Every child deserves to experience the joy of dance. Through its signature arts-education program, Learning That Moves You, Ballet San Antonio is increasing access to the arts for youth from diverse backgrounds and limited financial means. Piloted in 2005 with funding from the Texas Commission on the Arts, Learning That Moves You has served approximately 40,000 youth.
Ballet San Antonio makes dance accessible to all in San Antonio through community outreach and arts education.
In 2014-15 we enter our 10th season to present our arts education and outreach program. LTMY takes a 3-pronged approach to providing underserved youth with enriching arts programming of the highest quality.
In 2012, we initiated a free ballet-training program in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio. BSA professional dancers teach at branches every week throughout the school year. Children receive ballet instruction from BSA dancers, learn the history, etiquette and discipline of ballet, watch ballet videos, participate in creative projects and attend dress rehearsals of Ballet San Antonio productions where they interact with company dancers and tour backstage. In May 2013, the children participated in their first recital. BSA provided each child with leotards, tutus, tights and shoes. CEO Angie Mock wrote in a letter – “The recital was so wonderful – watching the proud parents and excited little ballerinas. With the help of Ballet San Antonio we have found a new way to bring out the creative best in our little dancers.” In May 2014, we had our second recital, which included children from the Calderon and Antioch branches and was recognized by American Ballet Theater Soloist, Misty Copeland who began her training at the Boys & Girls Club in Los Angeles.
Because of the success of our ballet program with the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio, BSA was recently approved as a partner company with American Ballet Theatre’s Project Plié, a comprehensive initiative that focuses on increasing racial and ethnic representation in ballet, in addition to diversifying America’s ballet companies.
The second prong of LTMY takes 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. This past season we reached over 5,000 students in schools and performed Peter and the Wolf. One teacher stated “many girls and boys went home begging their parents to let them take ballet.”
The third prong of LTMY is youth performances. BSA provides free tickets to Title I/Low-Income schools, and provides all other K-12 students with deeply discounted tickets. Last season, 1200 children received free tickets and another 3500 children received deeply discounted tickets. Abridged versions of a production include an overview by the Artistic Director, a view of company warm-up, and Q&A with company dancers. For many students, it’s their first time to experience live performing arts or even set foot in a theater. After a performance of The Nutcracker, one teacher wrote “Our 5th grade students loved every minute from the dancing, costumes, music and beauty of the theater. Most of all, everyone enjoyed the intermission with the information shared by the artistic individuals.” This season we will add to our youth performances repertoire. In addition to two performances of The Nutcracker we will also perform Romeo & Juliet.
Current Learning That Moves You supporters include:
- The Catherine & Francis Burzik Foundation
- The Elizabeth Huth Coates Charitable Foundation of 1992
- Rackspace, Rack Gives Back
- Department for Culture and Creative Development, City of San Antonio