An after-school program at Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier is celebrating its 20th year in operation.
Started in 1998, Club Joe’s offers dance, music, performance and visual arts lessons as an after-care program, during the school year, from 2 to 6 p.m. for children aged 5 to 13 attending Mount Rainier, Thomas Stone, Glenarden Woods, Cesar Chavez, Hyattsville, University Park and Riverdale Elementary schools.
“Club Joe’s has grown and changed with our community,” marketing director Neena Narayanan told the Hyattsville Wire. “From a small program that began with a few kids in Joe’s Movement Emporium’s original location on 34th Street, Club Joe’s is now at capacity serving over 80 kids.”
The state-certified arts education program features local dancers and choreographers from around the DMV area, teaching everything from hip hop and modern dance to salsa and bachata. Each fall and spring students show off the moves they’ve learned in a performance, with older kids contributing original choreography.
The program has had one huge success. Area parent David Navari recently reached out to share that his daughter Bianca, who started dancing at Club Joe’s at age 8 in 2005, had graduated from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow with a degree in ballet.
Because of high demand for programs for five- and six-year-olds, Joe’s is also working with Prince George’s County public schools to expand a modified program at Thomas Stone Elementary School in Mount Rainier.
Founded in 1995 by Brooke Kidd and Ajax Joe Drayton, Joe’s Movement Emporium is now the largest independent performing arts center in Prince George’s County, In addition to Club Joe’s, it also offers a variety of classes for children of all ages as well as Camp Joe’s, its popular summer camp program.