In 2015, Cleveland Ballet and School of Cleveland Ballet embarked on an exciting new journey. They began a dance education outreach program with Warrensville Heights schools which allows students the opportunity to experience ballet. Today this program consists of three public schools, Warrensville Heights, Maple Heights and Bedford City Schools and a few private schools. Students from the three public schools came to the School of Cleveland Ballet facilities twice a week for ballet class, where they not only learned ballet, but they learned self discipline, respect, history and an appreciation for the arts. This experience is an outstanding and truly unique opportunity for the students
At the end of their semester the Dance Education Outreach Program students showcased their accomplishments from their training. It was a wonderful event! Each school was able to perform onstage at the historic auditorium at Bedford High School. They performed individually, then there was a solo performance from a 14 year old dancer with School of Cleveland Ballet and finally a solo from a professional male dance from the Cleveland Ballet Company before a grand finale of all three schools performing together! Having the Cleveland Ballet performances was a special treat and allowed for the outreach students to see what they have been working toward.
Following the finale Ms. Gladisa Guadalupe, Artistic Director of Cleveland Ballet and School of Cleveland Ballet, presented the grand prize of a FULL scholarship to one student from each school to School of Cleveland Ballet for the 17/18 school year!
A representative from each district came on stage to discuss the program with Ms. Guadalupe and the resounding tone was one of great pride and success. One teacher even noted how the schools were rivals but programs like this brings them together in a positive way. Each school wants to continue this program and Cleveland Ballet along with School of Cleveland Ballet wants to grow and increase this program until they are bringing ballet to all of Metropolitan Cleveland!
Watching the smiles on the faces of the participating students, I’d say this program was a great success! The students had a marvelous time, and the lobby afterward was full of hugs and proud families.