School to Stage Outreach Program
At New Orleans Ballet Theatre, we believe that access to excellent art transforms individuals, families, and communities. In keeping with this vision, our School to Stage program aims to use dance as a tool for improving outcomes for students who lack access to quality arts education in New Orleans by:
1) Exposing them to excellent dance performances, and
2) Providing them with high quality dance instruction.
Exposure is one of the ways we are closing the achievement gap.
- Amanda Aiken, Principal of Lawrence D. Crocker College Prep.
Each year, NOBT donates hundreds of tickets to underserved school children, many of whom have never experienced a professional ballet performance. We hope this exposure will garner interest for these students to participate in one of our free training programs.
PILOT PROGRAM- Lawrence D. Crocker College Prep School
Starting in the fall of 2015, The 100 Black Men of Metro New Orleans, along with the New Orleans Ballet Theatre (NOBT) and Lawrence D. Crocker College Prep school, committed to increasing access to quality arts education by piloting NOBT’s "School to Stage" dance program at Crocker. In support of this project, The 100 Black Men of Metro New Orleans purchased ballet attire and equipment and covered all other expenses associated with it. With their help, School to Stage has exposed over thirty students from 3rd to 5th grade to dance performances and allowed them to receive dance instructions from NOBT instructors. Students attend one ballet class per week, and they have end of the year performances opportunities to show their families and community their achievements.
YOUTH EMPOWERMENT PROJECT (YEP)
With the success of the pilot program, starting in the fall of 2016, NOBT teamed up with the Youth Empowerment Project to offer ballet classes during their after school program. Students are taught by NOBT staff and given exposure to ballet technique and fundamentals. In the summer of 2017, YEP and NOBT teamed up to include ballet in their summer program, and were able to bring students to Schramel Conservatory of Dance for several classes. This allowed the students to see and study in a professional dance studio. Students incorporated what they had learned throughout the program in an end of summer performance at YEP for family and friends. This program also continued in the summer of 2018, and a new January workshop program is in the works for 2019.
NOBT seeks to build on the successes of its outreach projects in upcoming academic years by replicating its School to Stage dance program in additional institutions throughout the Greater New Orleans area and the surrounding region. In order to achieve this, NOBT looks to partner with area schools and other institutions and will pursue grants, sponsorships and other fundraising activities through its development operations to cover the cost of presenting these additional School to Stage programs in its partner institutions.
Participants in NOBT’s School to Stage program will...
● Gain a foundational understanding of ballet, including knowledge of basic ballet terminology.
● Increase their self-confidence and self-awareness through class and performance opportunities.
● Acquire an appreciation for the art of ballet and experience enjoyment of studying the art form.
Select students showing talent and a commitment to their training have be offered scholarships to attend Schramel Conservatory of Dance to further their study.