ARB’s flagship residency program, DANCE POWER, is the longest continuously running community and arts partnership in the state, serving nearly 800 New Brunswick students each year. All 3rd grade students in New Brunswick have DANCE POWER incorporated into their physical education class for 20 weeks. At the end of the residency, 40 scholarships are presented to students so they can continue dancing at Princeton Ballet School from 4th grade through their senior year of high school on full tuition scholarship.
Over 50,000 public school students in the New Brunswick area have reaped the rewards of dance education through this acclaimed program since its inception in 1986.
Founded by Dr. Penelope Lattimer in collaboration with American Repertory Ballet and the New Brunswick Board of Education, the DANCE POWER curriculum was originally written by a committee of dance educators and New Brunswick school administrators, it remains a working document that is updated regularly to meet and exceed the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for the Visual and Performing Arts.
As a finale to their DANCE POWER experience, students are invited to showcase their new skills in front of friends and family in a culminating performance. The final performance, Waiting in the Wings, is highly-anticipated and serves as a powerful visual reminder of the program’s impact on the local community.
Other programs have been created as supplements to and adaptations of DANCE POWER. These initiatives include DANCE POWER summer camp, Hip Hop Revolution (making connections between ballet technique and other dance forms, such as hip hop), and DANCE POWER Limitless (designed specifically for students with disabilities).
In 2021, DANCE POWER received the Distinction in Dance Award from the Dance Studies Association. The Association cited the program’s impressive reach, quality, and impact on the field of dance studies.
DANCE POWER Scholars Program
DANCE POWER students with a true passion for and interest in dance are given the opportunity to attend ARB’s Princeton Ballet School on full scholarship. Each year, ARB awards over 40 new scholarships to students: referred to as DANCE POWER Scholars, these students may continue their dance training on scholarship through their high school graduation. Recent years have seen the largest retention of DANCE POWER Scholars in our history. Scholars frequently audition for and perform in ARB’s Princeton Ballet School productions, as well as productions with American Repertory Ballet’s professional company. Additionally, Gregory Hines, the honorary national chair for DANCE POWER before his untimely passing, donated the initial funds for an endowment at Rutgers University that earmarks annual funds for a DANCE POWER student to attend the University.
DANCE POWER Teaching Artists
- Lindsay Cahill, Program Coordinator
- Nicole Bednar
- Shannon Dolan
- Amanda Kazalonis
- Olivia H. Musanti