About Our Company

“The Dancers,” a working title that began back in September of 2000, has evolved into a pre-professional dance company and school for emerging artists in the community with Down syndrome.

How We Got Started

“The Dancers,” a working title that began back in September of 2000, has evolved into a pre-professional dance company and school for emerging artists in the community with Down syndrome.

The Company evolved from a one night commitment to entertain for Special Kids and Families (SKF) at a dinner celebrating its 15 years of early intervention service. Six of the first graduates of SKF were asked to perform. An original board member and mom of SKF asked Darlene Winters to choreograph a short program. During the three months of rehearsal, both a fellowship among Darlene, the dancers and the parents and the desire to dance as an ensemble developed. In February 2001 parents, dancers and Darlene enthusiastically regrouped to begin weekly classes.

The expansion of Company d over the years has been driven by the dancers’ continued development in technique and artistry as well as the commitment to attend scheduled classes. Company d student dancers represent three counties in the Mid-south, six high schools, post secondary education at the University of Memphis and various places of employment. The students of Company d are active self-advocates for all individuals with Down syndrome. Emersion within the community is unique to the abilities and talents of each dancer. Outside the studio the dancers can be recognized for leadership in their schools; athletics, civic and volunteer programs; faith-based ministries; community theatres; visual arts; and aspirations to pursue college curriculum study. Company d dancers strive to live independently as contributing citizens to their community.

Development Milestones

Getting Started

2001: “The Dancers” Weekly Classes Begin

2002: Hope Presbyterian Church, Memphis TN provides space for Company d to offer classes

2007: Company d launched its first website

2007: Hutchison School Hosts Our Summer Workshop

Hutchison School, Memphis, TN began hosting the annual Performing Arts Summer Workshop Intensive; a collaborative relationship that broadened the scope of training for the dancers, connected master artists in the community and an inclusive experience for area high school, college and master level students to train and intern during the two week period

Growing Period

2009: Public Charity -Nonprofit Status 501(c) (3)

2011: Company d name is trademarked

Company d name trademark Int.Class:41- entertainment and education services in the nature of live dance and musical performances United States patent and Trademark Office

2014: Company d moves to new studio

In 2014 Company d moves to 708 Brookhaven Circle, a dance studio with appropriate space to broaden outreach to a younger population of future dancers.

Making a Difference

Performing at the national, regional and local levels, Company d has performed for various audiences, ranging from statewide teaching conferences and faith-based ministries to business professionals within the community.

View Our Performance History