Ballet Hispánico's Community Arts Partnerships is committed to building spaces of expression that empower communities of color. We are devoted to cultivating a generation of critical thinkers by highlighting each student's capacity for creative expression. We stand to dismantle the systematic racism that has affected our communities over centuries and as such, we offer dance programs that provide quality instruction along with essential social values that help empower young people in today's environment. Our programs offer the authenticity and representation of our traditions while allowing youth to create their own narratives about themselves and about what it means to be a Latinx/a/o today as they learn the joys of dance.
"Change a child...change a family...change a community..." - Tina Ramirez, Founder
"...and our generation would change the world." - Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director & CEO
- Elevate the perception of Latinx/a/o communities by exposing students to dance techniques, training and celebration of traditional, social and contemporary Latinx/a/o dance forms.
- Develop somatic awareness and mindful connections among the body, mind and breath through the training of Latinx/a/o dance forms.
- Strengthen participant’s self-esteem through movement exploration based on cultural relevant teaching and personal experiences.
- Foster a sense of respect for everyone's culture.
- Provide a support system for students by opening avenues of expression.
- Support student’s critical thinking by offering experiences that put the student at the center of their learning.
- Build community and a sense of belonging among participants, families, teaching artists, school members and BH Staff.
Educational Teaching Philosophy
The Community Arts Partnerships education philosophy embraces a cultural relevant methodology that encourages the research of Latinx/a/o expressions, history and legacies through the work of artists, dancers, musicians, and choreographers while supporting a student-centered approach, where the student shapes and informs the educational experience. We embrace the cultural intersectionality of our communities in order to affirm existing ideas of what it means to be Latinx/a/o and re-envision a contemporary voice for the representation of that identity. Our holistic programs immerse students in the technical training of traditional and current Latinx/a/o dance forms by inviting them to celebrate diversity and connect with the community. Our goal is to create an experience that is accessible, inspirational, unifying, and that supports the environment of the learning communities.
Education has been at the core of Ballet Hispánico’s mission and vision since its inceptionin1970.The organization continues to be a beacon of diversity and artistic expression by providing access and agency to Latinx/a/o communities through dance for over 50 years. Ongoing collaboration with the community informs our Community Arts Partnerships programs and shapes the development of the education model and philosophy.
Ballet Hispánico’s Community Arts Partnerships Curriculum centers culturally relevant teaching and student experiences, addressing the need for students to see their culture represented and celebrated in performance and learning environments. BH trains students in diverse traditional and current Latinx/a/o dance forms, provides structured opportunities for students to explore personally relevant topics and identity through improvisation and choreography, and presents performances that are rooted in the Latinx/a/o experiences.
Teacher Artists incorporate a variety of teacher-centered and student-centered approaches throughout programming depending on the aims of each lesson, influenced by traditional and progressive pedagogical models. These models include Critical Pedagogy, Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, and Situated Learning.
Ballet Hispánico’s Community Arts Partnerships curriculum can be described through the lens of Urie Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory which describes how human’s develop through various ecosystems or layers of social environments. The BH approach examines these ecosystems as the personal, choreography, socio-political and cultural context. This can also be seen viewed through Arredondo and Glauner’s Latino Dimensions of Personal Identity Model which looks at three domains of identity construction, acknowledging the intersectionality of Latinx/a/o identity by recognizing varying socio-political histories, socioeconomic conditions and resources within the wide range of Latinx/a/o identities.