Harlem-Based National Dance Institute Launches NDI Collaborative For Teaching & Learning

National Dance Institute (NDI) today announced the NDI Collaborative for Teaching & Learning, a professional development program for teaching artists, educators and organizations committed to dance education and enriching children’s lives through the arts. National Dance Institute, founded by legendary New York City Ballet dancer Jacques d’Amboise, and now under the Artistic Direction of Ellen Weinstein, has been at the forefront of transformative dance education since 1976. Today, NDI has grown to be one of the premier arts education organizations worldwide.

“NDI is at an exciting time in its history. We know that youth participation in dance and music empowers children to a higher level of excellence and helps cultivate leadership and development skills,” said Traci Lester, Executive Director, National Dance Institute. “With the introduction of the NDI Collaborative we are able to train more teaching artists in the NDI Method which means NDI can make an even greater impact on arts education.”

Over the last 43 years, NDI’s programs have positively impacted over two million children around the world, helping them to become accomplished and enthusiastic learners achieving their fullest potential and preparing them for success in school and life. Each year, NDI transforms the lives of 60,000 children and their communities globally. Through its teacher training initiatives, NDI has seeded 13 affiliate programs throughout the US and in Shanghai, China and Beirut, Lebanon.


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“At the core of NDI’s mission is the belief that an arts education is the right of every child,” said Artistic Director Ellen Weinstein. “The arts engage emotions, and when emotions are engaged, that’s when real learning happens. There is no better way to foster community across diverse cultures and backgrounds than through the transformative power of dance and music.”

At the foundation of the NDI Collaborative for Teaching & Learning is the NDI Method, which employs teaching strategies to educate teaching artists, professional dancers, classroom teachers and organizations passionate about dance and movement. The NDI Collaborative consists of a series of intensive trainings, professional development workshops and tailored consultancies that utilize the NDI Method as a catalyst to engage children across a spectrum of abilities. The teaching approach allows participants to work directly with children and uses inventive choreography and performance to enhance the learning experience.

The NDI Collaborative programming offers a range of training programs for dance teachers at all levels of their professional careers. All training is experiential and includes joyful dance classes, mentored teaching opportunities, stimulating group discussions and live music. Teachers from all different dance backgrounds find the NDI Method enhances their practice and helps them to bring out the best in their students.

Professional artists and educators can sign on for any number of programs, including introductory and early childhood workshops, training intensives, musician training and programs uniquely designed to improve the teaching of dance in communities. NDI also offers customized training in the NDI Method for arts organizations, dance companies, and schools.

Related: Traci Lester Talks Dance in Harlem And More On The Danny Tisdale Show (Audio)

National Dance Institute was founded in 1976 by New York City Ballet principal dancer Jacques d’Amboise and leads the field of arts education with a model program that is replicated worldwide. Under the Artistic Direction of Ellen Weinstein, NDI uses dance and music to instill in students a love of the arts, a passion for learning, and a desire to strive for their personal best. At the root of NDI’s methodology is the belief that the arts have a unique power to engage all children—regardless of background, ability or socio-economic status—and motivate them toward excellence. In addition to programming in New York City, NDI has seeded 13 affiliate programs throughout the US and in Shanghai, China and Beirut, Lebanon. In 2011, NDI opened the doors to the National Dance Institute Center for Learning & the Arts in Harlem, allowing the organization to further its mission and expand its reach. Since its founding, NDI has impacted the lives of over two million children. No child pays a penny to participate in NDI’s core programs thanks to the generosity of public and private donations.

For more information on the NDI Collaborative for Teaching & Learning, visit www.ndicollaborative.org.

Photo credit: NDI Collaborative.

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