We live in a time when children are falling through the cracks. Boca Ballet Theatre is committed to reaching out to the children in our community who desperately need to be nurtured and mentored. Boca Ballet Theatre’s First Step Program, first piloted in 1999, is a special dance program for these children in our community. Currently, we are working with the Boca Raton Housing Authority, specifically the after school program at the Lois Martin Community Center.
In the current pilot program, there are 20 children, ages eight through eleven, attending First Step classes twice a week at Boca Ballet Studio. The children are exposed to ballet and modern dance. In addition to providing transportation for the youngsters, all of their dancewear and dance shoes are provided at no cost to the families. This pilot program has been so successful, that planning is underway to expand the program and reach more children, starting in September 2001.
Boca Ballet’s First Step Program has a positive effect on families. First Step family members and friends are invited to attend the final dress rehearsal of Boca Ballet Theatre’s production of The Nutcracker, in November 2001, as our guests, as well as complimentary tickets and transportation to our spring production.
At-risk children who are economically disadvantaged deserve special opportunities for creative self-expression and positive learning experiences. Using the arts as a framework for learning about life provides an interactive, hands-on method of discovery that is fun and non-threatening.
Most at-risk children and their parents do not have the financial resources to enroll in any “enrichment activities” outside of school. These youth require group supervision, one-on-one nurturing and creative outlets to challenge their natural curiosity and channel their energy in a positive, self-affirming environment. Boca Ballet’s First Step program accomplishes these goals.
The dance student learns that dance is a way to create meaning and to communicate. Students of dance apply and demonstrate critical and creative thinking skills. Dance demonstrates the benefits of healthful living. The young dancer is also exposed to dance in various cultures and historical periods, which promotes understanding and tolerance for people from all walks of life. The Boca Ballet Theatre First Step Program is a wonderful way to reach young people and guide them to be better citizens through discipline, increased self-esteem, and respect for authority figures.
beauty of dance.
Periodically, Boca Ballet Theatre provides full-production performances for the community.
A full-production performance of The Nutcracker will be given for the Palm Beach County School system.