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Elementary School Programs

Nashville Ballet’s Curriculum-Based Education Initiative
Nashville Ballet brings innovative educational dance programming to elementary schools across Middle Tennessee. Working to achieve our mission to develop and cultivate audiences with a lifelong appreciation for the essential and inspiring art of dance, we offer a variety of educational programming that uniquely integrates arts education with core academic subjects including language arts, math, science and social studies.

Utilizing standards-based dance education workbooks, interactive teacher resources, movement exercises and activities taught by our professional teaching artists, we assist educators in helping students of all ages strengthen their academic performance while increasing their awareness, knowledge and utilization of dance and the arts.

All outreach programs can offer an arts integration experience and feature an engaging interactive demonstration component that is tailored to the age of the scheduled audience. Programs are available September through July.

Dance Me A Story – Programs for Elementary Students
Utilizing classical and contemporary dance, drama, music, literature and visual arts, our narrative children’s ballet performances are based on diverse cultural folk tales, fairy tales and literary classics that enable us to bring books to life while stimulating children's creativity and curiosity and encouraging them to seek the arts as a positive means for their social, physical and mental growth.

Ballets on tour during the 2014-2015 season, for elementary audiences:

Carnival of the Animals (K - 4th Grade)
This engaging children's ballet explores the value of diversity through the perspective of the mighty lion. The "King of the Jungle" cannot understand why everyone isn’t exactly like him, but a wise and patient bird introduces the lion to a host of creatures -- including an elephant, swan and fish -- to teach him that we are all unique, and it’s exactly those differences that make life interesting. With choreography by Paul Vasterling set to Camille Saint-Saens well-known composition of the same name, children and their families will follow the lion's journey through the jungle all while learning some of life's most important lessons.

Click here to download the Carnival of the Animals Educator Study and Performance Guide.


Ferdinand the Bull (K - 4th Grade)
Through original choreography, music and bright, colorful costumes inspired by cubist Pablo Picasso, Ferdinand the Bull tells the story of a peaceful bull who only wants to smell the flowers in the meadow, making him unfit for the bullfighting rings in Spain, as told by Munro Leaf in his classic children’s book.

Click here to download the Ferdinand the Bull Educator Study and Performance Guide.


Teaching Artist Visits
Bring Nashville Ballet teaching artists to your school, classroom or educational program to teach participants and students about artistic expression and self-confidence. All programs meet state standards for dance instruction, and include accompanying instructional material.

Dance! ( K- 4th grade)
Based on the book "Dance!" by Bill T. Jones and Susan Kuklin, this program introduces students to the joy and boundless possibilities of movement. Dancers teach students how to create shapes and carve out space with their bodies.

Resiliency! (Anti-Bullying Program for 3rd and 4th Grade Students)
The men of Nashville Ballet's second company combine the athleticism of ballet and basketball to teach students the importance of resiliency on stage and in everyday life. Students discuss the importance of respect, inclusion and getting in the game.

Residency School Partnerships
Nashville Ballet partners with area Title 1 MNPS elementary schools to provide live dance performance experiences (ballet performances, storytime events and teambuilding workshops) at no cost to the school or students. Students ages 6 to 10 are also eligible to audition to receive annual full scholarships to train with the internationally recognized faculty and staff of the School of Nashville Ballet.

Appearances at Local Schools to Celebrate Literacy
Dancers, instructors and staff members of Nashville Ballet will travel to local schools during Literacy Celebrations to read stories and perform storytime events for students. Contact your school to inquire about our participation  or book an appearance with our Outreach Coordinator at outreach@nashvilleballet.com or by calling (615) 297-2966 x17.