Evergreen City Ballet created Dance ALIVE! in the Fall of 2008. This program serves elementary school children throughout South King County, at no cost to them or their schools. Since its inception, Dance ALIVE! has served over 27,000 children and is active in six school districts: Renton, Tahoma, Auburn, Kent, Tukwila, Federal Way.
Dance ALIVE! is a hands-on program with an Artist/Teacher going into the school to teach during their PE class. It introduces children to the world of dance and movement in many ways: learning the five basic positions of the arms and feet in ballet; learning basic ballet vocabulary; better understanding of the child’s own physicality through movement and body awareness. We also teach the kids about dance from a very athletic standpoint. With the use of videos (see links below) and examples of movement we link different sports with movement you would typically see in a ballet class. When the children watch a video of professional football players trying a ballet class, it opens their eyes and helps eliminate the stigma of boys taking ballet.
Students in the Dance ALIVE! program learn to understand the importance of healthy lifestyles, including diet, exercise and rest. They have the opportunity to express themselves through dance and see how emotions are always present within dance. Children develop a greater appreciation of music and understand that they can dance to many types of music. A survey for teachers to complete allows the ECB staff to further monitor the success of Dance ALIVE!
Children who successfully complete the program have the possibility of performing in ECB’s own Black Box Theatre. These children, and their families, can also purchase tickets at a reduced rate for the open dress rehearsals of our major productions such as “The Nutcracker”. Students can watch the dancers warm up and also learn about the technical and production aspects of dance such as lighting, costumes and scenery. Each child also receives a voucher for one free dance class at ECB’s School.
ECB artistic staff acknowledges Dance ALIVE! students who show special interest and potential and offer full scholarships to attend our School. For those families who cannot afford it, ECB will provide dance wear and dance shoes.
To learn more visit the Adopt-a-School page and consider bringing this wonderful program to an Elementary School of your choice.
From our PE teachers that experienced the program and see the effect it has on kids:
“It was great to have Andi and Sharonda at our school to teach ballet, they were both professional and taught the students the basics of ballet. I would recommend Dance ALIVE! for any student because it will help them to become more physically fit. This was great for our students at Campbell Hill Elementary.
-Dominic Corr, Campbell Hill Elementary
“When Andi first visited our school the students were apprehensive about dance. After Andi started her instruction the students soon realized that dance takes a tremendous amount of skill, balance and athleticism”
-Paul Giralmo, Maplewood Heights Elementary
“The in-school presentation by Evergreen City Ballet was great! We are a diverse school and presenting ballet to the students broadens their insights into dance and how ballet can improve other sports movement.”
-Robin Paape, Highlands Elementary
“This is great for our kids. We have such a diverse population and a lot of these kids live in poverty. We are exposing them to something new that they would never have experienced otherwise.”
-Nina Williams, Bryn Mawr Elementary School Teacher
“Having ballet taught at my school by professional instructors was a wonderful success. Every student in my school had the opportunity to try something many of them have never experienced before. It was a GREAT success! Thank you!”
What do a former football player and a ballerina have in common? Football and classical ballet? Nothing, you might think. But if you look closely, you’ll find more similarities than not. Both require hard work and discipline. Both require sacrifice and focus. Both require passion.
Sean James co-founder and president of “Student Athletes” appears with Misty Copeland, soloist with American Ballet Theatre, in the video below, merging sports with the arts. The video helps promote James’ foundation which supports students by inspiring them to follow their passion through education, the arts and athletics.
Rick Reilly describes how Steelers nose tackle Steve McLendon uses ballet as a means to improve his football performance.