The Issue: Lack of Arts Education
In the wake of the economic downturn, public schools have been cutting programs, especially those programs that focus on the arts. According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Unified School District notified 9,500 teachers that they could be laid off in 2009, which would mean potentially removing thousands of classes from the curriculum. Dance classes are commonly cut. These classes go beyond teaching graceful steps, imparting the benefits of both self-reliance and teamwork to children, and can help develop self-esteem. Youth who dance gain opportunities to express themselves creatively and focus on achieving personal goals.
The Campaign: Funding Ballet Classes for Underserved Youth
If this Grassroots campaign raises $500, then The City of Angels Ballet can sponsor one underserved youth in one year of ballet lessons. Each additional $500 raised will fund one year of ballet lessons for another youth. City of Angels Ballet aims to fund participation for a total of six underserved youth aged 7–15.
City of Angels Ballet students undergo classical training at a small studio in Silver Lake one to five days a week depending on skill level. Beginners practice barre and floor exercises and learn to walk in time and clap out musical phrases, whereas intermediate students work on perfecting their posture and technique through barre exercises and movements. Advanced students work on the barre and hone routine movements, building the skills necessary to become professional dancers. A pianist accompanies all classes and all students will have a chance to take part in a professional ballet performance over the course of the year.
The City of Angels Ballet
The City of Angels Ballet teaches the poise and grace of classical ballet at no cost for students from low-income families. The school selects talented youth from the region, gives them dance wear, and trains them through formal lessons divided by skill level, led by ballet masters and mistresses, and accompanied by a pianist. The school teaches youths to respect their bodies and be respectful to everyone they encounter while emphasizing resilience in their actions to help them achieve their goals. Students perform their routines in a variety of community settings including the Children's Hospital's 100th-anniversary celebration and the annual Festival of Lights.
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