Sprinkled among the tens of thousands of public elementary school children in New York City are children with a natural gift for dance who have had little or no access to the early training required by the rigors of ballet. Addressing this breach is imperative, as a resource for classical dance as well as for parity of opportunity. Pursuing this visionary imagining, in 1978, Ballet Tech established its tuition-free school.
The process of identifying children with nascent gift and fervor for dance is large in scale and refined in detail. It happens like this: every year, Ballet Tech sends audition teams to approximately 200 public elementary schools across New York City. All the kids in grades 2-5 audition, about 30,000 each year.
During the auditions, the kids learn a few steps. As they make their first attempts at pliés, relevés, skipping, and leaping, a few of the kids may find that not only do they like dancing but that they’re good at it too!
Not all of the kids who audition will dance - in fact, very few of them will, but they all will have a unique opportunity to explore their own potential and learn a little bit about classical dance. Those children who do go on to train at the Ballet Tech School will have a life-changing experience.
For the kids, the cost to audition is free. But for Ballet Tech, the cost is $12.78 per child. Multiply that by 30,000 kids and you'll realize we could use some help. This is where you come in. We receive generous support from a number of individuals, foundations, and government agencies. But recent cuts to arts funding has left us short. A contribution from you will help us bridge the gap.
With this fundraiser, we hope to cover the cost of 2,000 children or more, a whopping $25,560. You can help by sponsoring 1, 2, 7, or more kids’ auditions. Give any amount you wish, but please give something and encourage your friends and family to do the same.
As a little incentive, in case dancing children aren’t enough, we’ll give every team leader whose team raises $100 or more one of our 40th anniversary tote bags and a t-shirt.