Share |

The Wooden Floor for Youth Movement

 1810 N Main Street
 Santa Ana, CA 92706
[P] (714) 541-8314 x 136
[F] (714) 541-2150
[email protected]
Dawn Reese
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA The Wooden Floor
Former Names Saint Joseph Ballet Company (2009)
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Employer Identification Number 33-0299356 00000


Mission StatementMORE »

The Wooden Floor brings about generational change to break the cycle of poverty for children and families in Orange County, California. Our goal is to teach young people what it takes to succeed in school and life. At The Wooden Floor, children learn how to move forward, out of poverty, into lives filled with potential. The Wooden Floor mission is to empower low-income youth to strengthen self-esteem, self-discipline and their sense of accomplishment through dance, academic and family programs.

Mission Statement

The Wooden Floor brings about generational change to break the cycle of poverty for children and families in Orange County, California. Our goal is to teach young people what it takes to succeed in school and life. At The Wooden Floor, children learn how to move forward, out of poverty, into lives filled with potential. The Wooden Floor mission is to empower low-income youth to strengthen self-esteem, self-discipline and their sense of accomplishment through dance, academic and family programs.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2020
Projected Expenses $3,383,500.00
Projected Revenue $3,383,500.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Dance Education and Performance
  • Academic, College & Career Readiness Program
  • Family Services

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2018 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

The Wooden Floor brings about generational change to break the cycle of poverty for children and families in Orange County, California. Our goal is to teach young people what it takes to succeed in school and life. At The Wooden Floor, children learn how to move forward, out of poverty, into lives filled with potential. The Wooden Floor mission is to empower low-income youth to strengthen self-esteem, self-discipline and their sense of accomplishment through dance, academic and family programs.

Background Statement

Founded in 1983, The Wooden Floor is one of the foremost creative youth development nonprofit organizations in the country. We transform the lives of young people in low-income communities through the power of dance and access to higher education. In Orange County and through national licensed partners, we use a long-term approach grounded in exploratory dance education to foster the confidence and gifts within each child to innovate, communicate, and collaborate – skills necessary for success in school and in life. 100 percent of students who graduate from The Wooden Floor immediately enroll in higher education. Our students become change agents and beacons of hope within their own families, their neighborhoods, our community, and our world.

 Our comprehensive strategy and mentoring relationships that last up to 10 years, give youth the tools and guidance to overcome difficult socioeconomic hardships.
  • Dance education and performance help youth develop the ability to reach their full potential.
  • Academic programs, college and career readiness, and college scholarships ensure that our students succeed in school and are college-ready.
  • Family Services – counseling, crisis intervention and social service referrals – help families overcome socioeconomic hardships.

36 years experience yield outstanding outcomes: since 2005, 100% of graduates from The Wooden Floor have enrolled in college, at a rate more than twice the national average for their peers. Alumni currently in college are studying business, engineering, education, social services, medicine and the arts.

Impact Statement

The Wooden Floor is now in its 36th year of changing lives through dance and access to higher education, celebrating service to over 90,000 under-served youth. Major recent accomplishments include:

  • For the 15th year in a row, 100% of our senior students are on track to graduate high school on-time and immediately enroll in college, at a rate more than double that of their socioeconomic peers. About 90% of these students are the first in their families to attend college.
  • About 150 student-artists co-created three new works with leading international choreographers that premiered at our Annual Concert in June, 2019.
  • We have over 120 alumni in colleges across the U.S., with many receiving merit-based scholarships from The Wooden Floor.
  • Through our national licensed partners, we seek to create impact in more low-income communities. Our first licensed partner is CityDance DREAM in Washington DC.

Needs Statement

  • Increase college scholarship funds to meet growing population of students on track for college enrollment and scholarship eligibility. This year, we anticipate this budget line increasing to more than $115,000 in annual scholarships awarded.
  • Open additional studio space to serve growing population of students as a result of increased student retention.
  • Family Services Program: improve screening process and formal student assessment upon enrollment to be proactive to social services needs of students and families; increase parenting education workshops, specifically among teen population due to growing student population
  • Extend college and career readiness programming to begin in the 6th grade, and implement regular, monthly check-in to keep all students on-track and competitive for their goals for higher education and future careers.

