DYCD’s Step It Up NYC initiative began in 2009 as a youth engagement program focused on fusing the passion to move with the drive to create change. The aim of the initiative is to leverage the performing arts to build community leadership capacity in young people ages 10-20. Through the competition, dance and step teams plan community service projects and develop citywide social campaigns to speak up about issues that impact their communities, including education, health, equality and opportunity, peace and tolerance, and safe communities.
In a dynamic final showcase that serves as a catalyst to engage families and the community in the work of the young people, the top teams are judged on stage performances infused with their social causes.
In 2017, nearly 100 teams and more than 1000 young people entered the Step It Up NYC competition to bring social change to the stage. Congratulations to the following teams who took home trophies during the final showcase at Harlem's world famous Apollo Theater.
Junior Division Champions: Storming Steppers - NIA/New Voices
Second Place: Diversity Step Team - Sports and Arts in School Foundation (SASF) at MS 663K
Third Place: KIPP AMP D.T. - KIPP NYC at KIPP AMP After School Program
Senior Division Champions: Left Our Mark - CAMBA at Beacon 271/Mott Hall IV
Second Place: Untouchable Legacy - SQPA at Roy Wilkins Family Center
Third Place: No Name Necessary - Good Shepherd Services at Madiba Prep Middle School