Every third grade student in the New Brunswick public school system participates in DANCE POWER as part of their physical education curriculum. DANCE POWER teaching artists from ARB’s staff team-up with the New Brunswick physical education faculty to deliver 20 weeks of dance training.
Though the fundamentals of ballet are emphasized, a variety of dance styles are introduced, from hip hop to salsa. Apart from learning actual steps and movements, students are expected to “graduate” from DANCE POWER knowing the fundamentals of dance history, possessing an appreciation of the art form, and understanding the choreographic process.
DANCE POWER is designed to support cross-subject learning; lesson plans include not only dance related material, but also information for classroom teachers to incorporate into science, language arts, math, and history lessons.All five of New Jersey’s Core Curriculum Content Standards for Dance are integrated into lesson plans
Over 10,000 New Brunswick public school students have reaped the rewards of dance education through this acclaimed program since its inception in 1984
A collaboration with the New Brunswick Board of Education, it is the longest-running arts/community partnership in New Jersey
The curriculum for the program was originally written by a committee of dance educators and New Brunswick school administrators and remains a working document that is updated regularly to meet and exceed the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards for dance education.
As a finale to their DANCE POWER experience, students are invited to show-off their new skills in front of friends and family in a culminating performance. The final performance is highly-anticipated and serves as a powerful visual reminder of the programs impact on the local community; the sheer number of people in attendance and energy in the theater is impressive.
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. ARB awards over $85,000 in scholarships to DANCE POWER students each year. Sixteen new scholarship students, referred to as Scholars, are chosen each year and may continue their dance training on scholarship through high school. Scholars frequently audition for and perform in ARB’s Princeton Ballet School productions, as well as productions with the American Repertory Ballet 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 graduating from New Brunswick High School to attend the University.
Above: Shayla Jones, DANCE POWER Scholar and then senior at New Brunswick High School accepts the award for sustained achievement by a DANCE POWER Scholar at the 2010 Waiting in the Wings performance. Newly named DANCE POWER Scholars look on. Photo by Leighton Chen.
NJTV Piece on DANCE POWER, also featuring Princeton Ballet School alum Bebe Neuwirth:
Verizon Push Pause Piece on DANCE POWER:
New Brunswick Patch Piece on DANCE POWER:
New Jersey Arts News Piece on DANCE POWER: