A Note from Our Founder

Our Mission

Our History

Our Impact

Our Curriculum

Our Company

Our Show

"CityStep awoke and nurtured in me something that has grown strong and healthy: it made me want to perform. I am still trying to find the CityStep for adults."

--Casey Affleck, actor and former CityStep kid

All About CityStep

Below is where you can find all the basics about who we are and what we do! Interested in learning more? Read a note from our founder to get a sense of CityStep's vision and values as far back as 1983! You can also brush up on the history of the organization, get the inside scoop on the CityStep curriculum, find out about the social impact of CityStep, learn about the structure of the undergraduate company, and read all about the end-of-the-year show. It's hard to get a true sense of CityStep's incredible energy and spirit without seeing a performance, attending a rehearsal—or even just asking someone involved with the program about his or her experiences. If you're interested in hearing even more, send us an email... and if you're inspired, please get in touch to find out how you can get involved!

What is CityStep?

CityStep is a unique organization run entirely by undergraduates that introduces public school youth to the performing arts as an outlet for creative self-expression, a tool for building self-esteem, and a means to mutual understanding.

CityStep was founded in 1983 in Cambridge, MA, by then-Harvard undergraduate Sabrina Peck, '84. Today the program is one of the largest student organizations on Harvard's campus: approximately 75 undergraduates work together to serve over 100 Cambridge public school children annually.

Through a year-long, in- and after-school dance-theater curriculum based on the Massachusetts Arts Curriculum Framework, CityStep offers students a valuable creative supplement to their traditional education. Each week, teams of undergraduates travel to local schools to teach and mentor middle school children, reaching them during their critical pre-teen years when tools for strengthening self-expression and self-esteem are crucial. Entire classrooms participate—children are not individually pre-selected based on talent or inclination. Additional teams work with students who have completed at least a year of CityStep and choose to continue in after-school programs. The middle school and the college students work together to challenge themselves and each other in a mutually enriching collaborative relationship. Each year's partnership culminates in a completely original and thematically relevant dance-theater performance that all participants help to create, bringing together parents and teachers, peers and professors, citizens and local leaders in an outpouring of community support.

CityStep provides the opportunity for public school youth to...

• LEARN new skills and discover latent talents in dance, choreography, acting, improvisation, performance, and more.
• DEVELOP new bonds with classmates while working together towards a common goal, learning in the process to respect each other's points of view.
• EXPERIENCE their ideas and contributions as important as they participate fully in the creation of the final performance.
• FORGE meaningful and lasting relationships with undergraduate role models, who make college and success in life seem accessible.
• ENJOY the support of friends and family, classroom and community, as they bring focused and sustained efforts to fruition.

CityStep provides the opportunity for college undergraduates to...

• REACH OUT beyond campus walls to learn from and make a difference in the local community.
• TAKE ON leadership positions of real responsibility in a complex and self-sufficient organization—doing everything from running a classroom to running a nonprofit.
• WORK WITH a diverse group of fellow students and local youth from different backgrounds and with different interests towards a common goal.
• TEAM UP with other performers, musicians, composers, dancers, actors, choreographers, and designers working at a high level of artistic expression.

Contact Us... We'd love to hear from you!
harvardcollege@citystep.org     1 University Hall, Cambridge, MA 02138