Serving over 25,000 individuals each year, BNC's Community Education Programs are some of the most comprehensive in the Denver metro area and are praised for their collaborative approach and highly skilled instructors. These programs reflect BNC's deep commitment to collaboration and enriching lives through dance.
Ballet Nouveau Colorado's Title I Elementary Partnerships bring yearlong arts experiences to 2,500 students in four public schools in high-need neighborhoods each year. More than 80% of the students in these schools fall below the federal poverty line and up to 25% are classified as homeless. Studies show that students with high levels of arts participation outperform students lacking the arts in all areas of competency. The impact is even more significant in students with low-income backgrounds. BNC's two-year residencies provide the opportunity for students to gain confidence through an in-depth process that merges dance with each school's specific curricular priorities. These partnerships also include interactive in-school and in-theatre performances by BNC's professional company throughout the year and after school ballet classes for two grade levels.
Created in 2010, Young Person's Guide to Dance is an adventure through the history and theory dance. This interactive performance combines BNC's deep knowledge of elementary age, integrated learning techniques with its vibrant and engaging contemporary dance methodology. This celebrated program is presented by BNC's professional company at elementary schools across the Denver metro area and beyond.
In 2006, Ballet Nouveau Colorado created The Ugly Duckling Anti-Bullying Program in collaboration with Creating Caring Communities. This interactive performance uses dance to engage school age children in a thoughtful and engaging conversation about bullying. Since it inception, The Ugly Duckling has been presented to 17,000 school children across the Denver metro area.
The ballet is a delightful romp through 1980's pop culture and tells the story of what it would have been like if the Ugly Duckling went to school in modern times. The Ugly Duckling is both poignant and entertaining, and is perfectly designed for the attention span and learning needs of an elementary aged audience. From being excluded at the lunch table to being taunted on the playground, The Ugly Duckling is a dramatic portrayal of what it can be like to be different from the other people in school. We use this ballet as one great "teaching moment" to tune students in to what it feels like not to fit in, how everyone benefits when we accept each others' differences, and how to make school a more enjoyable place for everyone.
Originally presented by BNC's professional company, The Ugly Duckling went on to be performed by the student company and is now a national program being presented by Oklahoma City Ballet and Dance Theatre of Tennessee.
Read more: Ballet Nouveau Colorado steps up nationwide with anti-bullying program – The Denver Post
Photo Credit: Michele McGinley
Phase I – Pilot
In 2011, Ballet Nouveau Colorado launched the first phase of a major new project. Artistic Director Garrett Ammon has conceived Project: Generations as an ongoing, creative dialog with our elders. As BNC moves through the four phases of this project, it aspires to uncover new artistic possibilities while at the same time creating experiences for our senior population that will increase physical, emotional and creative activity through dance. BNC's artistic, education and community programs staff and faculty, including Heather Sutton, a registered dance/movement therapist, will work closely with assisted living communities in the Denver metro area during the evolution of this project.
In October 2010, BNC initiated a relationship with the Retreat at Church Ranch, an assisted living community located in Jefferson County. Alzheimer's residents participated in creating art around the themes of BNC's production Chasing the Sublime that were then displayed in an exhibition at BNC's studios in December 2010. Moving forward, BNC is working with the Retreat and its residents to develop movement and art classes that are designed to increase body awareness, coordination and strength as well as supporting the psychological, social, emotional, cognitive and expressive health of the participants. The Retreat and its residents will play a pivotal role in providing direct feedback and input during the pilot phase of this project. In addition, BNC's professional company and school students will visit with and perform for the residents of the Retreat at both their facilities and BNC's studios throughout the year. Retreat residents will also be provided tickets to BNC's professional and student company productions. This pivotal first phase will provide the framework for the growth of this project in the years to come.
This adaptive curriculum class is specifically designed to provide kids of all abilities with a therapeutic dance experience. Students gain increased body awareness, develop fundamental motor skills, improve self-esteem, concentration and focus while having fun expressing themselves creatively. The program is taught by a Registered Dance/Movement Therapist with experience working with children of all abilities, students are able to explore dance in a safe environment. Caregivers are welcome to connect with other Ballet Expression families while observing their children through a one-way glass window.
Families and individuals with challenges such as economic limitations, social isolation, physical or developmental disabilities or long-term illness often do not have the same level of access to the arts and cultural community as those without those challenges. Ballet Nouveau Colorado works with ArtReach Denver to provide more than 1,200 free tickets for its professional and student productions to low income seniors and at-risk individuals annually.
Ballet Nouveau Colorado works with elementary schools in the Denver metro area to provide free ballet lessons to students each week. A professional instructor from BNC's faculty works with students at their elementary school, guiding them through the beginning level syllabus used at The School of BNC. Ballet lessons heighten physical awareness and confidence; teach students how to create and work toward new goals; and increase focus, memory and creative skills.
At Ballet Nouveau Colorado, we love sharing our passion for art with others. Inspiration can be contagious, so we regularly invite art students and working artists into our studios during the creation process. Visual artist, writers, musicians, photographers and video artists have all shared our space with us.
BNC's professional company and school regularly present free interactive performances in the community. be sure to join our E-Blast, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to hear about these programs.
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