A foundation for the future

A word from FBP School Director Mary Ann Mayer:

An education in dance enriches a child’s overall development and contributes to positive self-esteem and a sense of belonging and worthiness that they will carry for the rest of their lives.

In our Culmination performance this weekend, this positive energy will shine through each of our students. I’m so proud of all of them for their hard work – from the adorable Pre-Ballet II students to our dedicated advanced students.

FBP School Students in Culmination 2013
FBP School Students in Culmination 2013. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion

FBP School Students in Culmination 2013. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.
FBP School Students in Culmination 2013. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.

FBP School Students in Culmination 2013. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.
FBP School Students in Culmination 2013. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.

This year our students’ accomplishments have been many and varied:

  • 9 Students participated in IonaFest (video below),
  • 22 students performed in Together We Dance 3 (photos below),
  • 20 students performed in chatterBOXtheatre performances,
  • More than 100 students performed in Nutcracker,
  • 25 students competed in the regional Youth America Grand Prix competition, two of whom were invited to New York for the finals,
  • 2 students performed a work choreographed by one of their classmates at the Kozlova International Contemporary Choreographers and Dancers Competition,
  • 21 students participated in the first annual Worcester County Dance Festival,
  • 9 young girls went en pointe for the first time,
  • And this Sunday, 25 Pre-Ballet II students will perform on stage for the first time.

FBP School Students reprising their performance of "IonaFest Parasols" piece in "Together We Dance 3", October 2013.
FBP School Students reprising their performance of “IonaFest Parasols” piece in “Together We Dance 3”, October 2013. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.

Together We Dance 3
FBP Adaptive Program students Sean Muldoon (front left) and Alyzabeth Bertrand (front right) along with FBP School students in “Together We Dance 3”, October 2013. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.

FBP School students in class
FBP School students in class. Photo by A. Cemal Ekin.

For a handful of our students, training here would not be possible without financial aid from a scholarship program that offsets or covers their tuition. But the need for scholarships is far greater than we can currently grant. As a result, many of the financial aid applications that come across my desk are approved for a lesser amount than is needed. In more extreme cases, the students’ needs are met in full, but FBP absorbs the cost without a funding source.

Recently, an anonymous donor joined with the FBP Board of Trustees to present our supporters with a challenge: they will match every “Funding the Future” gift dollar-for-dollar, until we reach our goal of $21,500. “Funding the Future” gifts are split between the newly established “Christine Hennessey Scholarship Fund,” and FBP programming (including commissioning new choreography). Together, these gifts fund the future of dance at both an educational and professional level.

Click here to give a “Funding the Future” gift

Christine Hennessey believed passionately in the power of classical ballet training. Having a strong school would not only enrich the lives of the students, it would also strengthen the company as a whole. It it gives me great joy to take our scholarship program to the next level, and in doing so honor Christine – FBP’s guiding light for its first two decades.

We are currently half-way to our goal of $21,500. Please join the donors who have already voiced their support for the future of dance at FBP. And join us this Sunday for Culmination 2014 (1:30pm or 6:00pm at Sapinsley Hall at Rhode Island College) to see firsthand how truly inspiring these young dancers are.

I am so proud of all of our students, whose dedication and passion is on display daily. Seeing the great joy that dance brings to these children and young adults brings me an even greater joy.

Mary Ann Mayer
Mary Ann Mayer; School Director, Festival Ballet Providence

Mary Ann Mayer
Director, Festival Ballet Providence School

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