The Washington Ballet intends to increase the number of free dance classes it offers to D.C. public schools east of the Anacostia River.
The announcement of the expanded offerings came at a April 29 fundraiser for the ballet. The classes are part of DanceDC, an education and outreach program that provides a seven week in-school residency to second and third grade D.C. students.
The program currently serves eight to nine schools every year, totaling more than 700 students. The ballet expects to increase the number of schools to 13 to 14 through the expanded initiative.
Incoming artistic director Julie Kent placed heavy emphasis on the academic and emotional successes of students who participate in the program.
“Dance is vital and really bridges the gaps between all areas of D.C., allowing people to see all the real colors and layers D.C. has to offer,” Kent told the AFRO. “We think it is important that we expand our program and are currently making plans to add an additional five schools to DanceDC.”