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.
Dance Chance: 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 winter/spring 2014, Springfield Ballet instructors will travel to McGregor Elementary, Weller Elementary, Williams Elementary and the Community Center of Springfield for weekly dance instruction. In early fall, Springfield Ballet provides an in-school demonstration at an all-school assembly for each site. At the completion of each spring session, participants demonstrate what they’ve learned for family and friends in a public performance. More than two hundred children have benefited from this program since its inception.
A special thank you to Sunbelt Environmental Services, Mr. & Mrs. Mark Hudson, the Springfield Executive Breakfast Club, and Mr. & Mrs. Jim Brandenburgh for their support of Dance Chance during the 2013-2014 season.
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. 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 35,000 students have been a part of this outreach project since it began!
A special thank you to the BNSF Railway Foundation, Foundation for Springfield Public Schools and the Target Foundation for their support of the Second Grade Performances during the 2013-2014 season.
Children’s Workshop Series: Springfield Ballet offers four low-cost workshops, open to all 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. Workshops offered have included The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Petrouchka, Peter and the Wolf, Coppelia, Cinderella, The Firebird, et al.
Boys Class: In winter/spring 2014, Springfield Ballet will offer two no-charge Boys Workshops, taught by male instructor, Spencer Ernst. This outreach program is designed to get boys moving and encourage them to explore dance movement.
MSU Child Development Center Creative Movement Classes: In January 2012, a partnership was formed with Missouri State University’s Child Development Center. For less than 50% of normal tuition costs, children ages 3-5 have the opportunity to participate in a weekly Creative Movement class, taught by a Springfield Ballet instructor. The class develops natural movement instincts through age appropriate activities, and begins developing body awareness, musicality and classroom etiquette at an early age.
Creative Dance Accessibility Class: Started in spring 2010, Springfield Ballet instructors provide free dance movement classes every 8 weeks for adults who are physically and intellectually disabled at the Northview Center, through a partnership with the Springfield-Greene County Park Board.
C.U.S.P.: (Children Underserved in Springfield Program): makes dance accessible by providing 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!