Description & History

About YDR Young Dancers in Repertory (YDR) impacts the lives of its young students, helping them grow into productive adults. Husband and wife team, Craig Gabrian and Carol Mezzacappa, founded YDR in 1985 as a pre-professional Teenage Touring Ensemble in South Brooklyn. They sought to provide professional training for Brooklyn’s underserved youth. In response to community demand, YDR began classes for the general public, opening its Center for Dance Studies in 1995 and adding Arts-in-Education programs in 1996. In 2008, YDR began providing year-round, afterschool, multi-disciplinary arts programming at P.S. 127 in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. Two years after opening the Center for Dance Studies, YDR was named a "Community Asset" by the New York Foundation for the Arts. In 2000, YDR became a member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts. Most recently in May 2009, YDR was honored with the Frank C. Spinner, Jr. Award for Public Service by the Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation. Today, through year-round programming, YDR serves nearly 4,000 children and brings the joy of dance to a total audience of nearly 10,000. Goals Without supervision or mentors, underserved youth located in the inner city, such as those YDR serves, are prime targets for negative influences. YDR created much of its programming for underserved youth between the ages of 4 – 18 to meet these specific needs: • Help children and youth develop new skills that build self-esteem and self-discipline through dance—preparing them for the future. • Increase access to dance for more children and youth in South Brooklyn, regardless of one’s age, aptitude or ability to pay for classes. • Ensure students progress in their knowledge, capability and appreciation of dance and the arts. • Ensure students progress in artistry and ability by learning and performing dance. • Provide positive activities to engage youth who might otherwise be idle and involved in illegal activities. • Foster better communication among the youth of the community’s varied ethnic groups. New Initiative YDR is embarking on a multi-year enrollment building campaign entitled Access to Excellence in Dance: our goal to more than double enrollment in our Center for Dance Studies and Teenage Touring Ensemble. Even with subsidized classes, many families in our community are unable to participate without partial or full scholarship support. As more needy children and youth begin to participate in the program, your support will be vital to the continuation of our services.

About the organization

Young Dancers In Repertory

Craig Gibrian
Executive Director
Organization’s website: