R.O.A.D. Residency Anniversary

Kansas City Ballet Celebrates 20+ Years – R.O.A.D. Residency Program

Kansas City Ballet’s Reach Out And Dance (R.O.A.D.) program has been bringing dance to thousands of elementary school students in Kansas City for more than 20 years!

We thank all of our residency school partners, students and teachers over the years for their participation and commitment to the program. KC Ballet’s R.O.A.D. Residency program changes lives every day!

R.O.A.D. is a dance in schools residency program with live music.

R.O.A.D. classes also incorporate academic curriculum that students’ study in their classrooms.  Every week Kansas City Ballet teaching artists lead R.O.A.D. classes in elementary schools on both sides of the State Line. 

R.O.A.D. is for every school student in the 3rd and 4th grade and the program has provided a creative environment for learning since 2000. 

R.O.A.D. History

Modeled after the National Dance Institute (NDI) Program in New York City founded in 1970’s by Jacques D’Amboise, a former principal dancer with New York City Ballet, Kansas City Ballet’s R.O.A.D. Residency program was initiated in 2000 by KC Ballet’s Community Education Department. Initially piloted in two public schools, Primitiva Garcia Elementary in Missouri and Broken Arrow Elementary in Kansas, this program was the first of its kind in Missouri and Kansas.

We celebrate the many new R.O.A.D. partner schools who have joined the program, growing the program from 9 schools in 2017 to 23 schools in 2020.

School Partners

Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS)
Turner Unified School District (TUSD)
Kansas City Kansas Schools (KCK)
Shawnee Mission Schools (SMSD)
Select Charter Schools
Select Parochial Schools
Select Private Schools

“We simply believe that this program has given our kids exposure to a world that would otherwise not be readily available to many of them simply off of the sheer fact that they live in income-sensitive situations.”

– Dr. Mark Bedell, Superintendent KC Public Schools

Wendell Phillips Elementary School

“R.O.A.DBuilds student confidence while also challenging them with new skills; enhances vocabulary development; geography and language.”

– Classroom teacher

Overland Park Elementary School

“The R.O.A.D. program doesn’t just teach kids dance and music. In math specifically, kids learn about adding/subtracting fractions … science concepts like acceleration, force and friction.  And then we also see that it teaches our kids a sense of perseverance.”

– Dr. Jason Dandoy, Superintendent Turner Unified School District

MIdland Trail Elementary School

“I learned about different types of energy and learned more about dance.”

– R.O.A.D. Residency Student

St. Ann Catholic School

“I started accompanying R.O.A.D. in 2010. It’s been a pleasure working with such great teaching artists and hundreds of great kids!  The kids really enjoy witnessing music being created live, which many of them have rarely or never seen in person”.

– Roger Wilder, R.O.A.D. Accompanist

Crossroads Academy

“I began as a R.O.A.D. teaching artist because the program merged the two things I loved most, teaching and dance. Working with a diverse group of students from various backgrounds helped shaped my perspectives as I moved into other work in the organization and those experiences still inspire me every day. I feel honored to say that it was the first job I had in my career at Kansas City Ballet.”

– Former R.O.A.D. Residency Teaching Artist Jessica Bacus

Hartman Elementary School

R.O.A.D. Gallery

R.O.A.D. residencies culminate in end-of-semester R.O.A.D. rallies.

R.O.A.D. residencies integrate thematic lessons infusing STEAM-based curriculum and are based on National and State Education Standards.

Click here to learn more about the R.O.A.D Residency Program


A Special Thank You

Kansas City Ballet celebrates this milestone anniversary by extending our gratitude and appreciation to the many schools that have partnered with Kansas City Ballet throughout the years.

We would like to extend our deep appreciation to all of the KC Ballet teaching artists and accompanists who have participated in the R.O.A.D. Residency Program who have kept students inspired and engaged in their classrooms and their homes.