Children's Aid Society Community Schools: Arts and Culture - Celebrating Dance and Cultural Diversity
Dance is a dynamic tool to engage, stimulate and streamline a child’s natural energy and self-expression. The Children’s Aid Society offers a number of dance programs, clubs and camps – at their community schools which inspires young people to listen, feel and move to the rhythm of great music. New York City is known as the “Cultural Mecca of North America”, and we believe ALL students, regardless of income, should have an opportunity to enjoy full access and exposure to the arts.
Some shining examples of our programs are the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics’ Capoeira , named for the Brazilian movement, combining dance, martial arts and break dancing; and the Ailey Camp, a wonderful collaboration with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Ailey Camp participants are challenged to explore their full creative potential.
It’s fabulous to hear them recite the daily affirmation: “I will not use the word can’t to define my possibilities.” We also partner with the American Ballet Theatre in their Make a Ballet program, where students are taught to create, choreograph, and perform their own original ballet. This magical program not only teaches the beauty and discipline of dance, but also introduces them to the world of professional performance art – both behind-the-scenes and on stage.
Recently, Children’s Aid Society youth participated in a glorious celebration of dance and culture at the African American and Dominican Heritage Festival 2009. Dance performances ranged from Salsa to Hip-Hop and Step. Dance is the harmonious synthesis of self-expression, discipline, artistry and culture. Children’s Aid Society dancers acquire a unique set of skills, knowledge and cultural experiences that will serve them and last a lifetime!