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Our Story

Founded in Front Royal, VA in September of 2014, founder Alyssa Crump created Connect the Dots Dance LLC as an organization that would offer arts education through dance to area youth. Connect the Dots Dance LLC would also act as a contributing creative force within the community, bringing the art of dance to the public. Connect the Dots Dance LLC began these efforts first by creating the Connect the Dots Dance Ensemble, and second through teaching dance in school programs, both during and after school. 


Connect the Dots Dance Ensemble

Connect the Dots Dance Ensemble began in September of 2014 with and inaugural class of 4 ensemble members. This dance ensemble, a project of Connect the Dots Dance LLC, is a performance ensemble that gives students the opportunity to learn new dance techniques and movement ideas, as well as giving them added opportunities to perform. Connect the Dots Dance Ensemble brings dance performances to public spaces within the community throughout the year. Since beginning in September of 2014, CTDDE has performed at and/or partnered with the Festival of Leaves, The Blue Ridge Arts Council, Samuels Public Library, and the Warren County Community Center. CTDDE also looks for ways to connect with other arts organizations in the area, such as Selah Theatre Project, showcasing the collaborative nature of The Arts as a whole and how we can all work together.


       How Does it Work?

  • Connect the Dots Dance Ensemble accepts all levels of dancers, from beginner to advanced! Never danced before- doesn't matter. Come join us and explore the world of movement and performance. You just might like it. 

  • Connect the Dots Dance Ensemble is open to students grade 6-12 who attend public, private, or home school programs.

  • Connect the Dots Dance Ensemble holds 2 auditions each year: once in September and once in January. New members are required to audition. Returning members are asked to re-audition each September. For more information on auditioning, check out our "Audition" page. 

  • Members of CTDDE rehearse once a week for 2 hours. Rehearsals usually consist of 1 hour of dance technique and 1 hour of learning new repetiore or rehearsal of current repetiore.

  • CTDDE builds a repetiore, or a stock of dances, over the school year, which they then in turn perform for the public. CTDDE is constantly learning new dance work throughout the year.

  • CTDDE technique classes and dance works are taught and/or choreographed by Founder Alyssa Crump, as well as guest artists.

  • Guest Artists are brought in to share new ideas and experiences with students, giving them a varied education.



To create a youth dance ensemble that brings youth of the county together to create and perform dance works. Dance works will include educational content and the program will teach youth life skills such as creative problem solving, time management, responsibility, collaboration, and self-confidence. This program will bring an opportunity to students in the community to perform and learn about dance technique and performance- creating more artistic opportunity and a sense of community for the youth of Warren County, as they all work towards one goal.


School Programs

The next phase of Connect the Dots Dance brings dance education into the public schools. By bringing dance education into the traditional classroom, Connect the Dots Dance is able to offer accessible arts education to a variety of students from different backgrounds, as well as reach students who may not have approached the arts on their own. Connect the Dots Dance is currently bringing dance education into the public school classroom in two ways:


         School's Out! After-School Program

Through the Warren Coalition and Selah Theatre Project, Connect the Dots Dance is bringing a jazz/hip hop class to students in the Warren   County Middle School after-school program, "School's Out!" Participants include boys and girls grades 6-7.


       Elementary School Dance Residency

Presented by Blue Ridge Arts Council and Warren County Public Schools, during the month of April 2015, Connect the Dots will be presented a dance residency to 3rd grade students in each of the 5 elementary schools in Warren County. This residency was a multidisciplinary dance/music/literary arts workshop. In this lesson, students were introduced to jazz dance and jazz music, both uniquely American art forms, and explored basic movements, melodies, and poetic methods. They explored basic jazz dance movements, and learned a cinquain poem associated with jazz music, and then set dance to the poem. The workshop was taught during either the Music or PE specials during the regular school day.  


The residency brought dance to the children of Warren County Public Schools, fulfilling Music SOL requirements for Grade 3.  This introduced the students to concepts and creative ways of learning through performing arts, and connected the students to Music SOL’s as noted below:


  • 3.4 The student will respond to music with movement.

    • Perform line and circle dances.

    • Perform dances and games from various cultures.

    • Dramatize songs, stories, and poems.

    • Perform choreographed and non-choreographed movements.

  • 3.11 The student will explore the music of world cultures through song, dance, and movement.

    • Listen to examples of instruments not traditionally found in bands or orchestras.

    • Interpret music through movement.

    • Perform traditional dances.

  • 3.14 The student will exhibit respect for the contributions of self and others in a music setting.

    • Contribute to a group effort of listening to music.

    • Participate in music activities that involve sharing, taking turns, and other ways of

              demonstrating good citizenship.

  • 3.15 The student will describe the relationships between music and other disciplines.


