I have seen lots of after school programs where the kids run around chasing each other to kill the time and others where the kids play ping pong, Foosball and board games. But today I went On The Road to check out an after school program in Fort Worth that has kids on their toes… literally!
The program is called FIND, which stands for Find and Inspire New Dancers. It is run by the non-profit group Ballet Concerto and is currently in four Fort Worth ISD schools. Ballet Concerto was an idea hatched by Margo Dean, who runs the school of ballet with her name on it, and was meant to bring ballet to those who couldn’t afford to pay for ballet classes.
The children taking ballet at Daggett Elementary all told me how much they enjoyed stretching and learning all their positions. Chassé, plié and coupé are all word that are harder for the kids to pronounce than to execute. One girl said her family is proud of her for learning ballet. None of them would have every tried ballet had it not been introduced to the after school program.
The goal is to let every child experience ballet and if they are good at it, then Ballet Concerto works to get them into Margo Dean’s School of Ballet. Board member Nancy Jones told me one student they found in the FIND program has gone on to be a professional ballet dancer. It’s stories like that, that tells you the program works. Ballet Concerto wishes they could be at every school and teach every child ballet but they depend on fundraisers and donations to keep the program running.
If you would like to help, Ballet Concerto will be having a fund raising gala on June 7th at the Cendera Center. Then they will hold their Annual Outdoor Summer Dance Concerts in Trinity Park June 21-June 24th. If you have any other questions on how you can help you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the Ballet Concerto website.