Pointe Shoes and Pencils: The Role of Ballet Companies in K-12 Education
By: Alexandra Tweedley
Published: 2016
Uploaded: 10/27/2016
Uploaded by: Arts Administration Program
Pockets: Advocacy, Cultural Policy, Government, & Law, Arts Administration: General, Community Arts, Dance, Arts Administration, Arts Administration Program Theses, Arts Administration Program Theses (Permission Required)
Tags: ballet, Dance, dance education, Educational Programming, K-12 education, school partnerships

Description/Abstract: Dance education offered in public schools has seen a sharp decline due to budget cuts and the emphasis on testing which have taken funding from school arts programs. Dance companies increasingly offer programs to ameliorate the decline in dance and performing arts education in schools. In this study of four different urban ballet companies and their education programs, I ask: What strategies do ballet companies use to initiate and build relationships with public schools? How do ballet companies and schools develop or co-develop educational programming for the public schools in their communities? What benefits, if any, do these programs provide to public school students? How do ballet companies evaluate the success of their programs and school partnerships? This research reveals that ballet companies expose students to dance, which has many physical and socio-emotional benefits. However, the logistics, curriculum and evaluation methods of programs vary depending on the shared goals of the school and the company, organizational capacity, and funding resulting in a variety of dance educational programming models designed for public schools.