Club Dance Team Shapes Culture at John Muir Middle School


(Members of  John Muir Middle School Dance Team pose with their coach after a performance at Lula Washington Dance Theatre)

“Five-six- seven-eight!”


These are the words you hear when you first enter the gym doors at John Muir Middle School followed by the steps of a small but mighty group of young girls and boys meticulously perfecting every step in preparation for their next big performance.


The John Muir Middle School Dance Team started in 2017 under the leadership of Site Director and dancer, Chatiera Ray. In 2018, Ms. Ray brought in the support of professional dancer, choreographer, and educator James McQueen to further cultivate the team’s skills. The kid’s say, Mr. James is firm, but teaches them important values like respect and teamwork.


This year has been full of accomplishments for these young people. Most notable was their special African themed performance at Lula Washington Dance Theatre. But the team is focused on more than just sharpening dance moves and creating routines, they are devoted to creating an environment where each member works to challenge and support each other.


Zahnai, Club member, future dance professional, and team co-captain says,


“Our greatest accomplishment is learning how to work as a team. We have argued plenty of times, but in the end we always come together.”


At the Club, we are helping kids build healthy habits that will last a lifetime, but we can’t do it alone. The team is currently looking for volunteer dance instructors, performance opportunities, and resources to make costumes.


For more information on how you can support future dance professionals in our community , contact Tiffany at

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