CEO Statement

Thank you for your interest in learning more about The Wooden Floor. We are thrilled to announce that this past March, The Wooden Floor’s Board of Directors has identified and approved a third location within the same Depot at Santiago workforce housing community as our second location.

This exciting announcement allows us to move to the second phase of our campus expansion goals -- to pre-fund our third location to serve yet another 100 students on their 10 year journeys at The Wooden Floor. The Wooden Floor has entered into an MOU for the space predicated on our ability to pre-raise the funds for 10 years of operation. This third location will include a dance studio, dance lab, education center, and family counseling center, as well as a gathering space for students and families.

As we celebrate the first anniversary of our second location, The Wooden Floor at the Depot at Santiago, we are humbled by the generous contributions from our Lead Campus Expansion Underwriters and supporters as well as our partnership with C&C Development and Orange Housing Development Corporation. Due to this community support, our programmatic operating expenses for our second location are fully pre-funded for 10 years, which has allowed to serve an additional 100 students, totaling 475 youth year-round.

As we fulfill this last year of our comprehensive campaign, we are provided with a unique opportunity to grow again with your support. You can help us help us lift more children out of poverty to their full potential.

When dance is used as the means of social change, innovation flourishes into courageous life-changing outcomes for the children we serve, and moves The Wooden Floor’s exciting mission forward, which helps move our community forward. I am happy to meet with you to discuss our exciting plans!

With gratitude,

Dawn S. Reese

Chief Executive Officer

Board Chair Statement


This year, we as an organization celebrated the one year anniversary of our second location, The Wooden Floor at Depot at Santiago. This new location has allowed us to serve an additional 100 students, totaling 475 young people year-round. Due to your tremendous dedication and support of this significant expansion of our services, our programmatic operating expenses for our second location have now been fully pre-funded for the next 10 years! Thank you for your steadfast support of this initiative.

As Lift: The Campaign for The Wooden Floor nears the finish line, it continues to galvanize community support to fulfill the last chapter of the campaign’s vision. This past March, The Wooden Floor’s Board of Directors identified and approved a third location for the organization, within the same Depot at Santiago workforce housing community. This will allow us to serve yet another 100 students throughout their 10-year journeys with quality programs and the transformational outcomes our community has come to expect–without diminishing service outcomes for our existing student body.

It is an honor and my good fortune to be the Chairman of this incredible organization at this momentous time. I look forward to standing with our long-term supporters, as well as new supporters to fulfill the vision to move even more young people forward. It takes all of us, together, to accomplish this important and needed next step.

Arthur Ong
Chairman of the Board
The Wooden Floor 

Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

There are many ways to support and engage with the remarkable youth of The Wooden Floor.  Donations by mail may be sent to: The Wooden Floor, 1810 North Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706. Should you wish to find out more ways to volunteer or support our students, please contact Tianna Haradon, Director of Annual Giving, at 714.541.8314 ext.124 or [email protected]   

Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
Central Orange County
Central Orange County
West Orange County
North Orange County
The Wooden Floor is located in Santa Ana, California, and serves youth and their families in Central Orange County.  Approximately 66% of our students and families live in Santa Ana; 34% live in low-income neighborhoods in 15 surrounding cities.

Organization Categories

  1. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Dance
  2. Youth Development - Youth Development Programs
  3. Education - Educational Services



Dance Education and Performance


We use dance as a vehicle for transformation in the students we serve because there is so much learning involved.We offer 64 dance classes per week on-site, 1-1.5 hours per class, 32 weeks per year.Our 10-level curriculum, built on a comprehensive platform, is delivered as follows: Ballet and Modern integrated with Somatic movement principles; and Dance-making, which includes Improvisation, Choreography and collaborations with leading guest choreographers. Our approach to dance engages students in inventive participation, in acts of artistic creation that are original and idiosyncratic. We uniquely bring this population together with international, leading choreographers to develop contemporary dance works that reflect our students’ cultural identity and interests. The resulting new dance works co-created with our young artists challenge audience assumptions about who participates in this form of art-making and helps break down ethnic, gender and age stereotypes that negatively affect our youth.


