National Dance Institute (4th & 5th Grade After School Program)

NDI was founded in 1976 by Jacques d'Amboise, principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, in the belief that the arts have a unique power to engage children and motivate them toward excellence. NDI programs are exuberant, athletic, intellectually engaging, and unlike any other programs of their kind. Currently in 35 partner schools in the NYC metro area, NDI works with more than 5,000 children each week in grades Pre-K through high school. The majority of these programs take place during the school day, as an integral part of curriculum. Each NDI class is led by a Master Teacher/Choreographer, an Assistant Teacher, and a Musician — all professional artists who have trained extensively in NDI’s unique teaching methodology. The team serving P.S. 10 this year consists of Bianca Johnson (Master Teacher), Andrew Sakaguchi (Co-Teacher), and Benet Braun (Musician/Pianist and Composer).

Every Wednesday at P.S. 10 throughout the school year, the NDI team will lead two, 45-minute dance classes for up to 30 children, primarily in 4th and 5th grades. These classes are highly athletic, rigorous, and joyful. Children begin the year learning fundamentals of dance by mastering dynamic, theatrical choreography and performing it with clarity, energy, and precision. Through discipline, effort, and teamwork, children achieve excellence both as individuals and an ensemble, and they hone critical and creative thinking skills as their dance skills develop. 

As the year progresses, children focus on the power of dance and music to express meaning, impact audiences, and build community. Through a program-wide curricular theme, NDI introduces children to new cultures and big ideas, engendering in them an abiding curiosity about the world and their place in it, and this year, NDI celebrates the great city of New Orleans. The NDI team will create original pieces of choreography inspired by the unique and vibrant culture, music, and history of New Orleans, and children will perform these dances in culminating performance celebrations presented to the entire school and to families in an evening assembly.