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In-School Programming

KEEP’s In-School programming is conducted on the campuses of each of its 21 partner schools each week. Because in-school classes are held for the entire fourth-grade level as part of the school day, children who might not have the resources to participate in extra-curricular arts activities have the opportunity to expand their horizons and experience quality dance and music education. The program strives to impart excellence, enhance the educational experience of children, improve academic performance, serve children in need, and improve quality of life.

Our programming supports academic achievement with cross-curricular activities that translate into increased self-confidence in the classroom and the discipline to achieve difficult goals. KEEP will conduct 50 classes per week in its partner schools with classes ranging in size between 20-45 dancers. A Teaching Artist and Musician who has been extensively trained in the NDI methodology teaches each class. Students participating in KEEP’s programming experience a fast-paced, challenging, inclusive, and fun approach to learning dance technique and the meaning of excellence. The dance style is based on pedestrian movement and is characterized by clapping, stomping, stepping, leaping, and executing all steps with maximum energy, precision, and total physical commitment.

KEEP’s program is performance-based, and all activities during the school year are geared toward the school-wide assemblies in December and end-of-year performances in May. The assemblies and performances allow students to demonstrate what they have learned and gain positive reinforcement from peers, teachers, parents, and community members. In addition to the end-of-year performances conducted at each partner school in May and as part of its Theatre Experience Program, KEEP will host the performance event, The Power of Love, at El Paso’s historic Plaza Theatre on May 20-23, 2024. The show will feature approximately 250 students from KEEP’s partner schools. Students will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend time rehearsing and performing on The Plaza Theatre’s majestic stage in front of an estimated 6,000-member audience.



Partner Schools


Classes per Week


Dancers per Class


Specialized Learners Program

KEEP is a full inclusion program and engages all students it serves regardless of physical, cognitive, or behavioral ability. KEEP maintains its Specialized Learners Program to serve students with learning differences and support its mission of teaching all children in an environment that best fits their learning and skills. Each year, KEEP typically serves more than 150 children who are challenged with physical and/or cognitive disability. The program engages students in weekly dance classes taught by a trained Teaching Artist and Musician.

In addition, Kids Excel partners with Jennifer Dahlgren, of Let Your Hands Be Heard, to provide annual workshops for our teaching artists and musicians. The sessions consist of training in American Sign Language, non-verbal communication, team building, and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA). This skill set is then taken into the KEEP classroom to reach students with developmental diagnoses, empower all students with communication access, and provide opportunities for all children regardless of differences in age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, race, religion, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status.

In the spring of 2021, selected KEEP staff completed a DREAM (Dancers Realize Excellence through Arts and Movement) program training led by NDI Artistic Director, Kay Gainer, and Pediatric Physical Therapist, Agnes McConologue Ferro. This month-long workshop focused on best practices and strategies to ensure equitable inclusion for children of varying abilities, as well as tools to effectively differentiate instruction and highlight and develop every dancer.


Please make your donation online by clicking the button or by mailing your donation to:

Kids Excel El Paso  |  P.O. Box 920144  |  El Paso, Texas 79902

Out-of-School Programming

Each year, amazingly talented and motivated students from our in-school programs are recruited to participate in Kids Excel Scholarship programs. These weekend and after-school classes offer children from across the city an opportunity to collaborate and work toward excellence, celebrating each other’s successes and bringing the community together through the joy of live performance.

Super Wonderful Advanced Team (SWAT)
The Kids Excel SWAT Team is composed of 75 – 125 dancers selected from our Program each year. SWAT dancers gather at Kids Excel Headquarters every Saturday from January through May. At the same time, these dancers participate in the In-School Program, serving as role models for their peers at school. All SWAT dancers learn advanced choreography and perform in the year-end gala performance at the Plaza Theatre. This is Kids Excel’s only annual fundraiser and is a professional production featuring live music and professionally designed sets, costumes, and lighting.

Since that time, Kids Excel has endured, touching the lives of more than 38,000 children in El Paso. Today, we maintain a waiting list of schools in our partner districts and constantly field inquiries from charter schools and other independent educational institutions. It is our hope and vision to one day be able to serve every child in El Paso County.

Celebration Team
The Celebration Team consists of KEEP’s more accomplished SWAT dancers who wish to continue their experience with KEEP and develop their proficiency levels. Celebration Team members can perform with the team until they enter high school. The Kids Excel Celebration Team represents the organization at various special events and fundraising initiatives around the city. They also perform at the year-end gala performance at The Plaza Theatre. Celebration Team rehearsals take place after school and are held at the studios at Kids Excel Headquarters.

Tiny Tots
An early childhood scholarship program for 20-25 children ages 3-9 who wish to participate in a weekly after-school arts program. Classes take place at KEEP Headquarters from January through May of each year. Children participating in this program also participate in the year-end gala performance at the Plaza Theatre.


Partner Schools / 2023-2024

Kids Excel classes are conducted on the campus of each of our 21 partner schools. Because in-school classes are held for the entire fourth-grade level as part of the school day, children who might not have the resources to participate in extra-curricular arts activities have the opportunity to expand their horizons and experience quality dance and music education. All Kids Excel in-school programs are free to children and their families.

If you are interested in becoming a Kids Excel partner school, the first thing you must do is secure a spot on the waiting list in your district. To be added to the list, please ask the principal or other school administrator/representative to contact the main office of your district. For specific contact information please visit:

You can also contact Barbara Bustamante, Associate Director/Kids Excel, at: or (915)351-6999


Archie Duran
Don Haskins
Zach White




Eastwood Heights
North Loop
Ramona STEM


La Fe Preparatory



Excerpt from our show Queen Bee Celebrating Women Who Rocked The World

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