Oklahoma City Ballet has partnered with Dell to bring BalletReach to Positive Tomorrows. BalletReach is an outreach program that teaches ballet to students, K-12 at now seven different Oklahoma City Schools plus one in Ada.
74 students aged kindergarten through 5th grade will receive instruction from a American Ballet Theatre certified ballet teacher.
Positive Tomorrows is Oklahoma’s only elementary school specifically serving homeless children and their families. “I had the opportunity to visit Positive Tomorrows last week and am in awe of the work that is being done there,” said OKC Ballet outreach teacher Cassandria Mills. “I think this is a perfect organization for our BalletReach program to partner with, and am both humbled and excited to be a part of the amazing partnership.” Ms. Mills will be the teacher to instruct the Positive Tomorrows students.
The ballet teachers are on site at Positive Tomorrows once a week for an hour to teach basic ballet technique. They are provided the necessary ballet shoes for the class in order to have the basics of a proper training. Students are then able to apply for a scholarship to continue their dance training in a more serious environment, including The Dance Center of Oklahoma City Ballet.
“We are thrilled that Oklahoma City Ballet is bringing BalletReach to our students,” said Susan Agel, President and Principal at Positive Tomorrows. “Access to the arts has a tremendous impact on children, especially ours, who are growing up in deep poverty. Getting students out of the classroom and onto the barre teaches them discipline, tenacity, and creativity – all qualities great leaders possess. When our students put their new ballet slippers on, it gives them the freedom to express themselves, to think outside of the box, and to feel hopeful for a brighter future.”
The classes last the length of the school year, and culminates in a performance for the school and parents of the students.
Dell generously sponsored this initiative that will sustain the program for this school year. “Dell OKC is honored to sponsor such a worthwhile program like BalletReach with one of Oklahoma City’s most important and truly extraordinary organizations, Positive Tomorrows,” said Scott Haworth, Co-site leader, Dell OKC. “Dell believes in leaving a legacy of good in the communities where we live and work. Thanks to Oklahoma City Ballet, these children will have a unique opportunity to learn valuable lessons through the arts that are critical to their education and help them reach their full potential.”
To read more about the outreach opportunities at Oklahoma City Ballet, visit our website at www.okcballet.com/outreach