Early years are formative for all people, no matter where they come from. Schools can be venues for rote learning, but they can also be spaces in which educators help crack open some of the judgments and assumptions that children begin to form especially if they have not been exposed to other cultures, languages, or people who break with conventional expectations. Allowing young people to interact through conversation and the arts across cultural divides is key for cross-cultural understanding and a larger definition of community. The connections that occur between the Ugandan and American children in school outreaches are profound, and can last a lifetime.
Extended residencies lead to culminating performances where Dance of Hope performers from Uganda and local students work together and give a performance for their school, parents, or local community at the end of the program.
During extended residencies local students that participate in Jazz bands, choral groups, dance groups as well as non music students get to learn from Dance of Hope performers and at the end of the residency they all have the opportunity to perform with Dance of Hope children on the same stage.