STEM From Dance

Using dance to teach girls code By Elise Tigges
Stem from Dance


STEM From Dance is a non-profit organization that combines dance and STEM to empower young girls and encourage them to pursue this predominately male field. It gives young women in low-income communities the opportunity to learn coding and discover a unique form of creativity. First founded in 2011 by Yamilée Toussant, an engineering graduate from MIT, the organization is now in schools and community centres across New York City.

Toussant noticed a lack of diversity throughout university and, as a woman of colour, felt under-represented in her field. Following her graduation, she went on to work for Teach for America as a math teacher in Brooklyn, New York. There, she saw an opportunity to use dance as a way to engage young women in STEM subjects that they may not otherwise feel they had the capability of pursuing.

Programs generally last ten to twelve weeks, where students have the opportunity to work with dance and STEM experts to build a project that incorporates both dance and coding.

Dance is an empowering form of expression and shares a key set of skills with STEM work that are needed for success in the both fields. Creativity and collaboration will give these young women skills that will take them far in whatever field they choose to pursue. Many girls come out of the program with a new understanding of how much creativity coding involves, and the ability to think beyond what they thought was possible.

In Canada Simcoe Contemporary Dancers presented a workshop this September in Barrie, Ontario, demonstrating the relationship between choreography and coding through Sarah Lochhead’s piece, Dactyl. This event also included a presentation by Ladies Learning Code about the opportunities in technology and coding. These demonstrations took place at the McLaren Art Centre as a part of Carnegie Days.

Learn more about STEM from Dance >> stemfromdance.org

Learn more about Simcoe Contemporary Dancers >> simcoecontemporarydancers.com

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