The Kennedy Center

Dance Institute of Washington


Dance Institute of Washington provides youth the opportunity to develop artistically, socially, emotionally and intellectually through dance. DIW operates a school, outreach, youth ensemble, and professional company, granting youth from diverse backgrounds the chance to experience the performing arts and develop skills. The late Fabian Barnes established DIW in 1987 after a career with Dance Theatre of Harlem. He sought to provide DC youth the same opportunity DTH gave him. DIW has grown to be one of DC's largest African American arts organizations and a cultural resource. In 2006 DIW opened its dance center in Columbia Heights. Graduates go on to Harvard, Temple, Howard and SUNY Purchase; others enter careers with Ballet San Jose, Suzanne Farrell Ballet, The Lion King and DTH.

Alexis Miller (choreographer) was born in DC and began dancing at DIW. She graduated from Baltimore School for the Arts and then from U of the Arts in Philadelphia. Alexis moved back to DC to teach at DIW. Alexis has trained with Orlando Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Washington Ballet, Maryland Youth Ballet, Alvin Ailey, and more. DIW’s registrar, she is also an expert teacher and choreographer.

Watch Past Performances

Video 7/28/2018: Millennium Stage Performance at National Dance Day

Celebrate National Dance Day with the Kennedy Center and Dizzy Feet Foundation! Enjoy performances from local Contradiction Dance Theatre, the DEA Youth Dance Program, Dance Institute of Washington, and CityDance Conservatory and DREAM programs. The Millennium Stage hour will end with the whole crowd up and moving with this year’s official National Dance Day routine, led by So You Think You Can Dance All-Star Comfort Fedoke!