Dance Chance Students. Photo: © Vikki Sloviter
Dance Chance Students. Photo: © Vikki Sloviter

Dance Chance

Dance Chance is an instructional program bringing ballet to underserved schools; in so doing, it also empowers children from impoverished communities to find a new space for physical, emotional, and intellectual growth.
 
This unique three-step program is designed to provide in-school ballet classes, with the mission and goal of identifying promising ballet students who are invited to attend regular classes at The School of Pennsylvania Ballet. We want to have a sustained impact on these potential professional dancers. Dance Chance is currently in four participating schools; Folk Arts Cultural Treasures Charter School, James G. Blaine School,  Tacony Academy Charter School and Holy Redeemer Catholic School.
 
Step 1: Dance Chance provides in-school weekly classes for first-grade students with an emphasis on creative movement and the vocabulary of classical ballet. Supplementing the ballet classes, students attend Pennsylvania Ballet performances. The students gain increased focus and concentration, discipline and dedication, and the love and joy of dance and movement. 
 
Step 2: Students who show particular promise and dedication are selected to attend class with their peers at The School of Pennsylvania Ballet. Classes are tuition-free, including all costs associated with required dancewear. 
 
Step 3: Students who have successfully completed the Step 2 year and have been evaluated to have the criteria needed to attend The School of Pennsylvania Ballet are accepted as full-time, permanent students. Dance Chance students receive free tuition and dancewear for the life of their training.
 

  • Core Values

    The Gift of Grit 
    Resiliency is more impactful on a child than specific dance skills, and every time a difficult task is overcome teaches the child a lesson in persistence.

    The Challenge of Cooperation
    Learning to trust teammates and in turn to ask teammates to trust you will contribute to success in many interpersonal dynamics throughout life

    The Benefits of Broadened Horizons
    Experiences outside of a child’s everyday environment awaken and build an excitement for ever expanding growth.

    The Marvels of Movement
    More than 50% of humans are kinesthetic learners, yet 80% of classroom learning is constructed as auditory learning; allowing children to experience physical movement while learning has benefits throughout the rest of the school day.

    The Practice of Patience
    Engaging with others in an environment of tolerance, kindness, and patience teaches children to expect such traits of themselves and everyone around them.

     

  • Guiding Principles

    Accessibility vs. Elitism
    By bringing dance instruction to schools in underserved communities, many of these students will be experiencing a professional art form for the very first time. Students are encouraged to develop as artists and as audience members.

    Group Dynamic in Education
    Though each part of ballet instruction requires a student to attempt mastery of his/her own personal body, each student must do so while recognizing how his/her movements work with the other dancers’.

    Ownership of Progressive, Multi-Tiered Learning
    Children are taught to understand the hows and whys of multi-tiered learning, and so have a vested interest in its success path.

    Games and Play for Organic Development
    Breaking away from rote memorization through the use of movement-based games stimulates intellectual growth in all aspects of the child's day.

    Social Change through Civic Pride
    By sharing beauty and light with the children, and by showing them that they are capable of producing it themselves, we can begin to affect change through civic and self-pride.

    Ambition and Achievement
    Setting step-by-step goals and pointing out each success along the path, for individual students as well as for the group, shows the children that choices and actions-- big and small-- can lead to achievement.