Costume Parade Keeps Ballet Company Alive

In the face of often overwhelming budget cuts in schools and local communities, dancers, teachers and artistic directors are finding new ways to voice their concerns.
Take a cue from the Corpus Christi Ballet in southern Texas: At a recent city council meeting, the nonprofit ballet company fought a $17, 617 budget cut proposal decked out in full costume. Company and student dancers paraded the meeting as characters from Swan Lake and other ballets.
As of today, the council has decided to vote “No” on the proposal.
“We have never had a more supportive council,” Heidi Hovda, who co-organized the group of art’s supporters, said in a statement to the Caller -Times. “We just wanted them to see the people that these cuts will affect.”
We, as dance educators, realize how much the arts and dance enrich young people’s lives. If it takes a costume parade to wake up your local governments, then grab every available dance enthusiast and make some noise. Even if your efforts are in vain, it may get your studio, school or company in the pages of your local paper.

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This fall, Middle Tennessee State University director of dance Meg Brooker is reconstructing Dance of Freedom on 11 of her students. A Noyes Rhythm teacher and an Isadora Duncan scholar, Brooker is passionate about bringing historic dance practices into a contemporary context.

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