Three years ago when Ashley Lindemann’s daughter Evie attended third grade at Border Star Montessori, she participated in the inaugural class of Reach Out And Dance (R.O.A.D.) students for the school.
The R.O.A.D. program has an established curriculum taught by KC Ballet teaching artists to live music, introducing 3rd and 4th-grade students to the fundamentals of dance: space, time, effort, self-discipline, and cooperative learning. Thematic lessons integrate the STEAM-based curriculum and are based on National and State Education Standards.
Evie enjoyed the program and was surprised at the end of it to find out she was selected to receive continued dance training through the R.O.A.D. Scholarship Program the following semester. These select students were bussed to KC Ballet’s Bolender Center weekly to attend Ballet and Jazz classes. They also received dancewear like leotards, tights and ballet slippers courtesy of Dance Shoppe, Inc., the R.O.A.D. Scholarship Program Uniform Provider.
R.O.A.D. Take Two
When younger sister Genny began the residency program at Border Star, she knew she would need to buckle down and participate to earn a place in the coveted scholarship program. That was a bigger challenge when you consider that in addition to being an extrovert, Genny has ADD and some sensory issues.
Ashley explained, “Ballet classes help her with self discipline and to continue learning and trying harder to keep moving with the class and try new things. Getting in the zone, knowing the expectations and being able to express herself physically has been wonderful. People with ADD really thrive in group activities that include body mirroring. It can be very soothing and calming. Everyone working together and learning at the same time has been beneficial for brain development and self control. It’s been awesome for me to see her thriving in that environment.”
Ashley is no stranger to the arts. She worked at the Johnson County Community College box office for 17 years. “Dance and musicals were my favorite thing,” she admitted. She has enjoyed having this way to introduce both of her daughters to the arts as well.
Besides being a huge fan of KC and living in Midtown, Ashley believes the arts are a way for us to connect to other people, understand different points of view, and through stories, build stronger communities.
At school and in the R.O.A.D. program, Genny is part of a really diverse class.
“That’s massively important to us,” Ashley said. “Genny is white, but she is included in a class that is so intentionally diverse. That will carry forward throughout her life. She’ll know that arts and dance should be accessible for everyone.”
Ashley appreciated the R.O.A.D. Program and the effects it was having on her community and her daughters so much, she decided to become a donor.
“I wanted to donate because I think the ballet is doing a wonderful job of being so intentional with creating that diversity with this program,” she said. “My giving philosophy is to give a little bit (so that I can afford it), and to give it consistently every single month for all the organizations in KC that make life wonderful and great. If a lot of people did that, the arts would be flush with cash to do even more for our community.”
If you are interested in learning more about Kansas City Ballet’s R.O.A.D. programs, contact Director of Community Engagement and Education April Berry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in Becoming a Monthly Giver?
If you are interested in making a monthly gift to Kansas City Ballet to support the organization or a specific program, sign up here or contact Director of Individual Giving Brent Kimmi at email@example.com.
Photography by April Berry. R.O.A.D. Scholarship students.