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 About center for dance education

 Mission and Background

To expose both mainstream and underserved youth to excellence in professional dance performance and instruction and to provide those youth with opportunities to develop talent through accelerated training. In fulfilling this mission, the Center for Dance Education seeks to instill discipline, build confidence, and inspire a positive world view.

The mission of Connecticut Ballet is the presentation of professional dance throughout Connecticut, the training of professional dancers, and the provision of arts-in-education opportunities to today’s youth - particularly those at-risk. Our educational programs operate under the title, Center For Dance Education, and were established in response to a perceived need for access to dance performance instructional opportunities in the target districts of Stamford, Norwalk, and Bridgeport. Since 1991, the geographic range of our programs has developed to include districts and institutions throughout the state of Connecticut. Toward that end, we have developed a strong network of community-based social service partners with whom we work to deliver year-round educational and dance exposure services throughout Connecticut.
                Corporate lead sponsor of Center for Dance Education
                Additional sponsor:

                           Travelers Companies


Center for Dance Education is an umbrella of educational programs.
The programs include:

All of the above services are provided as contracted services or tuition-free with the help of contributed corporate, foundation, or individual philanthropic dollars.

The following are outcomes we seek in the youth served:


The primary impact area is the promotion of wellness in the general
population of Connecticut youth and young adults.

The Health & Wellness Initiative brings the message of fitness and healthy lifestyles to schools, community groups, and residential treatment facilities for at-risk youth ages 8-18. We seek to combat childhood obesity using dance as a catalyst. In line with the Department of Children and Families' focus on prevention and interventions, we design and implement educational and instructional programs for community-based youth, matching DCF funding with corporate and foundation monies to insure sustainability for all stakeholders.

Measurable outcomes include:

Center for Dance Education staff make a conscious effort to reach out to individuals from diverse backgrounds who would not otherwise have access to health and wellness education and programming with professional teaching artists as role models and life coaches.

Danbury Dance Initiative

Participants in the Danbury Dance Initiative include leading educators, social service agencies, funders, and dance professionals. The program receives support from the Savings Bank of Danbury, Union Savings Bank, and the Danbury Cultural Commission. Connecticut Ballet made its first self-presented appearance at Danbury High School on Oct. 26, 2007, featuring the full-length Sleeping Beauty.

In 2009, the company initiated an annual scholarship named in memory of original Danbury Dance Initiative task force member, local dancer, choreographer, and WCSU faculty member Khalda Logan.

This year's DANBURY DANCE INITIATIVE BENEFIT PERFORMANCE 2015 took place on Sunday, March 22nd at Broadview Middle School, 72 Hospital Avenue in Danbury at 4:30pm. The $3000+ proceeds will support the Danbury Dance Initiative's Khalda Logan Dance Scholarships. Participants included Monroe Dance Academy, Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance, Fineline Theatre Arts, SAS Dance Academy, Academy of Dance, Darien Dance Center, and more. For info, click here.

The 2015 winners of the Khalda Logan Dance Scholarships will be awarded their certificates at the company's Ives Concert Park performance this summer.


                                        2013 KLDS Benefit Performance


2014 winners (pictured above with Artistic Director Brett Raphael, 2014 Jury members Jen McPartlin and Dan Sas, far right): Desiree Pratt, Shealyn Baker, Caitlynn Pia, Steffany Gomes, and Sigal Shenker.


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The 11th annual tour by Connecticut Ballet to the elementary and middle schools was very well received and plans are for a return visit in 2015-2016. This year's performances featured 'Backstage at the Ballet.' A task force of educators, social service agencies, local dance and arts leaders has convened at Community Foundation of Southeastern Connecticut and further meetings are planned in the future.

Begun in the Spring of 2010, the focus has been on expanding available dance resources and performance opportunities for New London youth and the general public while increasing communication amongst the area's many wonderful dance and arts organizations, colleges, New London Public Schools and cultural centers. A major mission is to provide quality classes and workshops to the under-served youth in the community. Community Foundation of Southeastern Connecticut recently awarded Connecticut Ballet a grant to facilitate after school dance classes at five city schools as part of the broader Initiative.

The New London Dance Initiative's initial benefit performance, entitled NEW LONDON DANCE LIVE! took place in 2011 at New London High School. A dozen local dance schools and companies performed on behalf of scholarships monies which were awarded to talented local middle and high school youth. Participants included Kiks Dance Center, Adams Company Dance, The Dance Extension, Williams School Dance Ensemble, Connecticut Ballet, and soloists from New London High School Dance Team.

Connecticut Ballet has received its fourth program grant from Community Foundation of Southeastern Connecticut to provide instructional services in the New London Public Schools during 2015-2016. The program will provide dance exposure classes for 2nd/3rd graders at Nathan Hale Arts Magnet Elementary School (Donna Slate, Principal).


Click here to access Educators Resource Page, including Glossary of Ballet Terms and Useful Dance Bibliography.

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