Arts, Culture, and Humanities


Moving to give at-risk youth empowerment and self-acceptance through dance and performance arts.

Austin, TX


Leap of Joy our non-profit organization offers dance and theater arts after school and summer camp enrichment programs to underprivileged children in underserved schools in Austin, Tx. Our teachers enrich the lives of children by not only providing mentorship, academic excellence, fight obesity with proper nutrition but emphasize the importance of physical activity by teaching dance, creative movement and performing arts at no charge to their families. Our goal is to give these children a sense of their own value and a window to see the opportunities that are available by working hard and making wise choices. Uppermost importance to us is creating a positive and safe environment where kids can take a Leap of Joy with Self-Esteem.

Ruling Year



Judy Richardson

Director of Operations

Jessica Barclay

Main Address

3905 Leafield Dr

Austin, TX 78749 USA


leap of joy, dance, theater, austin tx, nonprofit, after-school, summer camp, dance class, theater class





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Dance (A62)

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

Performing Arts (A60)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

After-School Dance or Theater Classes

Where we work

Charting Impact

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What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

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What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

We work with underprivileged children ages 4 to 14 in under-served schools, after school, and in summer enrichment camps. We teach classic dance including modern and ballet, creative movement, hip hop, zumba for kids and moms, performance and theatre arts. Our goal is to give our children a sense of their own value and asssist them academically with homework help. In order to combat child obesity, we also provide healthy seasonal fruit and vegetable snacks. Children are kept active through dance movement games and fitness through stretching and cardio warm ups. They are taught a knowledge of dance vocabulary tailored appropriately to their ages and skill levels. They work cooperatively participating in the creation of a performance piece. The main objective of our organization is to create a positive and safe environment where kids can take a Leap of Joy class and gain Self-Esteem, Self Respect, a Spirit of Cooperation, Body Consciousness & Self Acceptance no matter size and shape.

Being a young but fast growing organization. Leap of Joy has gone from one school to eleven and from one class at a school to multiple classes a week at those schools. Though no formal impact studies have been conducted to date, we look to the students themselves as to where they are as far as skill level and behavior is concerned when they begin classes and how they advance throughout their experience. Teachers present progressive lesson plans over the course of the semester. Students must work together in groups to participate in the creative process so that a performance piece is created over the course of the semester. Improvement in student involvement and behavior is also noted.

Our capabilities are demonstrated in the trained instructors who work with the children. Many are professionals who perform in dance and theater companies. The most important requirements is that they have a rapport and ease of interaction with the children and are able to form a positive experience through encouragement and support.

With Leap of Joy, progress is measured by the children's physical and behavioral development. Throughout the semester they are taught progressive activities that culminate in a performance piece that can be shown at their schools in assembly and PTA performances and outside performances as in the AISD City Wide Show Case and our own performance fundraiser Care to Dance. Another measurement of observation is not only how the child has progressed in their physical capabilities but also in their outward behavior which is often markedly improved.

What we have and haven't accomplished thus far:
We would like to reach even more children and become better known in the Austin community. We would like to struggle less with finances.

External Reviews



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

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Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


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?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?