Wilmington Ballet Receives Arsht-Cannon Fund Grant to Support Dance Training for Latino Boys in Delaware
The Wilmington Ballet Academy of the Dance is pleased to announce that it has received a grant of $8,200 from the Arsht-Cannon Fund to support it’s ongoing boys scholarship program and specifically to allow the school to provide dance instruction for Latino boys that take classes at the school.
Wilmington Ballet has a boys-only class for students ages seven to eighteen and also allows the boys to join in the studio’s other ballet and contemporary classes at no cost to their families. Currently, there are nine boys enrolled in the program, five of whom are of Latino heritage. Wilmington Ballet established the boys scholarship program as a way to attract more boys into a demanding and athletic pursuit that is too often stereotyped as a “girls’ activity.” The Wilmington Ballet program provides a supportive and accepting environment for young boys in underserved communities to have access to dance instruction.
“Since 1956, our mission has been to provide high quality classical ballet instruction to people of all ages in the Wilmington community, and especially in or near our downtown neighborhood,” explains Wilmington Ballet Executive Director Beth Moore. “We are tremendously grateful to the Arsht-Cannon Fund for helping us to make dance available to these young boys. We are confident that this unique opportunity will help to develop their potential as artists, athletes, and students. “
Wilmington Ballet believes that providing classical instruction for Latino boys at an early age will reduce the social stigma of dance that prevents many boys from pursuing dance. Research also shows that dance training can help counteract some of the health risks that disproportionately plague the Latino community, such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.
“As a former professional dancer, I have experienced the benefits of dance, including increased physical strength and stamina, improved mental focus, and emotional control,” says Wilmington Ballet Artistic Director Jorge Laico. “Professional athletes have been taking dance class for years to make them better on the field or court. Dance training makes young people healthier, helps them to perform better in school, teaches individual responsibility and discipline, and creates stronger social relationships.”
The Arsht-Cannon Fund grant will reinforce Wilmington Ballet’s commitment to serving Latino youth throughout our community and enable the organization to expand its outreach efforts. In addition to its boys scholarship program, Wilmington Ballet has recently started working with both the Latin American Community Center and the William C. Lewis Dual Language Elementary School to offer both boys and girls dance classes as part of both schools’ after school enrichment programs.
About Wilmington Ballet Academy of the Dance
Founded in 1956, Wilmington Ballet Academy of the Dance is one of the oldest surviving ballet schools in the tri-state area and is dedicated to providing superior classical ballet training to foster discipline, confidence, and poise to students of all ages in the Wilmington area. Since 1967, the annual Nutcracker performance at the historic DuPont Theatre, now Playhouse on Rodney Square, has provided our students the opportunity to perform with world-class artists and live music. Instruction is provided for all levels from age three through adult classes at our studios in the Trolley Square area of Wilmington.
About the Arsht-Cannon Fund
Created in 2004, the mission of the Arsht-Cannon Fund is to improve the quality of life in Delaware by addressing key issues, needs and opportunities in our diverse communities. Our current collaborations and non-profit program funding maintain a focus on the integration and well-being of Hispanic Delawareans.
For more information, please contact:
Executive Director for Marketing and Development
Wilmington Ballet Academy of the Dance
1709 Gilpin Avenue
Wilmington, DE 19806
“Educating dancers for life since 1956”