In The Community
New Bedford Ballet is a non-profit organization committed to bringing the highest quality dance education and dance performances to the people of southeastern Massachusetts.
Our programs are made possible by private donations, corporate sponsorships, and grants from local and state agencies, such as the United Way and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Your contribution directly supports the many programs we provide. For over 20 years New Bedford Ballet has brought the art of dance to our community; here are just some of our accomplishments:
Ballet Scholarships based on financial need are provided every year for children and adolescents in the community who are interested in studying classical ballet.
Local Elementary School Performances by the New Bedford Youth Ballet. Each spring the New Bedford Youth Ballet brings a children’s ballet to eight schools, often including a ballet lecture demonstration.
Nutcracker performances at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and St. Luke’s Hospital: In December the Youth Ballet performs a shortened version of the Nutcracker for hospitalized patients, their families and the hospital staff.
Performances for Councils on Aging and area nursing homes by the New Bedford Youth Ballet.
Children’s Hospital Boston: every year the New Bedford Youth Ballet performs a children’s ballet at the hospital, providing children and their families an evening of relaxation and entertainment.
Week-long Dance Arts Camps offered during the summer for preschool children.
Bringing Books to Life Through Movement educational program in local schools, taught by instructor Rebecca Waskiel. Hundreds of Head Start and elementary school children have been introduced to dance attire, shoes and costumes while participating in a movement exercise based on a story of the week.
Dance classes for hearing impaired children, taught at Bristol Community College by instructor James Brown. A unique hip hop class made possible through a collaboration of the New Bedford Public Schools Extended School Year Program, the Bristol Community College Kids College Program, and the New Bedford Ballet.
Performances for PACE Child Care Works Program and the Community Partnerships for Children: Classic children’s ballets, such as Peter and the Wolf and Hansel and Gretel, performed by the New Bedford Youth Ballet for hundreds of area children each year as part of a Free Family Fun Day in celebration of the Week of the Young Child.
Multicultural Dance Program: Native American, Asian, African, Indian, and Trinidad Dances are included in this 6-week program. Students participate in dance classes with ballet instructor, Rebecca Waskiel. The classes incorporate a history of the dance, warm-up exercises and stretching, the dance lesson, and a related craft project. Different dances are taught to each class, and at the end of the program the students perform their dance and share what they have learned with each other. School teachers receive craft ideas and information about the country associated with their students’ specific cultural dance prior to the start of the program.
Partners in Dance: Sponsored by a Ronald McDonald House Charities grant, the Partners in Dance Program, an adaptive dance program designed for children with developmental challenges who are partnered with their typically developing peers, relatives, or teachers, has been offered by the New Bedford Ballet at the Schwartz Center. Under the direction of Ms. Rebecca Waskiel-Marchesseault, artistic director of New Bedford Ballet, and with assistance from Mr. James Brown, master ballet instructor at New Bedford Ballet, and staff members from the Schwartz Center for Children, this innovative program offers students with developmental challenges the opportunity to explore the world of dance and creative movement in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
Mentoring Through Movement: With the support of the United Way Community Building Mini-Grants program, students from PACE Head Start worked with members of the New Bedford Youth Ballet. Together they read the story of Peter Pan, wore costumes, learned creative movement techniques, and created their own production of Peter Pan. The students were also given complimentary books, T-shirts, tickets and transportation to see their Youth Ballet role models perform in New Bedford Ballet’s full length production of Peter Pan in June 2007.
First Night celebrations and Art/History/Architecture (AHA) performances by the New Bedford Youth Ballet.
With funding from Mass Humanities, New Bedford Ballet developed a program for Gomes School fifth graders combining the arts and the humanities. Prompted by a production of Esther's Journey and a performance by a Frederick Douglass impersonator, students participated in discussions about the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad. The New Bedford Historical Society contributed pertinent information about local history.