Teaching Artist and Cowles Center staff.
This program is open to both K-12 schools located within the 7-county metro and K-12 schools throughout greater Minnesota.

Types of Residencies
The Cowles Center has been providing free dance residencies to schools throughout MN through its Dance Without Barriers program for the last 14 years. Over the years, we have grown to work with over 60 communities and over 17,000+ students.

  • Exploratory: Emphasis on learning a dance style and the cultural/historical significance of the dance form
  • Arts Integration: Makes connections between dance styles and core curriculum
  • Creation: 10-class residency focusing on student composition and a final performance
Contact Jessi Fett, Director of Education & Community Engagement, at or 612.206.3640 to learn more.