SPAC Presents Educational Dance Workshops for Children of All Abilities

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Saratoga Performing Arts Center announces that it will offer a series of dance workshops for children of all abilities in partnership with New York City Ballet (NYCB), National Dance Institute (NDI) and Double H Ranch. Offered for free and as part of SPAC’s commitment to arts education, the workshops will be specifically tailored for young children, ballet students, and dancers with disabilities.  

 Photo by Rosalie O’Connor

For the first time on SPAC’s amphitheater stage, New York City Ballet dancers will lead a “Children’s Workshop” and one “In Motion Workshop,” on Tuesday, July 13 as well as an “Access Workshop” at the School of the Arts studios on Saturday, July 17. In addition to the in-person dance workshops, SPAC will continue its partnership with National Dance Institute and Double H Ranch to provide campers with life-threatening illnesses access to free dance programming through virtual workshops on Friday, July 9 and Friday, July 30.

“Giving children of all ages and abilities access to free world-class music and dance programming is an essential part of our expanded mission. We are so happy to be able to bring these workshops to families and children with disabilities — while also giving our young dancers who were cast in Swan Lake in 2020 the opportunity to perform on the SPAC stage with NYCB dancers,” said Elizabeth Sobol, President & CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

“July has traditionally been ‘Dance Month’ at SPAC, and is marked each year by the return of one of our longstanding resident companies – the world-renowned New York City Ballet. While NYCB is in town, we find as many opportunities as possible to promote dance education, and to make dance more accessible to children of all ages and abilities. We are thrilled to once again partner with New York City Ballet and with National Dance Institute to bring their dance education programs back to children in the greater Capital Region this month,” says Dennis Moench, SPAC’s Senior Director of Education.

“Among the many cherished artists who we lost recently is the former NYCB principal dancer and founder of NDI, Jacques D’Amboise. Jacques was beloved by SPAC, NYCB, and dance communities all over the world. We are honored to continue partnering with both of the organizations that were most-touched by his artistic brilliance and generous spirit, and we hope that his work continues to inspire children and young artists in our area for many years to come,” added Moench.

“The Double H Ranch is so fortunate to share a special partnership with SPAC and to provide our campers with a unique opportunity to participate in the NDI virtual workshops this year. Our campers and summer team benefitted greatly from this experience in the summer of 2019 and it is truly something extra special that will provide lasting memories,” says Max Yurenda, CEO of Double H Ranch.

NYCB Workshops – July 13 and 17

New York City Ballet will offer three children’s workshops led by two NYCB dancers while in residence at SPAC this July. Each workshop will be offered at no cost to participants.

“Children’s Workshop”

Led by NYCB Dancer Mimi Staker

SPAC amphitheater stage

Tuesday, July 13th at 3pm

Designed for children ages 4-8, this workshop will teach approximately 32 children choreography inspired by Balanchine’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Each child will receive their own costume pieces to wear during the class and take home as a souvenir.

“In Motion Workshop”

Led by NYCB Dancer Sara Adams

SPAC amphitheater stage

Tuesday, July 13th at 4:30pm

Designed for children ages 9-12 who have ballet experience, this workshop will teach approximately 32 children choreography inspired by Peter Martins’ “Swan Lake.”

“Access workshop”

Led by NYCB Dancers Meaghan Dutton-O’Hara and Davide Riccardo

School of the Arts studios

Saturday, July 17th at 10am

The “Access Workshop” is tailored for dancers with disabilities and will teach approximately 20 children choreography inspired by NYCB’s repertory.

NDI @ Double H Ranch – July 9 and 30

National Dance Institute (NDI) will bring a series of virtual dance workshops to the campers at the Double H Ranch on Friday, July 9th and Friday, July 30.  Each workshop will be offered at no cost to participants or to the Double H Ranch.  

Approximately 250 campers will participate in the workshops which are designed, with the help and oversight of a licensed pediatric physical therapist, to incorporate NDI’s award-winning dance pedagogy into inclusive classrooms where children of all abilities can dance and perform. Children not only learn fundamental dance concepts and movement qualities, they are challenged to achieve their best through teamwork, creativity, empathy, and discovery. The choreography learned during the NDI workshops will then be performed as part of the camp-wide Talent Show celebration held at the end of each session.

NDI @ Double H Ranch is made possible by the generous support of Lois and Matt Emmens.

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