BLOOM X 2! We DOUBLED our programs! Just in time for Columbia Heights Day on Sat.

Greetings Family!

We’re excited to announce 13 new weekly and monthly programs at BloomBars! Most of which you’ll get a free preview this Saturday, September 12th at the 10th Annual Columbia Heights Day Festival. You heard it right, we’ve doubled our current program offerings! It’s all testament to your continued support and belief in our mission.

And speaking of your support, we’ve almost reached our GoFundMe campaign goal to recover from the break-in we informed you about in the last Weekly Bloom.

In addition to our current programs, here’s what you have to look forward to this fall, winter and beyond:

  1. Little Stars! (Ages 2-3) PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED
  2. Harambee Happy Hour (Ages 2-6)
  3. Little Treasures (Ages 0-5)
  4. Learn to Drum! (West African Djembe) (Ages 6-13)
  5. Family Drum Circle (All ages)
  6. Learn the Djembe (Ages 14 and up)
  8. Les Bloom-Artistes (Ages 2-5)  
  9. Samba Baby (Ages 2-6)
  10. Learn the Art of Henna  
  11. Jam Session (Ages 14-23)
  12. FUNdamentals! Music and Movement Around the World (Ages 1-6)
  13. Songwriting Workshop (All ages)

You can find more details about these new programs below, on our website calendar, Facebook group or email

Until soon, keep BLOOMING!

Break in at BloomBars caught on tape. How did we respond?

“There was a break in at BloomBars. It took a while to process why anyone would rob a non-profit arts organization serving the community…and make out with our donation boxes and contents of our curse jar no less. So how did we respond? We told our own redemption song with the surveillance video and made an art installation, appropriately named “Kryptonite,” from the rock he threw through the window and the broken glass. It was cathartic and healing. The lesson: beauty can come from broken glass and a little forgiveness. To watch the video click here … then share with your friends if you agree..”

When I posted that note on Facebook, the response was incredibly supportive and inspirational. People who wanted to feel outrage said that was an impossible emotion after watching this video:

For example, this poignant message came from Sweet Honey in the Rock co-founder Dr. Ysaye M. Barnwell, “Some have lost the art of discernment while some have used art to discern essential truths of what we have lost, what we have gained and who we truly are. Thank you BLOOMBARS. I regret what happened, but am glad that I can help art to conquer.”

And the media also chimed in, including these stories:

Several people suggested we set up a GoFundMe page to help recoup our losses. And that’s exactly what we did. Here’s the link:

But the reality is that this troubling event reaffirmed our belief that art can heal, help us grow and spark our inherent creativity in order to face the world on our own terms… so, no loss as all.

Seed that! And keep Blooming!


Old School Pre-School Musical Foundations 101

Every Friday at 4:30 pm

Join renowned jazz vocalist and music educator Rochelle Rice on a music history journey traversing various genre’s from generation past to present. Parents and little ones learn about the lives and music of America’s greatest performers through interactive musical activities, dancing, singing, and storytelling. From Mozart to Mahalia Jackson, the goal is to nurture well-rounded music lovers and inspire early learning through the arts.

An Artist in Bloom resident at BloomBars, Rochelle Rice is a dynamic and compelling vocalist and songwriter, and has been named Best Jazz Vocalist (2013) by Washington City Paper Jazzy Awards. Her profound and flawless sound joins the singer/songwriters of the 1960s and the contemporary jazz vocalists of today.

Rochelle received her B.M. in classical voice in 2008 from East Carolina University, and in 2012 attained her Master’s degree in jazz studies from Howard University. While at Howard University, Rochelle was a member of the multiple DownBeat Magazine award winning premiere jazz vocal ensemble, Afro Blue, and was the graduate teaching assistant to the award winning and well noted arranger, clinician, and jazz vocalist, Connaitre Miller. She is featured on the group’s 2012 recording, The Best is Yet to Come.