Budget  $1,613,457.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Dance
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success 

Impact on Students:

  • 8 dance classes/week to develop dance proficiency
  • Create/premiere three contemporary dance works in collaboration with guest choreographers at Annual Concert
  • Six Master Classes in varying dance genres taught by guest artists on our campus
  • Free dance instruction in local schools (approx. 3,000 students, grades 3-5) during Dance Free Weeks


Program Long-Term Success 

Impact on Students:

·         Dance will improve student self-concept, motivation, creativity, confidence and future outlook 

Program Success Monitored By 

The Wooden Floor uses quantitative and qualitative measures to evaluate program outcomes:

Dance proficiency is measured through annual student evaluation by dance faculty according to a 10-level curriculum; performances showcase for the public student achievement in dance and composition.

Examples of Program Success  --

Academic, College & Career Readiness Program

To bridge achievement gap and access to higher education, our Academic, College & Career Readiness Program ensures students have the support and skills needed to obtain grade-level proficiency in math and reading, and graduate high school on time prepared to succeed in college. We group our students into their 10 graduating classes to offer sequential programming for students and parents that increase academic achievement and access to higher education, facilitate the transition to post-secondary education and raise expectations about success after college. Services include:

Year-round Individualized Tutoring and Fundamental Learning Skills Workshops in language arts, math and science

Summer Reading, Math & Science Workshops

Computer lab and resource library in The Wooden Floor Hutton Education Center

College preparatory workshops and individualized guidance, grades 7-12

Career Nights

Merit-based College Scholarships; mentoring and supplemental financial aid for college

Budget  $781,416.00
Category  Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success 

  • 1:1 Monthly Student Mentoring and Case Management
  • Empowerment Workshops for students in grades 6 & 8 and their parents
  • College Preparatory Workshops for students and parents
  • Kaplan SAT and ACT college exam prep courses
  • College Tours
  • Career Nights
  • TWF Merit-based College Scholarships

Program Long-Term Success 


  •      Improved grades will close the achievement gap and promote college readiness: average overall student body GPA will maintain at 3.0 or higher – achieved 9 consecutive years
  •       100% on time high school graduation – achieved 15 consecutive years
  •       100% immediate enrollment in higher education – achieved 15 consecutive years
  •       College graduation rate of 52%, vs. national rate of 9% for low-income peers, will continue or improve



Program Success Monitored By 

To measure academic progress and 100% on-time high school graduation we collect: report cards to track GPA, in-house workshop pre- and post-tests to evaluate progress in math and literacy skills, and high school graduation data. Students enter mandatory tutoring if GPA falls below 2.0; progress is tracked through 1:1 case management. We track college degree attainment through the National Student Clearinghouse. 

Examples of Program Success  --

Family Services


To address the hardships low-income families face, our Family Services program takes a case management approach to counseling, crisis intervention and referral to additional social services to resolve issues that affect the well-being of our students. Our individualized, case-management approach distinguishes us from other agencies that are primarily drop-in centers serving specific short-term needs. Our model forms community, provides a trusted safety net and second home for its students. As a result of this long-term commitment, we have close relationships with the entire family, not just the child, and we provide a holistic blend of services through educational workshops and individual counseling and and access to referrals to address all the challenges each family faces that may impact the child’s progress. 


Budget  $372,465.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Family-Based Services
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) Families
Program Short-Term Success 


      Counseling, crisis intervention, human service referrals, health education and customized workshops to improve mental health, parenting skills, well-being, and strengthen family relationships to help students thrive in the family context. Annual Family Health Fair: TWF students and families receive free screenings on our campus for heart disease, stroke and diabetes; dental and vision screenings, including eye care follow-up and free eyeglasses; as well as nutrition and preventive disease education. TWF’s Health Fair adds to health services accessible to our underserved families.


Program Long-Term Success 

Our overall goal for our Family Services program is to progress towards breaking the poverty cycle for our families, by providing educational social services workshops and one-on-one counseling sessions to help them better learn, plan and implement tools to work towards economic progress and self-sufficiency.

