Established in 1991, Citydance annually provides up to 3,000 third grade students from more than 130 Boston Public School Classrooms with a tuition-free introduction to dance and ballet. Our approach cultivates an appreciation of movement, enhances cultural awareness, and fosters creativity and self-expression through two distinct phases.

Boston Ballet's Citydance Program


Act I:  Fall for Dance Workshop

Boston Ballet faculty members travel to public school classrooms and lead students in a 60 minutes interactive movement workshop. Students learn about various movement styles and elements of dance and performance, including music, costumes, and choreography. The workshop themes include self-expression, creativity, musicality, and storytelling through movement.

All curriculums are aligned with city, state, and national dance education standards and developed to help integrate the arts with core academic curriculum and learning standards.

Act II - Dance Discovery

Select students from Phase I are invited to participate in Dance Discovery, a semester-long dance experience at Boston Ballet Studios. One day a week, students receive 90 minutes of dance instruction. A 45 minute Dance Discovery class offers exposure to a variety of styles of movement and dance including an exploration of Modern dance, Flamenco, Chinese Fan Dance, Hip-Hop, Afro-Haitian, and more. This is accompanied by a 45 minute "Introduction to Ballet" class that provides students with an overview of ballet technique and vocabulary and prepares them to continue their training with Boston Ballet School. 


Registration for Act I must be completed by each third-grade classroom teacher and begins in July.

Boston Public School Principals, School Site Coordinators, and teachers interested in participating in Citydance should contact

Citydance is a free program.

Boston Ballet is grateful to Nina and David Fialkow for their generous support of Citydance.

Funding for Citydance has been provided by Red Auerbach Youth Foundation, Boston Arts Summer Initiative, Halloran Consulting, Hamilton Company Charitable Foundation, The Kelly Family Foundation, Janet Burke Mann Foundation for the Arts, and the William E. Schrafft and Bertha E. Schrafft Charitable Trust, The TJX Companies, Inc., and Tiny Tiger Foundation.

Photo credit: Liza Voll

We celebrate diversity while fostering a team spirit.

Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director