Community Engagement & Education

Our Impact

 

Mission Statement

To create awareness, appreciation, and to engage learners of all ages in a deeper understanding and connection to dance.

Kansas City Ballet Shares the Power of Dance

Kansas City Ballet’s Community Engagement and Education Department provides joyful and meaningful experiences that inspire, inform, and engage the broader community. Kansas City Ballet is committed to making dance accessible to everyone, from very young children to senior citizens, through fun workshops, interactive dance demonstrations, discounted theatre performances, adult education programs, and open company rehearsals. On average, approximately 20,000 people annually benefit from KC Ballet’s community engagement and education programs, such as Student Matinees, Lecture Demonstrations, Dance Workshops, Pre-performance programs, Ballet Tours, and our Reach Out and Dance (R.O.A.D.) Residency and Scholarship programs, throughout Missouri and Kansas.

Reach Out And Dance

Our Impact

  • More than 6,000 school students attend matinee performances of The Nutcracker and other classic and contemporary ballets each year.
  • Lecture demonstrations reach over 2,000 children each year.
  • Educational programs, such as dance workshops, ballet tours and Pre-performance programs, along with our flagship Reach Out and Dance (R.O.A.D.) Residency program impacts over 14,000 people each year.
  • The Reach Out and Dance (R.O.A.D.) Scholarship program provides up to 112 talented R.O.A.D residency students the opportunity to continue studying dance free of charge at Kansas City Ballet’s Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity. Additionally, over 240 Road Scholar principals, teachers, parents/guardians, and other family members participate in program activities.

Community Engagement and Education Director

April Berry, dance director, master teacher, educator, and internationally acclaimed principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, was born and raised in New York. Ms. Berry began her professional training in ballet at the National Academy of Ballet and Theatre Arts in New York City under the founding direction of Thalia Mara, also founder of the prestigious International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. As a young dance student Ms. Berry was a scholarship student and a company apprentice with the Dance Theatre of Harlem under directors Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook. Ms. Berry’s professional dance career began in ballet at the age of 17 and she has danced with ballet companies in the United States, Switzerland, and Italy. She studied modern dance techniques and jazz dance at the Ailey School in New York, and trained in African Caribbean folkloric and popular dance forms at the Escuela Nacional des Arts (National School of the Arts) in Havana, Cuba.

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Community Engagement and Education Staff

Administrative

April Berry
Director of Community Engagement and Education

Sean Duus
R.O.A.D. Residency Coordinator

Madeleine Arnzen
Community Education Assistant

Teaching Artists

April Berry
Sean Duus
Madeleine Arnzen
Mary Kay Cottrill
Tina Ray

Educational Programs

Kansas City Ballet reaches students and teachers of all backgrounds and experience levels through in-school programming, tours to our studios, and specially-priced matinees at the theater. Kansas City Ballet also offers unique audience education opportunities for adults wishing to expand their experiences around the ballet’s current repertory.

Over 20,000 people – from students to working professionals to retirees – benefit from our community programs annually.

Click here to watch past KCB Dancer Chats

Dancer Chats

Free Facebook Live KCB Dancer Chats; a new community engagement and education series designed to engage the broader public with professional dancers at Kansas City Ballet. Click to visit our Performances & Tickets page for upcoming Dancer Chats.

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Student Matinees

Introduce your students to the joy and wonder of dance by joining Kansas City Ballet for one of our Student Matinee performances.

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Online Lecture Demonstration - Studio to Stage

An exciting, interactive lecture demonstration offers a range of classic and contemporary ballets! A new 45-minute online program narrated by KC Ballet directors and performed by Kansas City Ballet’s Second Company dancers. Great for schools, community organizations and families!

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Dance In Schools

Reach Out And Dance (R.O.A.D.) is a 12 to 24-week in-school dance residency program for elementary students, taught by professional teaching artists from Kansas City Ballet, to live piano accompaniment.

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KC Ballet Dance Workshops
Workshops

NEW! Our 45-minute “virtual” workshops are specifically designed for Pre-K and early elementary age children (ages 2- 7) and focus on classic stories and literacy. KC Ballet Teaching Artists bring ballet stories to life through creative movement, music and a ballet show and tell.

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Pre-Performance Programs

Our pre-performance programs reach hundreds of community members each season, providing information, insight, behind the scenes of the ballet art form, and upcoming productions.

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Ballet Tours

Kansas City Ballet offers groups of 10 or more the opportunity to tour our historic facility and observe the company at work. The Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity, home to Kansas City Ballet, is located in downtown Kansas City. Information is provided on upcoming productions, and participants may visit KC Ballet’s Costume Shop and view dancers in classes and rehearsals.

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R.O.A.D. Scholarship Program

In September 2017, Kansas City Ballet initiated a unique partnership with Kansas City Public Schools in Missouri and with Turner Unified Schools in Kansas to bring a free 12-week dance residency program, Reach Out and Dance (known as R.O.A.D.), to all third-grade students in 16 elementary schools. Each spring, up to 112 students from 16 R.O.A.D. Residency schools are invited to study dance on scholarships during the school day at the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity.

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Ballet FAQs

Contact Us

For more information about Kansas City Ballet’s Education Programs for K-12 schools, youth, families, and community engagement

Email April Berry at aberry@kcballet.org.