NYTB’s innovative LIFT Community Service Program provides scholarships for talented at-risk and underserved children at Ballet School NY, as well as programs that champion dance for the greater good.
LIFT includes a year-round Study Program for children at risk and homeless. Based on auditions held in shelters and other locations, up to 30 children are enrolled each year – all given partial or full scholarship assistance and other supporting help (clothing, medical care, field trips, mentoring). The study program has won recognition from the White House and the National Endowment for the Arts as a model national program.
“Programs such as LIFT are successful only to the extent that their creators have the vision to look beyond the present, the wisdom to understand the impact of the long-term commitment required, and the willingness to provide that commitment. Artistic Director Diana Byer has devoted [over] a decade to seeing to the needs of the children not just a leotard and ballet shoes, or transportation to class, but medical care, interpersonal skills, relational stability, and a chance to get away from the immediacy of the shelter situation. Dedication to the art form provides the framework for every aspect of the program, but the rigors and discipline of dance instruction are coupled with a genuine concern for the children and their families.”
- Schuyler Chapin, former Commissioner, NYC Dept of Cultural Affairs
NYTB presents an Annual Student Recital each year as part of its LIFT Community Service program. All students of Ballet School NY participate. The event is usually held in a college or school auditorium within easy reach of parents.
Page to Stage teaches children in Ballet School NY the basics of choreography and stage design using literature as the foundation.
Dance on a Shoestring has been offered annually for many years. This Dance Gallery program gives NYTB artists and dancers a venue for developing their art through experimentation and new choreography. It enriches neighborhoods and builds audience appreciation through high quality mini-performances, lecture-demonstrations, and workshops. It gives LIFT and other children studying in NYTB’s affiliated school, Ballet School NY, opportunities to learn their craft from production through performance.