Program Success Monitored By 


Family Services counseling tracks how family issues and youth risk factors are managed and/or resolved. This data provides individualized case management to ensure students are on track to achieve central programmatic indicators of success: overall average student body GPA of 3.0 or higher, 100% on-time high school graduation, and 100% matriculation to higher education.

Examples of Program Success  --


CEO/Executive Director Dawn S. Reese
CEO Term Start Jan 2009
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience


Dawn S. Reese, Chief Executive Officer of The Wooden Floor, is a social innovator who leverages her unique blend of experience in business, technology, education and the arts to propel young people forward. The Wooden Floor transforms the lives of young people in low-income communities through the power of dance and access to higher education. Since 2005, 100% of the seniors who graduate from The Wooden Floor immediately enroll in higher education. During Dawn’s nine-year tenure, the organization’s budget has grown from $2.1M to $3.4M and she has led efforts to take its model national by signing their first licensed partner in Washington, DC in November 2015. In addition, a second location of The Wooden Floor opened in April 2018 at the Depot at Santiago, a workforce housing community in Santa Ana, through an innovative partnership with C&C Development. This connected campus increases The Wooden Floor’s afterschool student body to nearly 500 year-round children and their families who are served up to 10 years. Dawn received the 2016 Center for Leadership Award for Innovation from California State University, Fullerton and the 2015 Difference Makers Award for Small Nonprofit Person of the Year from the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce. Dawn serves on the Board of Directors for Orange County Music and Dance and OneOC, where she is also the Chairperson for the Nonprofit Advisory Council (2017-2019). She also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Center for Leadership - Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at California State University, Fullerton and Advisory Committees for DifferenceMakersOC, Institute for Influential Community Impact, and Orange County Business Council’s Latino Education Attainment Committee. Dawn is an author, mentor, consultant, and national conference presenter on the topics of strategic planning, board governance, fundraising, and leadership development, as well as creative youth development. Twitter: @DawnSReese

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Melanie Rios-Glaser 2005 2012
Beth Burns 1983 2005

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Veronica Avzaradel Controller --
Derek Bruner Director of Strategic Initiatives --
Tianna Haradon Director of Annual Giving --
Payal Kumar Avellan Director of Communications & Marketing --
Wendy Mendoza Director of Student Development --
Vanessa Rodriguez Chief Operating Officer --


Award Awarding Organization Year
Aim High Grant New York Life Foundation 2018
Best Places to Work The Orange County Business Journal 2018
Leadership Circle Award The PIMCO Foundation 2015
Afterschool Innovator Award Afterschool Alliance/MetLife Foundation 2012
Access to Artistic Excellence Award National Endowment for the Arts 2010
Arts Access Award: Engaging Underserved Communities Category Association of Performing Arts Presenters/MetLife 2010
Arts Educator of the Year Arts Orange County 2010
Arts Regional Initiative Phase II Grantee The James Irvine Foundation 2009
Neighborhood Excellence Award Bank of America 2009


Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


Artistic Alliances: American Ballet Theatre, American Dance Festival, Backhausdance Company, Irvine Barclay Theatre, José Limón Dance Company, Laguna Dance Festival, Pentacle, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

Academic Partnerships: Chapman University, Concordia University, CSU Fullerton, CSU Long Beach and Loyola Marymount University source tutors and arrange specialized campus tours and college readiness workshops for our students. University of Redlands, Mater Dei HS and Sage Hill School provide scholarships for our students.
Health & Human Services Providers referrals to Boys and Girls Clubs, Children's Hospital OC, Catholic Charities, Child Welfare Services, Community Clinics, Community Food Banks, Delhi Community Center, Girls & Boys Hope, Girls Inc., Help Me Grow OC, Hoag Community Health Department Center for Mental Health, Healthy Smiles, Human Options, HURTT Family Health Clinic, Kids Vision for Life, Latino Health Access, Legal Aid Society, Mariposa Women's and Family Center, Mental Health Association of OC, OC Kids, OC Social Services, Public Law Center, Share Our Selves, and St. Joseph Health.

