Dance for All
Earlier this year, I accepted the position of Outreach Coordinator with BalletX. Our program, Dance eXchange, is partnering with three Philadelphia public schools this fall. Dance eXchange is a 13 week program that includes a field trip, mid-term performance for peers, and ends with a final performance on a professional stage open to friends, family, and the community, providing each child with a sense of pride in his or her achievement. Responsibilities with my role include leading the Teaching Artist team, administering the program, and setting future goals for the growth of Dance eXchange.
Dance eXchange is based on the award-winning pedagogy of National Dance Institute, founded by Jacques D’Amboise in 1977. This past summer, I was sent to New York City to train with NDI’s master teachers. Through dance instruction and live musical accompaniment, Dance eXchange motivates students to achieve a standard of excellence while learning basic dance skills such as sequencing, rhythm, tempo, and performance quality. Our method builds choreography sequences through repetition of simple, athletic gestures set to varying rhythms and tempos and competitive group games.
Our approach calls on its teachers to maintain a high energy level and positive attitude to support a respectful and engaging environment designed for success, with the goal to achieve a standard of excellence from all participants. Teaching Artists work to develop students’ listening skills through the use of live musical accompaniment, employing tempo and rhythm changes to heighten students’ focus and sense of timing.
This January, Dance eXchange will have its culminating performances at the Prince Theater. The event will be FREE and open to the public.
We’re off to a strong start! Teachers have already shared with me the positive ways that their students are responding to the program.
I’m grateful to BalletX for the opportunity to lead an effective and inspiring program and I’m excited about everything I’m learning. I’m proud that I get to change lives through dance for a living!
-Belle Alvarez, BFA 2014