For the past seven years, the YMCA Youth & Family Services’ Linkages to Learning program has partnered with Maryland Youth Ballet (MYB) to teach dance after school-program in local schools. At the end of each semester, the children and their parents are invited to see a performance.
The children filed into the first three rows of the VIP section of The Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center at the Rockville, MD campus of Montgomery College for the March 21st Spring Concert. Joined by parents and a few of the students’ siblings, the group was mesmerized by what happened next. They were special guests at a ballet performance.
The Fall classes see the Mini Nutcracker, while the spring classes see the Annual Spring Concert. This year, on March 21, 26 children (20 students and 6 siblings) and 17 parents attended the Spring Concert, and were treated as VIP’s!
At the end of the concert, YFS families were asked to wait until the auditorium had been cleared of other guests. Once that happened, four performers came out in full costume to answer questions like: “Are those real diamonds on your tiara?” and “How do you stand on your tippy toes?”
MYB is keeping an eye out for talent, and when they find it in YFS students, the group is quick to nurture it. MYB offers summer camp scholarships as well as year round scholarships to children who never imagined themselves dancing ballet. Some YFS students are now on their 5th yearly scholarship, attending ballet lessons twice a week, year round.
Watch out, the next ballet performance might just have one of our YFS dancers in the lead role!