GOLD2023

The Rock School for Dance Education

aka The Rock School   |   Philadelphia, PA   |  www.therockschool.org

Mission

Our Mission Statement: The Rock School develops the whole dancer, enabling students to reach the highest standards of technique and artistry in a nurturing, supportive environment that elevates the art form, the dancer, and the audience. Our Vision: The School brings the highest level of dance training to a broad constituency of both the local community and international students. Our vision is to provide egalitarian access for all students to follow in the footsteps of The Rock School’s illustrious alumni.

Ruling year info

1993

Principal Officer

Mr. Peter Stark

Main address

1101 South Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA 19147 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

The Shirley Rock School for Dance Education

EIN

23-2707419

NTEE code info

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

Dance (A62)

Ballet (A63)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Rock School’s Residence program offers a professional-track training program for young dancers from around the world. It hosts talented students who receive partial to full scholarships for their dance training, room/board, and academic studies. Rock Academics attracts a dedicated and diverse community of exceptional young dancers. Our students move forward at a pace suited to their individual abilities; students can earn middle school, high school, and college credits, critical to young artists who often spend their college years in professional companies. RockReach is the most extensive dance and movement community outreach program in the region, making dance accessible to underserved urban youth in the Greater Philadelphia and Delaware Valley community and designed to make a significant, long-lasting impact on a student’s social, artistic, and academic life. The majority of RockReach participants are in Philadelphia Title 1 schools that serve economically disadvantaged youth.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Rock Academics

Academics at the Rock School is committed to providing a quality, college preparatory program designed for students in the Professional Division. We blend cutting edge technology with a progressive individualized academic plan to help students achieve a successful balance between their academics and intensive dance training. Chosen for the talent and potential as dancers, Rock Academics students benefit from high caliber dance training with world-class instructors and choreographers in addition to a strong college preparatory program. Our integrated approach to learning in combination with a nurturing residential life program provides young artists with a supportive environment and the tools they need to meet life's challenges with confidence, self-discipline, enthusiasm, and the highest standards of personal integrity.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Young adults

RockReach addresses the inadequacy of arts education in Philadelphia’s Title 1 public, charter and parochial schools where due to budget constraints there is little or no arts component. RockReach also responds to the need for constructive, goal-oriented physical activity in schools where there is little or no physical education component and little to no outdoor space for physical movement. Designed to strengthen the academic skills of participants, develop children's social skills, broaden students' interests, and keep students constructively and actively engaged in the art form, RockReach has become a valuable asset to local communities in the region.

RockReach offers an in-school and after-school residency program, school wide assembles showcasing a "day in the life" of our dancers, CityDance scholarships for qualified students to train at our Rock Center location, and free transportation and tickets to our annual performance of The Nutcracker.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

The Rock School Summer Intensive is a selective, audition-only up to six-week program that immerses aspiring dancers in a minimum of three classes per day plus rehearsals everyday including Saturdays. The Rock School offers classes in men's & women's variations, pointe, repertoire, injury prevention, contemporary, & more.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Young adults

Where we work

External assessments

Evaluated via the Impact Genome Project (2019)

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Rock School awards more than $1,000,000 in annual scholarships, maintains a year-round supervised residence program in Philadelphia, provides a unique middle and high school academic program for grades 7-12 through Rock Academics, and offers extensive performance and competition opportunities.

As president and director, Peter Stark has a vision for The Rock School to represent and serve Philadelphia’s diverse community with equitable access, relevant and accessible programming, and visionary leadership in the community and dance field at large.

The focus on programming began with hiring staff to address the following:
1) Equitable Access - for students regardless of their race, ethnicity, financial situation, or background;
student safety and well-being.
2) Outreach that deeply engages children - from The Rock School's local underserved neighborhoods across Philadelphia, both culturally and creatively.
3) A unified curriculum - for students of The Rock School Downtown, The Rock School West, and an introductory curriculum for RockReach outreach participants.
4) Scholarships - to create egalitarian access to world-class dance training.

Peter Stark supplemented the existing staff with exceptional teachers and administrators from around the country. This team brings expertise that guides The School toward realizing its new vision.

These new staff members and existing faculty and staff are reviewing, evaluating, updating, and revising all aspects of The Rock’s education and operations to implement Stark’s vision and goals. This is an ongoing process that will lead to a multi-year strategic plan.

The vanguard of The Rock School's community engagement efforts, RockReach, is a multi-faceted outreach program founded in 2000 in response to inadequate arts education in Philadelphia schools. RockReach has become one of the most extensive dance and movement community programs in the Philadelphia region, annually serving thousands of students with free dance classes and interactive performance opportunities. Under White’s leadership, the program responds to new and immediate needs in Philadelphia schools through updated curricula, diversified faculty, and enhanced programming.

The core of The Rock School’s work is dance training offered at the Center City and West Chester locations. Outstanding faculty and a long history of success attract the most dedicated dance students from 26 states and ten countries. Stark and his team have begun a complete overhaul of The School’s curriculum, starting with the beginner levels. This multi-year initiative addresses the curriculum’s unification, access equity, and student safety and well-being. Mandatory pedagogy training and child abuse workshops for all faculty and staff were implemented in the past year, with plans for additional curricular and child development education currently being formed.

The School is committed to improving its facilities and financial security with capital improvements and fiscal stability. The vision is to provide egalitarian access for all students to follow in the footsteps of The Rock School’s illustrious alumni in a safe and supportive environment that fulfills their dance goals.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

The Rock School for Dance Education
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

The Rock School for Dance Education

Board of directors
as of 01/30/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Christopher Raphaely

Cozen O'Connor

Robert Rock

President, MLR Holdings, LLC

Bojan Spassoff

Emeritus President & Director, The Rock School for Dance Education

R. Christopher Raphaely

Co-Chair of Health Care, Cozen O’Connor

Robert L. Abramowitz

Partner, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, LLP

Mindy Baiada

Executive Director, Music Theatre Philly

Alexandra Bauer Crouch

Executive Director, J.P. Morgan

Liza Herzog

Director of Academic Research & Assessment, Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship at Drexel University

John Hyman

President, North American Machinery

Victoria Kaplan

J. Nicole Martin Lawton

CEO, Phoenix Language Services, Inc

Patricia Quinn McAuley

Marketing Director, Clark Capital Management Group

Ronald J. Naples

Chairman Emeritus of the Board, Quaker Chemical Corporation

Clare Putnam Pozos

Senior Advisor to the U.S. Attorney, United States Attorney’s Office

Carla I. Rock

Former Staff Attorney, Criminal Defense Practice, The Bronx Defenders

Susan Rock

Former Development Director, The Rock School for Dance Education

Jeanne Scandura

Principal, Scan-Design

Vikki Sloviter

Owner/Photographer, Vikki Sloviter Photography

Stephanie Wolf Spassoff

The Rock School for Dance Education

Scott D. Thompson

Tax Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Lauren R. Baer

Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office

Edward McDevitt

Wealth Advisor, UBS Financial Services

David Munson

Director of NICU, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Caro U. Rock

Publisher, Family Business Magazine

Casey Satell

Director of Institutional Giving, The Franklin Institute

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/30/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/30/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.