Entering its third year of implementation, Project Plié is a partnership between the Oklahoma City Ballet and Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County. The program provides professional ballet training through the American Ballet Theatre’s Project Plié, which aims to increase ethnic diversity in ballet dancers and actively support young dancers who may not otherwise have access to training.
Ballet is a rigorous art form that gives young people many skills to help them achieve success in their lives, such as learning discipline and the importance of commitment. Ballet training also reinforces the students’ patience, perseverance, physical precision, and coordination. American Ballet Theatre’s partnership with Oklahoma City Ballet and Boys & Girls Clubs across the country is a movement to change the landscape of the professional dance world and provide opportunities to young dancers from all backgrounds and cultures.
During the first three years of Project Plié in Oklahoma City, more than 100 students participated in the program. In July 2014, the students had the opportunity to meet Misty Copeland, now a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, who was discovered at the age of 13 at her local Boys & Girls Club before going on to become a famous ballerina. At the close of each season, select students are awarded one-year scholarships to Oklahoma City Ballet’s professional training program. Students De’Niya Dixon, Rebecca Early, LaMya Ellison, Bashielda Hardy, Jaedan Jones, Rylee Ramsey, Charles Taylor, and Leah Tipton all received scholarships for the 2016-2017 school year.
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