Springfield Ballet is committed to making dance accessible to those who might otherwise not have the opportunity to experience the art of ballet. Because of community support, the Ballet is able to touch the lives of thousands of deserving children throughout Southwest Missouri each year.
Formed in the spring of 2007, Dance Chance exists today as a partnership with Springfield Public Schools, the Community Center of Springfield and Caring Communities to provide free dance instruction to children at low-income schools. In 2013–2014, Springfield Ballet instructors traveled to McGregor Elementary, Weller Elementary, Williams Elementary and the Community Center of Springfield for weekly dance instruction. Each fall, Springfield Ballet provides an in-school demonstration at an assembly for each school. At the completion of each spring session, participants demonstrate what they’ve learned for family and friends in a public performance
Second Grade Performances
Since 1996, Springfield Ballet has provided busing for every second grader in the Springfield Public Schools system to attend a live, abridged performance of The Nutcracker at the historic Landers Theatre. This program is designed to expose all children to the art of ballet at an early age as part of the Any Given Child initiative. To enhance the learning experience, lesson plans are provided to the schools to be completed before attending the performance. For many of the children, this is their first experience being in a live theatre setting and viewing classical ballet. More than 40,000 students have been a part of this outreach project since it began!
Springfield Ballet is proud to be a part of Springfield's Any Given Child initiative. Any Given Child seeks to bring access, balance, and equity to each child's arts education, using a model that combines the resources of Springfield Public Schools, local art groups, and the Kennedy Center for students in kindergarten through seventh grade. Springfield Ballet's Second Grade Performances of The Nutcracker act as the second grade component of this program. "Offering a strong arts education component benefits students in their intellectual, personal, and social development," said Darrell M. Ayers, Kennedy Center Vice President of Education. "We want to ensure that every child receives a sold, meaningful arts education from kindergarten through eight grade."
Children’s Workshop Series
Springfield Ballet offers four low-cost workshops, open to community children, each year to provide a well-rounded introduction to the art of ballet. Each workshop engages young participants (age 3–8) in an afternoon that includes a craft, story time, dancing and games. The workshops are great introductions to classical ballets and serve well to enrich the lives of young students, both dancers and non-dancers. 2014–2015 workshops include Peter Pan, The Nutcracker, Peter and the Wolf, and Snow White.
Free Boys Workshops
Springfield Ballet offers periodic Boys Workshops at no-charge, taught by male instructor, Marcel Brown. This outreach program is designed to get boys moving and encourage them to explore the athletic benefits of dance movement.
C.U.S.P. (Children Underserved in Springfield Program)
To make dance accessible to all children, Springfield Ballet provides free tickets (for children and their caregivers) to every Springfield Ballet performance at the Landers Theatre. Past organizations that have benefited from this program include: Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, Caring Communities, CASA, Child Advocacy Center, Community Center of Springfield, Lost and Found, McGregor Elementary, Parenting Life Skills Center, Regional Girls Shelter, Robberson Elementary, Williams Elementary, Wilson’s Creek Elementary and more!