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 18
Number of Part Time Staff 6
Number of Volunteers 470
Number of Contract Staff 16
Staff Retention Rate % 84%
Staff Professional Development Yes

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: --
Asian American/Pacific Islander: --
Caucasian: --
Hispanic/Latino: --
Native American/American Indian: --
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 19
Male: 5
Not Specified --

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 10
Management Succession Plan Yes
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan Yes

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Government Licenses


CEO Comments


Foundation Comments



Board Chair Arthur Ong
Board Chair Company Affiliation Executive Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, PIMCO
Board Chair Term Sept 2017 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Theresa Allen First Republic Private Wealth Management Voting
Sasha Ayloush Customer Service Manager and Secretary of the Board, Hydraflow Voting
Falon Baltzell The Wooden Floor Exofficio
Joan Beall Community Volunteer NonVoting
Beth Burns Community Volunteer NonVoting
Joseph Chatelle Principal, Mercer Voting
Michelle Dean Community Leader Voting
Bryan Green Edward Jones Voting
Sharon Hartshorn Community Volunteer NonVoting
Richard Hunsaker Community Volunteer NonVoting
Virginia Hunsaker Community Volunteer NonVoting
Jehan Jayakumar Carlson & Jayakumar, LLP Voting
Damien Jordan Community Volunteer NonVoting
Yvonne Jordan Community Volunteer NonVoting
Jeremy Krout Environmental Planning Development Solutions, Inc. Voting
Meg Lehmann Gochnauer Family Foundation Voting
Iris Lopez-Guevara Parent Representative, Community Leader Exofficio
Catherine MacIver Bank of America Voting
Dale Merrill California State University Fullerton Voting
Arthur Ong PIMCO Voting
Epiphany Owen Partner, Rutan & Tucker LLP Voting
Alix Portillo Alumni Representative Exofficio
Judith Posnikoff Martlet Asset Management Company, LLC Voting
Dawn S. Reese The Wooden Floor Exofficio
Rossi Staynova Parent Representative, Community Leader Exofficio
Saar Swartzon Cohn & Swartzon, P.C. Voting
Mary Tolar American Funds/Capital Group Companies, Inc. Voting
Ernesto Vasquez McLarand Vasquez Emsiek & Partners Voting
Socorro Vasquez Community Volunteer NonVoting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: 22
Hispanic/Latino: 5
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 19
Male: 10
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments


Standing Committees

  • Audit
  • Board Governance
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2018 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Total Revenue $4,903,671 $2,877,510 $5,992,669
Total Expenses $3,322,434 $2,732,524 $2,854,677

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$4,181,392 $2,190,283 $5,457,977
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- $0
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- $0
Earned Revenue $217,187 $46,912 $50,286
Investment Income, Net of Losses $143,949 $218,584 $93,534
Membership Dues -- -- $0
Special Events $361,143 $350,601 $316,932
Revenue In-Kind -- $71,130 $55,341
Other -- -- $-233,543

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Program Expense $2,348,461 $1,930,731 $2,003,478
Administration Expense $286,988 $264,655 $285,746
Fundraising Expense $686,985 $537,138 $565,453
Payments to Affiliates -- -- $0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.48 1.05 2.10
Program Expense/Total Expenses 71% 71% 70%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 15% 21% 10%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Total Assets $13,494,942 $11,815,413 $11,629,151
Current Assets $2,768,471 $3,194,847 $3,722,365
Long-Term Liabilities -- $6,759 $16,407
Current Liabilities $213,439 $180,447 $272,855
Total Net Assets $13,281,503 $11,628,207 $11,339,889

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 12.97 17.71 13.64

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%
Endowment Value $5,240,307.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage(If selected) 7%
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Capital Campaign Purpose 1) Growth and Excellence of Existing Programs, 2) Extension of The Wooden Floor Campus, 3) Sustainability Through Endowment Growth
Campaign Goal $27,200,000.00
Capital Campaign Dates Jan 2016 - Dec 2019
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $16,765,807.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the Form 990s and consultation with the organization. Foundation/corporate and individual contributions are combined under Foundation and Corporation Contributions.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.