Our flagship program, CREATE, is an exemplary creative youth development program.  CREATE’s unique curriculum combines technical dance training with self-reflection, leadership training, and social change themes.

  • Our legacy CREATE program runs March through July and encompasses the trancsenDANCE Performance Group and the annual summer performance in a professional theater
  • CREATE Express Camps are a condensed version of our highly-successful legacy program and are offered in partnership with various San Diego high schools during school breaks
The goals of our legacy program and the camp experience are the same:
  • To use movement, dance, written and spoken word, and creative journaling work to explore one’s voice and authentic expression
  • To give teens a rich experience with peer collaboration
  • To give teens the opportunity to be reflective about self in the context of the world around them
  • To give teens the opportunity to work with local professional and practicing artists
  • To connect young people to foster a sense of belonging and reduce feelings of isolation as a young generation
  • To break down barriers and preconceived ideas about others who come from different backgrounds and life circumstances
  • To increase social emotional resiliency through the arts
  • To have students see themselves as artists, leaders, community builders, and individuals capable of making a positive impact in the world
Program days involve: 
  • Daily Dance Classes (Hip Hop, Contemporary, Latin, and/or Improvisation Techniques)
  • Facilitated Expressive Arts work (movement/creative writing/rhythm work/drawing/drama/spoken word)
  • Facilitated Peer-to-Peer Dialogue about the creative work, personal narratives, social issues
  • Small Group Work led by Professional Dance Teaching Artists to co-create original material
  • Informal sharing of creative work with each other/school staff/parents, guardians or friend








More about the CREATE Program
Through our legacy CREATE program we get to do our deepest work with 20 – 25 teens selected every year through an audition process to become a part of the transcenDANCE Performance Group.  The group explores dance and the performing arts through technical training and choreography.  Students work daily in the National City studio throughout the summer months in collaboration with professional dance instructors, choreographers, teaching artists, transcenDANCE graduates and staff.  This intensive program culminates in an annual performance, produced in a professional venue and open to the public. Dynamic choreography is accompanied by live music, spoken word, professional media and video content.

At workshops, our three-day spring retreat, and through the summer intensive (30 hours a week), our dancers learn about social change, build trustful relationships with adults and peers, receive therapeutic services, and are encouraged to expand their ambitions.  Throughout their time with us, our students create performances, a supportive community, and change.

Through their mentoring and strong belief in Creative Youth Development our staff, artists, and alumni provide our students assistance in developing competence as dancers, team players, and community builders; which builds confidence and creates motivation to go beyond the limits they experience in their lives.

transcenDANCE also creates employment by bringing back our alumni as paid teaching artists, performers and choreographers, leadership team members, and other roles that support our annual performance and artist in residency programs. Five transcenDANCE alumni joined our year-long 2017 residency at the San Diego International Airport.

Past CREATE themes and performances:

2017: United We Move
2016: 10 x Change
2015: Me to We
2014: Because… I’m Still Becoming
2012: Peace of Courage
2011: Exit In