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Citydance is one of Boston Ballet’s gifts to the city of Boston. Established in the fall of 1991, Citydance is a scholarship dance program which reaches nearly 3,000 third-grade students in the Boston Public Schools annually. Designed to educate and introduce public school children to a variety of dance forms, the program provides students from all socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds with a chance to dance!
Citydance classes represent a cross-section of the Boston Public Schools' diverse population, with boys accounting for more than 50 percent of the students – a unique figure in the world of dance. Boston Ballet’s Citydance alumni have gone on to dance professionally with companies across the country including Boston Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Sarasota Ballet and Eugene Ballet. Watch Citydance alumnus and current Boston Ballet company member Isaac Akiba's story here. Because of its broad scope and commitment to excellence, Citydance has expanded to our North Shore studio in Marblehead and become a model dance education program for institutions across the country.
In 2011 Citydance celebrated 20 years. Watch the video below to learn more!
Each fall, professional staff members from Boston Ballet provide workshops for nearly 3,000 third-grade students in the Boston Public Schools. During these one-hour presentations, workshop team members introduce students to the world of dance, with a focus on ballet, using music, photographs, shoes, and costumes. These workshops include a dynamic discussion about dance as well as a fun and exciting movement portion. Students who show a strong interest and enthusiasm for dance are invited to continue their dance education with participation in Introduction to Ballet classes.
“The children loved it. This is a fantastic educational experience. It lifts the children from the common daily routine of their lives and takes them to a whole new creative experience. We don't have music or dance in our school. The children loved the thoughtful, patient instruction that it made it possible for everyone to enjoy. This was truly a fun day!”-Boston Public School Teacher
For more information about bringing the joy of dance to your Boston Public School please click here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction to Ballet is a free ten-week scholarship course that welcomes over 300 Boston Public School students to Boston Ballet’s studios in the South End where Boston Ballet’s own company members and students train and rehearse. Citydance students participate in their own 90-minute dance classes each week. Transportation to and from Boston Ballet is provided by the Boston Public School system, and classes, dancewear, and shoes are provided by Boston Ballet. Each year the Introduction to Ballet learning experience culminates with an opportunity for students to attend a Boston Ballet performance with a family member at the Opera House.
When not in ballet class, Citydance students are involved in dance-related enrichment classes. Taught by experts in the Boston dance community, enrichment classes familiarize the children with other forms of dance such as African, Chinese, modern, folk, ballroom and flamenco. Students get a glimpse into the life of the professional dancer by meeting and talking to Boston Ballet students and dancers and working with a member of the Company's wardrobe department to learn about the importance of costumes and set design.
Upon the completion of Introduction to Ballet, students who wish to continue their ballet studies may participate in the final phase of the Citydance program, Beginner Ballet. Beginner Ballet classes offer a more intensive approach to ballet training through weeknight and weekend classes exclusively in ballet technique. Each class is designed to increase the students' knowledge and ability in ballet in a positive and nurturing environment. Beginner Ballet classes, also offered free of cost to participating students, develop the framework necessary for enrollment and the continuation of studies in Boston Ballet School.
Following the completion of the Beginner Ballet program, all Citydance students are invited to enter Boston Ballet School to continue their ballet training on full and partial scholarships. Citydance students receive financial assistance as long as they wish to remain in the School. Established as a dance education program by E. Virginia Williams more than 50 years ago, Boston Ballet School strives to bring new levels of excellence to ballet and to make dance accessible to all.
“When we get near the Boston Ballet building I can feel my blood fill with the ENERGY TO DANCE!”
*Please note that Citydance is not an open enrollment program
In the spring of 2009, Boston Ballet expanded its Citydance classroom workshops to schools in the North Shore area located near the new Marblehead studio. Workshops, lead by Boston Ballet School staff and offered at no cost to public schools, are comprised of a dynamic in-class presentation and energetic dance movement experience. The hands-on workshop, which meets over a dozen Massachusetts Arts Standards, uses demonstrations, music, costumes, and photographs to introduce dance as an athletic activity with artistic expression. Citydance provides teachers with a guide to further the learning experience in the classroom. Additional handouts are included to encourage students to explore further dance training through local studios including Boston Ballet School.
“The children gained an understanding of how to interpret dance as an art form, and the boys gained an appreciation of the difficulty of dance.”
-Swampscott teacher“The kids were very excited about what they had learned. At least six of them reported demonstrating the Russian dance for their families.” -Beverly teacherFor more information about bringing the joy of dance to your North Shore school please click here: email@example.com