About Us

Outside Looking In offers a high school accredited dance program providing the opportunity to Indigenous youth and their communities to engage in long-term intensive education through dance. Should youth fulfill the academic and attendance requirements of the program, youth get the opportunity to join other Indigenous youth from across Canada for two weeks in Toronto, preparing for an ultimate performance on stage to show off their talents and abilities before hundreds at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

Download our OLI Program Brochure


Mission Statement

To empower Indigenous youth to thrive, through education and transformative art of dance.


Outside Looking In has now extended our program, offering not only to First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities, but also to Indigenous organizations and friendship centres that are looking to engage their youth in a higher level of learning.


Outside Looking In requires all participating communities to implement at least one OLI course into their school calendar to provide an additional and creative method to support academic success for youth.  Upon successful completion of the OLI program students earn at least one high school credit. OLI provides professional guidance to select, plan, provide resources, and design assessment tools that are tailor made to fit the desired outcomes and educational philosophy of the community, while at the same time ensuring the integrity of the credit as intended and approved by the Ministry of Education.


Outside Looking In hires the industry’s top dancers and choreographers to work with our Indigenous youth in the area of mainstream urban dance. These professionals travel monthly to the community/organization/friendship centre where they instruct youth with new and interesting choreography each visit.


Outside Looking In provides the opportunity to youth and their communities to take control of their destiny through our program and with help from the OLI staff.  Through the participation of the volunteers who run the program in each community, and with youth taking a lead role to remain active in the program, OLI helps facilitate the process from start to finish to ensure the program is successful. The community, youth, and everyone – families, teachers, Elders, leaders – who choose to become involved, become a part of the amazing journey and share the overall success and feeling of accomplishment.

Life Skills

Outside Looking In teaches the importance of transferable life skills. Through our program, youth learn the importance of:

  • Time management – when agreeing to the attendance policies in school classes and rehearsals;
  • Accountability – when taking full responsibility for their actions in the program;
  • Responsibility – when committing themselves to other peers in a group environment;
  • Dedication – when learning to put forth their best efforts day in and day out in all aspects of the OLI program;
  • Perseverance – when working through the daily ups and downs of life, learning how to overcome challenges, while still being able to manage time and be accountable, responsible and dedicated.

Learn about
our history

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