BOSTON BALLET’S CITYDANCE PROGRAM CELEBRATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY
NATIONALLY-ACCLAIMED EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAM HAS REACHED 60,000 BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS
IN 20 YEAR HISTORY
BOSTON, MA – September 19, 2011 – Boston Ballet’s nationally-acclaimed Citydance program celebrates its 20th Anniversary beginning this month through spring of 2012. Citydance is one of Boston Ballet’s signature education programs and the largest provider of free dance education to Boston Public Schools. The program reaches nearly 3,000 students each year and has reached more than 60,000 students in its 20 year history.
Established in the fall of 1991, Citydance is a scholarship dance program offered to third-grade students in the Boston Public Schools. Designed to educate and introduce public school children to a variety of dance forms, Citydance offers students from all backgrounds access to quality arts education and experience with the art of dance. With its broad scope and commitment to excellence, Citydance has become a model dance education program for institutions across the country.
“Citydance is a very special program with deep and broad roots in the Boston community,” said Zakiya K. Thomas, Boston Ballet Director of Education and Community Initiatives. “Citydance students finish the program with an appreciation of movement and dance, but they are also enriched as members of the global community.”
“Citydance is truly a gift from Boston Ballet to Boston Public School children,” said Cleopatra Knight-Wilkins, Boston Public School’s Senior Program Director of Arts. “It gives them a chance to be immersed in dance excellence by experiencing the unique qualities of ballet. Citydance students grow to become disciplined learners who enjoy self-expression through movement. Citydance teaches not only ballet, but all forms of dance, helping children gain deepened multicultural_understandings.”
Each fall, staff members from Boston Ballet provide workshops for more than 3,000 third-grade students in the Boston Public Schools. Students who show a strong interest and natural aptitude for movement are invited to the ten-week Dance Discovery program. Citydance classes represent a cross-section of the Boston Public Schools’ diverse population. Upon the completion of Introduction to Ballet, students who wish to continue their ballet studies may do so during the third and final phase of the Citydance program, Beginner Ballet. Beginner Ballet classes offer a more intensive approach to ballet training by holding weekend classes exclusively in ballet technique.
Following the completion of the Beginner Ballet program, all Citydance students are invited to enter Boston Ballet School to continue their ballet training with full or partial financial assistance available for eligible students. Many Citydance students choose to continue their dance education following the conclusion of the program. More than 60 Citydance alums are currently enrolled with Boston Ballet School, and Citydance alumni have gone on to dance professionally with Boston Ballet, Cedar Lake Ballet, and National Ballet of Canada, among others. Boston Ballet company member and Citydance alumni, Isaac Akiba, has been dancing with the Company since 2009.
“Ballet has taught me so many things, including self-respect, respect for others, and discipline,” said Akiba. “Ballet has taught me how to work hard to obtain your goals. It’s scary to think of where I would be if it weren’t for Citydance.”
Boston Ballet’s Citydance 20th Anniversary schedule includes regularly scheduled September and October workshops in Boston and North Shore Public Schools and Dance Discovery programs at Boston Ballet’s Boston and Marblehead studios February-April 2012. Citydance 20th Anniversary celebrations will include recognition of the program’s impact and history at the 2012 Boston Ballet School Next Generation performance at The Boston Opera House. Next Generation is Boston Ballet School’s annual student showcase, presented in partnership with New England Conservatory.
Scheduled activities and events for the Citydance 20th Anniversary year include:
September 27 – November 27, 2011 – Citydance workshops in the Boston Public Schools
January 31, 2012 – Citydance program at Boston Ballet’s 19 Clarendon Street Headquarters begins
March 4, 2012 – Citydance Family Day
April 10-13, 2012 – Boston Graduation Week
May 16, 2012 – Boston Ballet and Boston Ballet School’s Next Generation performance
For more information about Citydance please visit Boston Ballet’s website.
View the Citydance 20th Anniversary video