History of RDDC
RDDC is a 501(c)3 organization based in the United States. Working closely with international partners and RDDC field staff, the organization has run ongoing youth dance projects in three focus countries : Rwanda, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Guinea. Each program is based on a standardized model created by RDDC and then tailored to the specific needs of the at-risk population being served.
The present international orientation of RDDC is the company’s second growth phase. The company was created in 2005 with a focus on developing original, full-length contemporary ballets based on famous literary works, significant historical events and modern social issues.
With its home base in Philadelphia, RDDC premiered a total of six ballets with its troupe of professional dancers: Antigone (2006), Helen Keller (2007), DARFUR (2008), Greed: The Tale of Enron (2009), Van Gogh (2009), and Braving the New World (2010). At the same time, RDDC ran a pre-professional training program for 12-18 year olds that utilized a combination of ballet, jazz and modern classes to develop diversified young dancers.
After creating the 2008 production entitled DARFUR, founder Rebecca Davis began traveling to post-genocide countries to examine the effects of ethnic conflict and the steps towards reconciliation. During her travels, she discovered a parallel: street children had a deep love of dance. Returning to RDDC in Philadelphia, she decided to begin projects abroad that would give street children a safe haven through dance classes.
As Rebecca’s knowledge and experience grew in the field of international development, she realized that RDDC could be positioned to help children in post-conflict areas if the dance lessons were combined with an educational model to develop street children’s basic skills. In 2010, the RDDC Board of Directors decided to re-orient the company to solely focus on developing these programs abroad.
Presently, RDDC has local staff in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Guinea and Rwanda. These teams work with RDDC/USA to operate the children’s programs and host international dance instructors and educational specialists to provide the ongoing services to the local population.
Going forward, RDDC aims to strengthen and expand its programs within these three countries – providing further and greater opportunities for youth who need a chance to thrive and succeed in life.