In cooperation with the Austin Independent School District’s Any Given Child Initiative, Ballet Austin will award four scholarships to selected area dance students. The scholarships will be presented to two elementary students from Reilly and Blackshear elementary schools, and two rising eighth grade students from Lamar Middle School.
“Ballet Austin believes that it is important for students of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds to have access to high quality arts education, both in and outside of school,” said Ballet Austin Community Education Director Pei-San Brown. “We are proud to be a resource for AISD’s pilot program bringing dance to these schools, and are so happy to provide scholarships to students so that they can continue their dance studies through the summer months.”
The two elementary students receiving scholarships will be eligible to attend Level 1 classes at Ballet Austin Academy, the official ballet school of Ballet Austin. At Ballet Austin Academy, students develop skills associated with academic success including self-discipline, self-confidence and the ability to concentrate and collaborate. Level 1 classes begin students in formal training of traditional classical ballet.
Scholarships being awarded to the two middle school students are valid for five drop-in dance and fitness classes at Ballet Austin’s Butler Community School. The Butler Community School engages, educates, and empowers people of all skill levels, ages, and economic and cultural backgrounds to adopt healthy lifestyles through dance and regular physical activity.
"We are immensely grateful for the support of Ballet Austin in providing incredible opportunities for our students. We have seen the positive changes in teachers and students that have benefited from the partnership and programming with the ballet,” said Greg Goodman, director of fine arts for AISD. “The arts are extremely important to our district, and we welcome the Ballet Austin partnership which provides high quality dance and fitness classes to our students. We really believe this program will help and impact student learning in the Austin Independent School District. Ballet Austin provides that critical link between access and the needs of students."
Brent Hasty, executive director of mindPOP–-a partner organization for the Any Given Child Initiative--said, "the Any Given Child Initiative research showed that many of our students don't have equal access to the cognitive and developmental benefits offered by creative learning. These generous Ballet Austin scholarships will remove a key barrier in keeping these students from reaching their full potential."
About the Any Given Child Initiative : The Any Given Child Initiative is a partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, AISD, mindPOP, the City of Austin and more than 40 arts and cultural organizations dedicated to creating long-range arts education planning for students Grade K-8. The initiative seeks to bring access, balance and equity to each child’s art education, using an affordable model that combines the resources of the school district, local arts groups, and the Kennedy Center.