Jonathan Givens - the photographer.  Alyssa Barton - the dancer.

Jonathan Givens - the photographer.  Alyssa Barton - the dancer.

Dance Across the U.S.A.

The idea behind this project is to showcase the variety and beauty of both our country, and the dancers that live within it.  We want to be able to promote dance as both a wonderful career and lifestyle, as well as a great benefit to the development of children.  To do this, we drove to all 48 contiguous states, (and flew to Alaska and Hawai'i) to photograph dancers at a national park, national monument, or other nationally significant location.  Some of these images are cataloged on this website, and have been combined into a book. A portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to benefit America's parks and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Benefits of the project

Dance as an activity benefits children and adults in a variety of ways.  There is the obvious physical benefit, but the goodness doesn't stop there.  There are documented benefits in self-esteem, social interaction, and even improvement in education and general learning.  Dancing with others fosters lifelong friendships, and gives people great joy by being able to dance.  

Another benefit of this project is to remind us of America's majesty.  Our country covers a wide variety of ecosystems, great history, and beautiful scenery.  With the recent rise in popularity of dance in the public eye, ranging from television show like Dance Moms, So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars, to films (Black Swan, Billy Elliot, the Step Up series) and of course Broadway, we can help harness the interest in dance to foster a rise in interest in our national parks and historic sites,  With almost a 20% drop in visitation per capita since 1993 (source - Declining National Park Visitation, by Stevens, More, and Markowski-Lindsay 2014), our citizens are focusing more and more on electronic media, which forgetting about the physical experience of our national history and beauty.  

We believe that by photographing talented dancers in these nationally significant locations, we will both increase the interest in dance, as well as expose people to the accessibility and majesty of our country.  The end result of this project is to create a photo book with all the images created on the journey.  Once complete, a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the national parks, as well as a National Endowment for the Arts. Thanks for being a part of it!

There is nothing so American as our national parks.... The fundamental idea behind the parks...is that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us.
— President Franklin D. Roosevelt

oh, the places we will go...

The locations for this project range from mountains to oceans, from deserts to tropical islands.  Some of them are in cities, some in the middle of nowhere.  But all of them are just as important as the others.  Here is the list, in order, of all the locations we will travel to.  Click on the name to see the gallery for each location.


1.              Biscayne National Park, FL

2.                      Dry Tortugas National Park, FL

3.                      Little River Canyon National Preserve, AL

4.                      The French Quarter, New Orleans, LA

5.                      Cypress Swamp, Natchez Trace Parkway, MS

6.                      Hot Springs National Park, AR

7.                      Chickasaw National Recreational Area, Sulphur, OK

8.                      The Alamo National Historic Landmark, TX

9.                      White Sands National Monument, NM

10.                     Garden of the Gods, CO

11.                   Grand Teton National Park, WY

12.                   Craters of the Moon National Monument, ID

13.                   Great Basin National Park, NV

14.                   Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

15.                   Antelope Canyon, AZ

16.                   Death Valley National Park, CA

17.            King's Canyon National Park, CA

18.                   Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, HI

19.                   Crater Lake National Park, OR

20.                   Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, WA

21.             Hatcher Pass, AK

22.                   Glacier National Park, MT

23.                   Theodore Roosevelt National Park, ND

24.                   Badlands National Park, SD

25.                   Missouri National Recreational River, NE

26.                   Voyageurs National Park, MN

27.                   Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, WI

28.                   Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, MI

29.                   Effigy Mounds National Monument, IA

30.                   Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, KS

31.                   Jefferson National Expansion Memorial - The Gateway Arch, MO

32.                   Shawnee National Forrest - Camel Rock, Garden of the Gods, IL

33.                   Hoosier National Forest - Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest, IN

34.                   Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, KY

35.                   Big South Fork National River, TN

36.                   Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH

37.                   Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park, VT

38.                   Franconia Ridge, White Mountains National Forest, NH

39.                   Acadia National Park, ME

40.                  Webb Memorial, Boston Harbor Islands National Recreational Area, MA

41.                   Ocean Drive Historic District, RI

42.                   Quinebaug & Shetucket Rivers Valley, CT

43.                   The Statue of Liberty, NY

44.                   Buttermilk Falls, Delaware Water Gap, NJ

45.                   Independence Hall, PA

46.                   First State National Historical Park, DE

47.                   Assateague Island National Seashore, MD

48.                   The Lincoln Memorial and Washing Monument, Washington DC

49.                   Shenandoah National Park, VA

50.                   Grist Mill, Babcock State Park, WV

51.                   Cape Hatteras, NC

52.                   Congaree National Park, SC

53.                   Cumberland Island National Seashore, GA