About the Program
CityDance is an outreach program of the Alabama Ballet modeled after the Boston Ballet program, Alabama Ballet brings dance education to inner-city schools, providing underprivileged children with the opportunity to learn about all aspects of the art form. This Dance Outreach Program targets grades 3-5.
The children, taught by a member of the Alabama Ballet faculty, learn the basics of ballet, jazz, and even explore dance imaging concepts modeled after the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. Since its inception, CityDance’s popularity has grown and the program has expanded to two eight-week programs, which reach five elementary schools within the Birmingham area. Approximately, 200 new students are exposed to this outreach program every year. At the completion of the two eight-week programs, all participating schools come together for one special performance at the Alabama Ballet Center for Dance.
The benefits of the outreach program extend beyond exposing children to the arts. Dance education improves learning, specifically math, and develops social skills as well as building self-esteem. The arts also benefit from this outreach program because it brings in new talent that otherwise might never have made its way to the ballet class. Tracey Alvey, Alabama Ballet’s Artistic Director, said, “If we didn’t have CityDance, we might miss the next ballet star.”