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We Are All Stars! Dance eXchange’s 10th Anniversary Season

Alisa Moore, BalletX’s Education & Outreach Associate, tells us about Dance eXchange’s 10th Anniversary Season!

We are thrilled to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Dance eXchange in the 2023-2024 Season!

Dance eXchange is BalletX’s flagship in-school education initiative, with a mission to bring the transformative power of dance to students across Philadelphia. The program was born from a visionary concept by our former Board Chair, Chuck Arnao: to teach students how to dance, and dancers how to teach. Based on the award-winning methodology of the National Dance Institute (NDI) in New York, Dance eXchange has grown to serve as a dynamic platform for delivering dance education and engagement opportunities within Philadelphia’s public schools, cultivating creativity, self-expression, teamwork, and determination in over 2,500 students. More than just dance, it fosters a sense of community and empowerment, establishing itself as a vital contributor to arts education and enrichment in the Philadelphia region.

Dance eXchange partners with five Philadelphia public schools to bring dance to nearly 400 students each season: Marian Anderson Neighborhood Academy (formerly known as Chester A. Arthur), Bache-Martin School, Albert Greenfield School, Stephen Girard School, and our newest partner, Francis Scott Key School. The dedicated teachers, administrators, and staff at our partner schools recognize the value of arts education and are committed to supporting the Dance eXchange program. They champion innovative educational approaches and acknowledge the benefits of integrating dance into the curriculum. Over time, these schools have witnessed improvements in students’ confidence, creativity, self-determination, and overall well-being through their participation in Dance eXchange.

This year’s program theme, We Are All Stars, reflects our belief in the inherent brilliance of every individual. Together, we form a constellation of talent, creativity, and unity that shines brightly within our community!

We are thrilled to have our incredible Teaching Artists return to Dance eXchange this year: Barnel Anderson, Ellicia Clayton, Kevin Harris, and Karly Meehan, and our Live Musicians, Joshua Shaffer and Gabe Miller. These amazing artists infuse our program with unwavering passion and expertise.

Alongside our returning team members, we are thrilled to introduce our new Teaching Artists: Nadya Cherry, Kathryn Schweingruber, and Olivia Brown. Their unique talents and dedication promise to enhance the Dance eXchange experience for our students!

During the summer, our Teaching Artists ventured to the vibrant heart of New York City, where they immersed themselves in training at NDI. And just two weeks ago, we were privileged to host the exceptionally talented NDI artistic leads, Tracy Straus and Tony Kieraldo, at BalletX for our annual Philadelphia Dance eXchange Training Residency. They closely collaborated with our Dance eXchange team and conducted a remarkable and enlightening workshop. This groundwork has set the stage for the exceptional dance experience that awaits our 3rd and 4th grade students in the 10th Anniversary Season.

As we prepare for an exhilarating year, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for your unwavering support over the past decade. As a united team, we will persist in fostering an environment where dreams can take flight, and where the boundless joy of dance remain accessible for all. Stay tuned for more updates and exciting events as we celebrate our 10th Anniversary in style!

Featured Photo: BalletX’s Dance eXchange Teaching Artists with NDI’s Tracy Straus and Tony Kieraldo at the Philadelphia Training Residency. Photo by Alisa Moore