BIPOC Outreach Classes

Westside School of Ballet has been providing premier classical ballet training since 1967 and has an affiliated pre-professional ballet company which has been offering top-notch performing opportunities to generations of young dancers. Numerous alumni of Westside Ballet1 have gone on to dance in professional ballet companies all over the world, and we are committed to bringing the benefits of dance to all in the community.

We at Westside Ballet understand that dance education provides innumerable benefits to children, including the values of discipline and perseverance, the joy of creativity, and the health benefits of rigorous physical activity. We strongly believe classical arts belongs to everybody. With that in mind, the Board of Directors and Artistic Staff at Westside Ballet wish to extend the opportunity to study classical ballet to the larger Los Angeles Community, a diverse, multicultural metropolis.

Olivia Polite teaches introductory movements to Boys & Girls Club children at St. Anne’s

The Board of Directors at Westside Ballet of Santa Monica, in conjunction with the newly founded Diversity and Inclusion Committee, has launched the Community Outreach Subcommittee, to initiate a comprehensive program to expand Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) participation at Westside Ballet.

During the 2019-2020 school year and prior to the pandemic, Westside Ballet partnered with the Santa Monica Boys and Girls club and St. Anne’s School to offer a weekly after-school ballet class to children ages 7 to 10 years old. For the 2020-2021 school year, the weekly ballet class at the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica was unable to consistently continue due to the pandemic. However, a Zoom class was offered to these students through the Spring of 2021.

During the Winter of 2021, in the spirit of the new Community Outreach Subcommittee’s initiative, we began offering a ballet class to children ages 6 to 11 years old. We are excited to continue offering this class on Sundays from 12:30-1:30pm at Westside Ballet’s studios.

The goal is to bring the joy of movement and beauty of the arts to a diverse community that has curiosity for classical ballet. We will be evaluating these young aspiring ballet dancers throughout the classes and will be able to offer partial or full scholarships to attend Westside Ballet at the age appropriate level depending upon the participants’ commitment and experience at this program. These students should foremost demonstrate passion for the art form, as well as the level of focus necessary for the study of classical ballet.

For class information, please click here.

1The name “Westside Ballet” refers to two separate organizations: Westside Ballet of Santa Monica, a non-profit 501(c)3, and Westside School of Ballet. Westside Ballet of Santa Monica’s non-profit company comprises dancers from Westside School of Ballet, Los Angeles’ oldest and most successful public ballet school, founded in 1967 by NYCB ballerina, Yvonne Mounsey, and co-founder, Royal Ballet’s Rosemary Valaire. The school distinguishes itself as a non-audition school where all are welcome to study ballet and train to the most refined pre-professional level. Nearly all the artistic staff are products of the school, which brings a consistent approach to classical ballet training.

New to Westside? Our classes are ongoing — join at any time!

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