CityDance is a multi-faceted program designed to diminish cultural and economic barriers through the vehicle of dance education. PSB Director Eugenia O'Brien started CityDance in 1993 as a way to reach out to Portland's growing immigrant community. Movement and music are universal languages, thus ballet is a uniquely appropriate way to reach children isolated by the barriers of language or culture. Success in dance is not predicated on language comprehension or economics; it eliminates many preconceptions and thus has a positive impact on child development.
The CityDance program offers an 8 week on-site elementary school dance residency, underwrites tuition for study at PSB, provides dancewear for students, and provides tickets to Portland Ballet Company performances. Teachers have enthusiastically endorsed the results of the CityDance program, seeing many positive changes in the childrens' lives, most particularly a greater self confidence which leads to improved performance in the classroom.
T. G. of Munjoy Hill exemplifies the power of the PSB CityDance program. T.G. started in the CityDance program when he was 10 years old, dedicated himself to ballet, and the results have been astounding. T.G. studied and performed with Portland School of Ballet until he graduated from high school, and has a career that includes dancing for such companies as Dance Theatre of Harlem and Pacific Northwest Ballet. He says, "Portland Ballet has been a major part of my life. I can't even begin to imagine where I would be and what I would be doing today if Portland Ballet had not given me the opportunity they did."
To bring CityDance to your school, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.