Aside from paying students, we provide free dance classes to students from situations of very low income, extreme poverty and orphanages. For all students age 9+, not from orphanages, the scholarships are tied to academic performance. Students are expected to maintain an 80% average or higher or continuously increase their GPA to reach their academic goal. We provide resources and homework help to students so they can achieve this goal. We have seen many of our students dramatically increase their academic standing with through this program, and with the collaboration of the parent, because the students know that if they do their best in school, they earn coming to dance classes! This program is supported through the ballet godparent program, in which sponsors donate to cover dance class costs, recital costs and event fees.
DISCIPLESHIP & SPIRITUAL GROWTH
We are a Christian, non-denominational, Bible following program. Our philosophy is to share the love of Christ through our program in what we say and do. We integrate prayer and Bible stories into our classes and we also have discipleship groups for our older students. Our goal is for our students to build their relationships with the Lord in whatever circumstance they may be passing through.
We are also partnered with Pride in Purity, a Christian organization which teaches women what it means to be a child of God and have purity of mind, heart and body, especially in situations of peer pressure. In March 2019, they hosted their first Pride in Purity conference in Guatemala for our girls.
ACADEMIC TUTORING & SCHOLARSHIPS
Supporting students from families of difficult economic situations, academic scholarships and tutoring provide additional support towards success. Based on need, we support students with library cards, school supplies, backpacks, field trip support (something many students could not previously attend) and participation in school parades (costumes are typically required). Our program tutor and coordinator works with our students, their parents and their teachers to help every student have the opportunity to succeed, regardless of circumstances. Our goal is for each child to finish middle school and graduate from high school!
This is financially possible through the ballet godparent supporting at a $50+/month donation level.
We provide English classes at no additional cost to our students twice a week. English classes have created international virtual opportunities for many of our students. We also partnered with Speak English Together (SET). Through SET, our advanced students have the opportunity to participate in weekly cultural exchanges with high school and university students in the United States, with the conversations all spoken in English.
ORPHANAGE DANCE PROGRAM
We are currently partnered with three orphanages, offering free dance classes to all children interested. Our goal with this program is to provide a space where children in orphanages may have a safe space where they can firstly, build their relationship with the Lord and secondly, feel free to express themselves and feel comfortable with their own bodies, regardless of the traumas they may have passed through.
We also integrate arts and crafts with Bible teachings into our classes so children can have an artistic space to feel empowered to take up space and express themselves more fully.
We are very excited to partner with ballet schools abroad for this new take on our original "pen pal program." Through video exchange, we teach and learn about cultural similarities and difference. We do this as we exchange recipies, local customs, dances and arts and crafts!
One of our long-term goals is to train local students, especially those from low income situations or an orphanage, in the technique of ballet with our philosophy of sharing the love of Christ through dance. Our student teachers, or assistant teachers have shows great interest in ballet or becoming a teacher. Many students from low income situations will have difficulty financing higher education. Becoming a ballet teacher provides a career option currently in high demand in this area which can also be a source of funding for higher education!
With the support from international and local volunteers, we provide open, free dance classes to the community through a continuous partnership with the local library.
Ballet godparents sponsor ballet scholarships and academic scholarships to qualifying students. Ballet godparents have the opportunity to write to their ballet godchild and meet their ballet godchild via videochat when the parent and Miss. Christine are present. Ballet godparents are also able to send gifts to their ballet godchild for holidays and good grades. This relationship provides additional inspiration and academic and dance motivation to the students.