Stepping outside of her jazz and soul background, Rochelle is currently the lead singer of DC’s only live house music band, House of Soul, and is featured as a vocalist and songwriter on the band’s debut album, Let’s Move. Rochelle’s versatility has allowed her the opportunity to work with some of the industry’s most acclaimed musicians, including Kim Jordon, gospel jazz pioneer and former musical director for Gil Scott-Heron. Rochelle can be heard on Jordan’s 2013 CD release, Uncommon. Recently, Rochelle was chosen as a sub for the internationally renowned Grammy award winning a cappella ensemble, Sweet Honey In The Rock®.

Rochelle’s sound is a woven tapestry of jazz influenced contemporary folk and soul. Her highly personal, yet relatable original music reflects her deeply rooted love of jazz and singer/songwriters. Currently, Rochelle continues to perform, record, and write beautiful music.

Bollywood Blooms – Two New Dance Classes for Kids & Adults Every Thursday Night!

Kids’ Class: 5:30 – 6:20 pm
Adults’ Class: 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Bollywood (Bombay + Hollywood) is India’s—and the world’s—largest entertainment industry. Most Bollywood movies are musicals made up of elaborate dance sequences and original songs. Over the years, Bollywood films have developed their own style of song and dance, which derive from a Western influence on India’s many classical and folk styles. For example, it is not uncommon to find a fusion of Western forms of movement, like hip-hop, and classical Indian dance in a Bollywood routine.

Classes will begin with light stretching and a brief background and history of the song choice for the day. Since all Bollywood dance songs are essentially a story and our dance is in the form of storytelling, we will be focusing on using our body as words and our facial expressions to help illuminate these words.

Please come dressed in comfortable clothing (sweatpants/tights and T-shirts). I prefer to dance barefoot and you all are welcome to join me. If you prefer to wear shoes, please wear sneakers or tennis shoes. Don’t forget a bottle of water and your high energy!

Anisha is certain she was dancing before she learned how to walk. After an early introduction to Bollywood movies, Anisha began performing on stage to her favorite Bollywood songs by age 4. Around the same time, she was introduced to Garba, a traditional folk dance from Gujarat, India. Her obsession with all things filmi music and folkloric dance grew over the years. From ages 5-18, Anisha participated in numerous performances ranging from those at dance competitions to weddings. In her freshman year at the University of Florida, Anisha made the Gator Garba team, which placed first at the state collegiate competition. She was chosen as the team’s choreographer in her sophomore year, helping the team to bring home another state trophy.

Dance still plays a crucial part of Anisha’s life. By day, she works at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, but by night, you may find her either teaching a Bollywood dance class to her coworkers or learning a new form of dance from a range of studios in DC. Anisha believes that a good dancer is forever a student and that there is constant room for growth, whether it be from other forms of movement or her own students. She makes it a point to express that dance should always be inclusive—greeting all of her students with open arms and positive energy.


Mondays @ 9:30am
Thursdays @ 10:00am
Saturdays at 9:30am AND 10:30am

In Swahili, Harambe means “All pull together.” At BloomBars, Harambe is the practice of hope, possibility and compassion – basically, all the things that happen when we all come together.

Think of it as your little one’s first opportunity to express his or her voice (into a microphone), dance, play a drum or percussion instrument, shout, or sing-along to songs that build character, confidence and community.

With more than 10 years of experience in youth development, education and conflict resolution, program instructor Baba Ras D’s “Harambe” is a morning jolt of inspiration for parents, caregivers and children.

  • Recommended for ages 6 months to 6 years
  • Parental consent required.
  • Participation is a $7-10 donation per session or $100 for 12 sessions.

YogaShare – Every Thursday

Every Thursday at 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

YogaShare DC

We’re excited to announce a new weekly yoga experience at BloomBars! Meet Yoga Share founders Irina Katz and Nina Jot Prakash Kaur. They will lead a team of rotating guest instructors certified in a variety of yoga disciplines. Vegan snacks and tea will follow the class.

Interested in being a guest instructor? Email Irina at:

$10 suggested donation

More from Irina and Nina:
We started the Yoga Share DC group to create a space where people could connect authentically during and after a yoga class. In teaching and practicing yoga, we know that we feel more alive after class. To harness this energy and create a cozy space, we have tea and snacks after class and gather to meet and chat. We also ask those who come if they are certified and would like to teach. Since we started the group we’ve had about 10 teachers rotate through and teach various types of yoga from Kundalini to Dharma, Vinyasa, Hatha, and others.

