2016 will be Ballet San Antonio’s 11th year anniversary of Learning That Moves You, our interactive arts education for k-12 students.
Increasingly, San Antonio area schools are unable to offer students adequate creative learning and arts education experiences. Substantial budget cuts and a heavy emphasis on standardized testing in schools are affecting low-income youth the most. It is often up to the families to seek arts opportunities for their children with their own resources. This continued shift has created a significant gap in opportunity for the 272,431 students identified as “economically disadvantaged” by the Texas Education Agency (2012-2013 Enrollment report published March 2014). That’s 63.5% of the student in our city.
Research has shown how performing arts experiences benefit divers K-12 youth; this is especially true for those with economic disadvantage. Accessible creative learning opportunities have proved effective in enhancing academic performance and inspiring youth from low-income backgrounds to achieve and succeed. The need for enriching arts educational experiences continues to grow each year, and Ballet San Antonio meets that need by our Learning That Moves You program.
We take the arts directly into the schools, with a focus on Title I/Low-Income campuses, and includes a background on dance, a performance, dialogue between dancers and students, learning of basic dance movements and materials.
In 2014 we reached approximately 10,000 students in San Antonio schools. Ballet San Antonio exposes students to the process and product of a performing arts discipline. After a recent in-school performance, one student wrote to us, “It was amazing! … I loved the technique that you used on the big stage. It was extraordinary! So cool to me, I have never seen [a] show like that. I remember the three things you showed me. I think I want to be in the ballet because that is just so cool to me.”
Our staff are focused on building effective partnerships with program directors, school teachers, and administrators, and target participation with undeserved youth.