MCB and Miami-Dade County Public Schools Launch “Ballet Bus”

MIAMI BEACH, FL – (March 18, 2015) – Miami City Ballet, in partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools and the office of the Superintendent of Schools Alberto M. Carvalho, announces the launch of Ballet Bus, a year-round dance scholarship program reaching deep into the Miami-Dade County community to provide arts education and access to students from all backgrounds. The pilot year of the program will target 17 children from District Title I Schools with both talent and need – and provide a long-term investment in each child.

Superintendent Carvalho announced the launch of Ballet Bus at the Meeting of the School Board of Miami-Dade County, Wednesday, March 18, 2015.

This nine-month, 34-week program will provide 30 local children, ages 7-10, with everything they need to succeed and excel in one of the nation’s premier dance training academies, including:

  • Fully subsidized tuition at Miami City Ballet School
  • Transportation from public school to Miami City Ballet School.
  • Dance attire and equipment
  • Family support and counseling
  • Invaluable opportunities to engage with critically acclaimed teachers and artists

“Creative activities are the building blocks of a sound learning foundation,” said Superintendent Carvalho. “We could not be more thrilled about our partnership with Miami City Ballet and the tremendous impact this collaboration will have on students. Through Ballet Bus, students will be immersed in the professional standards of performing arts as they continue to develop skills that are fundamentally important to their success in the classroom and beyond.”

Scholarship students will be completely integrated into the Miami City Ballet School student body, and each student will be evaluated annually with the opportunity to move on to the next level of study. This long-term investment in each child will have a transformative impact on that young person’s future.

“Ballet changed my life from the age of five, and it continues to do so, to this day. We want to transform and inspire young people in our community in meaningful and lasting ways through the power of the performing arts, and specifically classical ballet,” said MCB Artistic Director and Chairman of Miami City Ballet School Lourdes Lopez. “We are thrilled to partner with Superintendent Carvalho and Miami-Dade County Public Schools, reaching deep into our community to provide arts education and access to students from all backgrounds – providing them with everything they need to succeed.”

Darleen Callaghan, Miami City Ballet School Director said, “It has always been my dream to offer scholarships, transportation, and opportunity to children in our community who would not otherwise have the resources to train at a professional ballet school. To give them the chance to experience the benefits of dance training and to carry those life skills into their adult lives would truly be impactful. This is what Ballet Bus can offer these children.”

Ballet Bus is structured around proven studies demonstrating that early exposure to the performing arts enhances young people’s academic achievement, social development and likelihood of graduation. The mission of this new collaborative program is to provide skills-based training, personal development and hope to children in our community who are most in need. The program is based on both merit and need – identifying talent and potential, and fostering a nurturing and supportive environment to encourage natural ability through classical training.

The first Ballet Bus classes are scheduled to begin with the commencement of the 2015-16 academic year of the Miami-Dade Schools. Details on participation will be announced soon.