About Irina Katz:
Irina first took yoga 16 years ago as part of gym class in Rockville, MD. It wasn’t until 2008 that she discovered that her true passion was in the Kundalini style because of its emphasis on subtle energies and the fire element. She completed her Level 1 training with Elizabeth Greathouse of Yoga House Washington and is now a certified RYT-200 Kundalini Yoga Teacher. Her teaching style is practical, down to earth, energizing and empowering.

Shadow Puppets

Tuesdays at 10:00 – 11:00 am

As visual artist, filmmaker, musician and singer, it makes me very happy to finally be able to bring my visual story telling and music to BloomBars.

As a mother of two, I had the desire to do something more with my creativity, and so we started a musical shadow puppet show at BloomBars every Sunday at 6pm.

I’ve been so inspired by John, and all of the loving and talented people who give so much of their heart and soul to the people and youth in the community at Bloombars.

This fostering of spirit and creativity is exactly what we need more of in the world and sometimes it takes my breath away. We are so lucky!

So, in an attempt to “pay it forward,” I want to contribute to this (continually blossoming) positive energy and share with you the songs that I love to sing to my girls. Many of these songs – some of which you may or may not have heard – are already part of our culture, and worth keeping alive.

Being a country girl at heart and loving the earth as I do, I want to show our kids early what truly matters through song and story telling, and through sharing and smiling and dancing – you get the picture. So please bring you little ones and join me at BloomBars every Sunday at 6 pm to sing our hearts out, to hear stories and play with shadow puppets!

– Kimberly Rose


Interpretive and Folkloric Dance Fusion

Mondays at 6:45 – 8:00 pm

Recognized for her sincere dedication to learning and teaching, Marta offers weekly classes, workshops and private sessions in the D.C. area.
Marta approaches teaching from a holistic perspective, emphasizing technique, stylization, and musical interpretation while helping students understand how each movement initiates, feels and flows through their individual bodies. With a clear historical and cultural foundation, she invites more advanced students to fuse their own creativity, where appropriate, allowing for the exploration of each one’s unique voice.

Through her own independent studies and her certified doula/labor assistant work (ALACE & The Farm Midwives), Marta brings knowledge of women’s health into her teaching; currently working to finish a curriculum that incorporates childbirth education and dance for mothers-to-be. Lastly, Marta is committed to using dance and other forms of creative movement in her work with under-resourced communities (in the U.S. and Latin America) to support engagement, healing, leadership, community building and skills development among women, teens and girls. To this end, she actively volunteered for over 3 years at the Sitar Center for the Arts as well as BloomBars and has completed several community based initiatives including a month-long dance project in Lima, Peru. She continues to provide special workshops and classes throughout the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean.

Marta has been a faculty member at award-winning institutions including Joy of Motion Dance Center (JOM), Dance Institute of Washington (DIW), Sahara Dance (founding instructor), and the MamaSita Cultural Center (home of the Belly Dancers of Color Association). She currently conducts classes at BloomBars, Danza Jonda (Marta’s private dance studio), D.C. Public Schools, and community centers throughout the city.

“Marta’s classes are wonderful and a unique combination of elements. Her precision, empowering teaching style, integration of history and social movements into the dance class, and her emphasis on the basics as the core language from which personal interpretation follows, allows beginners and advanced dancers to enjoy the same class. Thank you for uniting the people and keeping our roots alive and in their power.” -S.L.

Samba is BACK with A New Time: Wednesdays at 9pm

Wednesdays at 9:00 – 10:30 pm

Evening Samba class is back with a new day and time!

Every Wednesday night, former Carnival Queen (Sao Paulo), expert sambista and renowned instructor Iliuma Zezeh will take you on a cultural excursion thought Brazil’s Carnival. Join the party while learning lightening-fast footwork and repetitive, high-energy moves that employ the muscles hips, arms, torso and legs. It will also make your heart smile and leave you feeling loved.

All ages and genders welcome!

Learn more…