ADSF and Baila4Life HISTORY
The After School Dance Fund was founded by Ricardo Loaiza in 2010, although the Latin dance program actually began in 1999 as a small competition at Seneca Valley High School. Only a few schools competed in these early years, but the enthusiastic and quickly growing attendance of the community to the popular Montgomery County Public Schools Latin Dance Competition encouraged Loaiza to take the program to the next step. The competition needed a larger venue than the traditional school auditorium or gym, where it had been held for the first ten years of its existence.
Since then, ADSF has grown into a year-long educational program with an annual event that defines Hispanic heritage in Montgomery County Public Schools. In addition to a growing Latina/o/x cultural heritage building, the program invites other diverse student populations in Montgomery County to come together and learn some of the most popular dances in the United States and the world today. This event encourages students to work as a team, and compete with good sportsmanship against other area schools, and to showcase the four most popular Latin dances to a wide audience.
Students who might normally not get involved in extracurricular activities, now may join their After School Dance Club to discover a sense of school and individual pride. This competition allows parents and our community to get involved and share the pride of the Hispanic/Latin heritage through dance.
In 2012, the After School Dance Fund expanded its operations and has had pilot projects individually with some , D.C. public schools (Wilson, CHEC, Roosevelt and Cardozo) and DC Charter schools (Next Step, E.L. Haynes).
The DC Regional HS Latin dance competitions has been supported in the past by the Latin American Youth Center and the Washington Performing Arts (WPA's) and took place at the auditoriums at Wilson HS, CHEC, Cardozo. In more recent years we moved it to the Lincoln Theater and since 2018 ASDF presents the DC Regional HS Latin dance competition at the Kennedy Center' Millennium Stage on Memorial Day as part of the DCPS music Festival week .