Growing up in Front Royal, VA, Founder Alyssa Crump noticed that arts opportunities were few and far between within her town and county. The closest opportunities for arts instruction were found at least 45 minutes away, if not further. Though some arts instruction was offered in schools, it usually only consisted of visual art, band, and chorus, and was not enough time or instruction to fully engage a student in a whole arts education or allow said students to discover their full artistic potential. When beginning college at Virginia Commonwealth University, Alyssa was surprised to find that in other regions and states students had a vast array of artistic opportunities ranging from programs offered by those students' local professional arts companies to magnet and performing arts high schools. If those students could have access to arts programs in their communities, then why couldn't the students of Front Royal/ Warren County? Connect the Dots Dance was created to bring the youth of the community that extra arts education that they may not receive within their schools or regular extracurricular arts classes, as well as to make The Arts accessible to all youth in the community, engaging and educating at the same time. 


The Arts are not only a way to open up a student's creative potential but also teach students valuable life skills. The Washington Post published the following list in 2013, showcasing the importance of arts education:


Top 10 Skills Children Learn From the Arts

  1. Creativity

  2. Confidence

  3. Problem Solving

  4. Perserverance

  5. Focus

  6. Non-verbal Communication

  7. Receiving Contruction Feedback

  8. Collaboration

  9. Dedication

  10. Accountability


Click here to see the full article. 


These are just 10 of many skills that children learn though the arts that lead to becoming succesful students and adults. 


What's in a Name?

The name Connect the Dots holds many hidden meanings...


  • Connect the Dots Dance is meant to CONNECT students to different arts forms (the dots).

  • Connect the Dots Dance CONNECTS youth in the community (the dots) to one another.

  • Connect the Dots Dance CONNECTS arts education (the dots) with core education (more dots) such as language arts, science, math, history, music, and physical education.

  • Connect the Dots Dance CONNECTS the community (the dots) to arts performances and programming (more dots).

  • Connect the Dots Dance CONNECTS multiple art forms (the dots) together through partnerships with other arts projects.

  • The DOTS in the name Connect the Dots is actually an acronym for Daughter Of The Stars (D.O.T.S.). Daughter of the Stars is the Native American meaning of the word Sheandoah, which is the valley in which Front Royal/ Warren County resides. 



Alyssa N. Crump, Director & Teaching Artist


Alyssa has been dancing since age five; taking Ballet, Modern Dance, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tap, and Pointe. In 2010 Alyssa graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance and Choreography. Since graduating from VCU, Alyssa has interned for the American Dance Festival and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Alyssa then worked for the National Dance Association (NDA). Alyssa has taught at the Ol’ Soft Shoe Dance Workshop in Front Royal, VA and Luray Fitness Center in Luray, VA. She currently teaches dance and at the Shenandoah Conservatory Arts Academy in Winchester, VA and the Front Royal Dance Studio in Front Royal, VA. Miss Alyssa has been involved in teaching in-school dance residencies and workshops for the students of Warren County Public Schools, and in December of 2013 she choreographed for the Warren County-Wide musical, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." In 2013 Alyssa received her Level 1 Teaching Certification in Elemental Body Alignment System (EBAS), which she taught at Dominion Health and Fitness Center in Front Royal, VA. In 2014 Miss Alyssa created Connect the Dots Dance LLC in Front Royal, VA to bring dance workshops, school residencies, and a youth dance ensemble to the community. Miss Alyssa is currently completing her Masters degree in Arts Management at George Mason University. 

Stephanie Parkinson, Guest Artist


Stephanie has over 12 years of dance experience and has been teaching for the past 4 years. She began her dancing career at Southern Delaware School of the Arts, continued her training at the Sussex Dance Academy under the direction of Kate Downs Walker, and also studied through Sussex Central High School under the direction of Michelle Xiques. In her early years of dancing, Stephanie participated in the Alba, Italy International Intensive and the Virginia School of the Arts Summer Intensive.   


Stephanie trained extensively at Shenandoah Conservatory, graduating with a BFA as Magna Cum Laude in 2011. She had worked closely with, and performed works by each faculty member, as well as being featured in works by guest artists. Since college Stephanie has worked along side professional companies including the Moving People Dance Theatre, Luna Negra Dance Theatre, and Rubberbandance Group.  She has performed with Ekilibre Dance Company as a soloist and ensemble dancer for several years and toured throughout the East Coast and South America. Currently Stephanie is in her second season as a company member with Gainesville Ballet.  


Stephanie is the current owner of Front Royal Dance Studio and has taught at Gainesville Ballet School, Ol‘ Soft Shoe Dance Workshop, Pam Danza Teatro and Patrick County Dancing Arts Center.  She has also worked with students in choreography projects and has had her work shown throughout the East Cost area. The summer of 2013 Stephanie traveled to Guayaquil, Ecuador to set works on students of the Pam Danza Teatro School.

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