National Dance Institute Starts Teacher Training Program
National Dance Institute will continue spreading its holistic dance education method with a new teacher training program. The organization, founded in 1976 by the distinguished New York City Ballet dancer Jacques d’Amboise, announced the establishment of the N.D.I. Collaborative for Teaching and Learning on Thursday.
“Since we can’t be everywhere, we know by sharing the N.D.I. method with so many others through this approach that we’ll be able to impact the lives of exponentially more children over time,” said Traci Lester, the executive director of the institute.
The method, Ms. Lester explained, is grounded in the idea that “dance is integral to every child’s development.” Its aim is to help young people develop confidence, discipline and the ability to work together through the embodied experience of dance.
Ellen Weinstein, the organization’s artistic director, said, “Children learn by doing. Active participation is essential.”
“As the children master the dance steps they learn to take control of their lives,” she added.
Mr. d’Amboise started the nonprofit organization while he was a principal dancer at New York City Ballet to expose children to what he feels is the transformational power of dance. Today 6,500 children in New York City participate in N.D.I. school programs each year.
The N.D.I. Collaborative teaching program will offer on-site intensive training and professional workshops to teaching artists, dancers and classroom teachers at the institute’s Harlem headquarters. It will also provide consulting services to other dance education organizations.
The institute’s previous teacher training efforts have borne fruit. Educators and artists who have studied at N.D.I. have created 13 affiliated programs in the United States, China and Lebanon. But Ms. Lester said it was time to formalize the organization’s teacher training wing. “Jacques d’Amboise has a legacy that’s everlasting and we were trying find a way to ensure that over time,” she said. “The N.D.I. Collaborative is an embodiment of his legacy.”
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