After School

Step It Up NYC

Audio Description: Each year, nearly 100 teams and more than 1000 young people audition for Step It Up NYC, creating positive change across all five boroughs.

DYCD’s Step It Up NYC initiative began in 2009 as a youth engagement program focused on fusing the passion to move with the drive to create change. The aim of the initiative is to leverage the performing arts to build community leadership capacity in young people ages 10-20.  Through the competition, dance and step teams plan community service projects and develop citywide social campaigns to speak up about issues that impact their communities, including education, health, equality and opportunity, peace and tolerance, and safe communities.

In a dynamic final showcase that serves as a catalyst to engage families and the community in the work of the young people, the top teams are judged on stage performances infused with their social causes. 

Auditions for the Step It Up NYC competition take place each winter. For more information, sign-up for DYCD’s strategic partnerships newsletter, or email

You can also learn how youth have activated in their communities during past Step It Up NYC competitions on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter using the hashtag #StepItUpNYC, and watch videos from each year’s campaign on DYCD’s YouTube page: