Threads Dance Project

A nonprofit organization

136 donors

Mission: to examine, expose, and celebrate the threads that connect us.

Photographer: Chelsea RoweChelsea Rowe Photography

Threads Dance Project was founded by Karen L. Charles in 2010 when her father passed away, leaving her just enough money to produce one professional performance. Shortly before his death, Karen's father, a life-long U.S. Postal Clerk, told his family he had always wished to become a doctor, but never did. After hearing this, Karen knew what she had to do—she left her job, and she realized her 10-year dream of becoming a choreographer and director of her own dance company. 

Since then, Threads has:

• Successfully produced 12 stellar seasons and toured nationally

• Grown to a twelve-member performance and administrative staff

•Collaborated with local, national, and international artists across disciplines including the Grammy-nominated Sweet Honey in the Rock, and the 2017 International McKnight Choreographer, Salia Sanou

The Threads Dance Nexus studio


In March 2021, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Threads opened the doors of a new home, the Threads Dance Nexus. Located in the Seward neighborhood in South Minneapolis, the Dance Nexus will be an inclusive space where movers of any identity, age, or ability can come participate in innovative dance classes, yoga practice, community talks, and public events. 



What is unique about Threads Dance Project? 

Our organization not only seeks to connect people via performances, but works to connect youth and under-served communities to the transformative power of dance through outreach and community offerings. 

Our dancers are employees, not contractors: We are a nonprofit organization that values our artists! Our dancers are employees - not contractors - with guaranteed rehearsals each week and opportunities to perform locally, nationally, and soon, internationally. 

Tapestries Choreography Program: As an African American woman, Karen knows the barriers that are unique to Black, Indigenous, and of color people, and all women in the world of dance and choreography. That’s why she started Tapestries, an annual professional choreographer development program that supports three emerging choreographers, with an emphasis on lifting up women and BIPOC artists. 

Youth Dance Project: Threads will engage community youth in unique pre-professional dance training to provide the much-needed holistic support of their minds, bodies, and creative spirits. Our mission is to train the next generation of dancers while also empowering the next generation of young people. Up to 20 dancers ages 12 and older will be selected by audition and receive rigorous dance training twice a week during the school year. Exclusive Youth Dance Project classes include ballet, modern, and jazz technique, improvisation, choreography, as well as courses on physical and emotional wellness. Ultimately, the Youth Dance Project seeks to develop fully realized dancers, creators, and community activists able to use performance in support of themselves and their community.

Organization Data


Organization name

Threads Dance Project

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture

BIPOC community


Significantly impacted by pandemic

Significantly impacted by pandemic


2213 Snelling Avenue, Ste #100
Minneapolis, MN 55404

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