Participants in the Danbury Dance Initiative include leading educators, social service agencies, funders, and dance professionals. The program receives support from the Savings Bank of Danbury, Union Savings Bank, and the Danbury Cultural Commission. Connecticut Ballet made its first appearance at Danbury High School on Oct. 26, 2007, featuring the full-length Sleeping Beauty. Connecticut Ballet is a proud member of the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut (www.artswesternct.org).
In 2009, the company initiated a scholarship named in memory of original Danbury Dance Initiative task force member, local dancer, choreographer, and WCSU faculty member Khalda Logan and an annual benefit performance to raise funds for distribution to talented middle and high school students from Danbury Public Schools. Special thanks to Khalda's husband, Michael Eaton, and her family for their continuing support. Partner schools include 5678! Dance Arts, Monroe Dance Academy, Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance, Fineline Theatre Arts, Academy of Dance, SAS School of Dance, Darien Dance Center, and Vitti's Dance Studio.
Here's what Kelly Gleason, KLDS Scholarship Award winner-turned professional dancer and now Connecticut Ballet teaching artist had to say about her experience:
"It was through the Danbury Dance Initiative that I was able to receive the Khalda Logan Scholarship award. Personally, receiving the scholarship allowed me to obtain the training that I needed to get to where I am today and has helped to inspire my aspirations for the future. I admire the initiative's mission to bring people together through dance, and to offer an extension or beginning of training to those who might not otherwise be able to access it. Thank you to the Danbury Dance Initiative and its many sponsors for enriching the path to my professional dance career." Check out her appreciative video on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAtslSUyjjQ&t=18s
Currently, the organization sponsors a weekly class for students at Danbury's Grassroots Academy & Escape to the Arts. Students study with Amy Piantaggini, modern dance instructor, and Kelly Gleason, musical theater instructor. Funds from the annual benefit support this community class. Thanks to Grassroots Academy for hosting the class!
This year's benefit performance will take place on Sunday, April 7 at Broadview Middle School. Sign-in and registration begins at 10:30am and warm-up class commences at 11:00am. The performance begins at 4:30pm. Special thanks to participating schools Monroe Dance Academy, Academy of Dance Arts, SAS School of Dance, Fineline Theatre Arts, and Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance. Video documentation will once again be generously provided by WestConn's Department of Communication and Media Arts.
Scholarship awards are for foundational or accelerated training after consultation with individual students and families at the recommendation of a jury of local dance professional. Scholarship auditions will take place in as follow:
Monday, May 20 – 2:30-3:30pm / Broadview Middle School Auditorium
Tuesday, May 21 – 2:00-3:00pm / Danbury HS Black Box Theater
Thursday, May 23 – 2:30-3:30pm / Rogers Park Middle School Auditorium
All interested middle school and high school students are encouraged to attend. Call 203-964-1211 for details about the auditions.
Khalda Logan Studio Portrait