Part of our mission at Metropolitan Ballet Theatre is to give the gift of dance back to the community. Since 1989, we have visited schools, senior centers, community events, and hospitals providing free performances, lecture demonstrations, and dance classes as part of MBT’s Community Outreach efforts. We hope to raise the “barre” and reach and revisit many organizations within our community this year. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – let us bring the arts to you!
This program was initiated in 2013 to provide free after-school dance classes to students in local Title 1 Elementary schools. Our goal in this program is to make sure students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the joy of dance and movement have that opportunity.
The Metropolitan Ballet Ensemble (Ensemble) is MBT’s professional performing company. The Ensemble performs innovative short-length ballets for cultural arts assemblies at elementary and middle schools. Touring a new program each year, the Ensemble has been able to build relationships with local schools and programs where we visit each year to perform and answer questions from the students. The Ensemble performs 8-12 performances annually for free to Title 1 schools, or other programs in underserved communities, reaching over 5000 students annually, and performances are offered to other schools and senior centers on a “pay what you can” basis.
MBT provides free tickets to underserved members of the community to attend MBT’s two professional ballet productions annually (The Nutcracker and a spring ballet, which varies annually). Tickets are provided through MBT’s partnerships at local social service agencies such as the ARC of Montgomery County, City of Gaithersburg Social Services Agencies, Family Services, Inc., and Linkages to Learning, as well as local senior residential centers. We also often provide tickets to students attending our free after-school programming so that they and their families might experience a live ballet.
MBT believes that every student who desires to study dance should be afforded the opportunity to do so. As such, we offer scholarships to students with financial needs. In recent years, need-based scholarships totaled over $25,000 annually. Our application is simple, and both full and partial scholarships are offered. A short application and documentation are required, and annual availability varies based on MBT’s funding.
MBT offers “Patch Chats” at all of our major ballet productions to help Girl Scouts earn their dance and theater patches, as well as the Nutcracker patch. MBT also offers field trips to our studio for troops who would like to experience a dance class and/or speak with the artistic staff about careers in the arts.
Several times annually, MBT students bring free performances to the community at festivals, schools, senior residential centers, and other community activities. Recently, students have performed at the Clarksburg Outlets Tree Lighting, Clarksburg Outlets Breast Cancer Awareness Event, Ring House, Arden Courts of Kensington, the MCCPTA/MCPS Performing Arts Festival, Octoberfest, and several ES International Nights.
MBT’s Adaptive Dance program encourages integration into mainstream classes in ballet or other disciplines for ambulatory dancers with special needs ranging from developmental, orthopedic, cognitive, and behavioral impairments. One-on-one assistants are encouraged to join the class with the student if needed. Funding for a one-on-one class assistant may also be available through a generous MBT donor if your family needs assistance.
Residency– Invite MBT to be a company in residence at your school. This offers your students the opportunity to take part in dance classes provided by MBT instructors on a weekly or monthly basis. It can include setting original choreography on your students which can be presented to an audience.
MBT Performance– Watch a dance performance and learn how to view dance and what it means to be an audience member and a performer. MBT will present excerpts from The Nutcracker and other ballets as well as original student choreography complete with costumes.
Cultural Arts Assembly– Gather your students for a 30-45 minute classical or contemporary ballet performance, with commentary from MBT’s faculty about the choreography or theme. Recent assemblies have included a Black History Month assembly, exceprts from some of Tchaikovsky’s famous ballets, Carnival of the Animals, and other works from the Metropolitan Ballet Ensemble.
Lecture Demonstration– MBT dancers or faculty members will present a program demonstrating the basics of ballet, jazz, and modern dance technique. Students in the audience are actively encouraged to participate by learning the dance moves, contributing ideas, asking questions, and choreographing their own movement with the dancers.
Story Time– MBT dancers will come to your school in costume and read your students a storybook ballet like The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella or Swan Lake.
Please contact MBT if your organization is interested in providing a dance opportunity to your organization. Programs are free or low-cost to PTAs and senior residential centers, as part of MBT’s mission to make arts opportunities accessible to all.