National Dance Institute Celebrates Life Of Dr. Maya Angelou With Event Of The Year Performance

June 9, 2023

Harlem’s National Dance Institute (NDI) will celebrate the life of Dr. Maya Angelou at “RISE,” their 2023 Event of the Year from June 17-19 at NYU Skirball Center.

This event will include vibrant performances of dance and live music from over 100 talented children from New York City public schools. 

Jermaine Jones, Executive Director of NDI said, “Maya Angelou inspired and uplifted generations through her art and we want to honor her legacy this Juneteenth with performances celebrating equality and limitless potential within everyone.” Kay Gayner, Artistic Director of NDI said, “Through the pathways of dance and music, our programming encourages children to move through the world thoughtfully, with open minds and open hearts.”

Directed by Bianca Johnson, an alumna of the NDI program, with soul-stirring narration by Toni Blackman & Osyris Antham, “RISE” will feature special performances by NDI Helen Stambler Neuberger Artist-in-Residence LayeRhythm & Chrybaby Cozie, as well as new and original works created by NDI’s team of choreographers and musicians. “We instill a love of dance, art, and live music to thousands of young dancers,” Johnson explained. 

NDI’s exuberant, participatory, and intellectually engaging dance and music programs enrich the lives of over 6,000 children in 46 New York City schools each week, filling a critical gap in public school education. National Dance Institute was founded by the legendary New York City Ballet principal dancer Jacques d’Amboise in the belief that the arts – dance and music in particular – have a unique power to engage all children and motivate them toward excellence, both in school and in life.

Performance times are

  • Saturday, June 17, 3:00 pm
  • Saturday, June 17, 5:30 pm 
  • Sunday, June 18, 3:00 pm 
  • Monday, June 19, 5:30 pm

The link to purchase tickets can be found here.

If you are interested in attending the Benefit Dress Rehearsal on June 16th at 6 pm for a reception with a performance at 7 pm, please click here: Buy Benefit Tickets.

National Dance Institute

National Dance Institute (NDI) was founded in 1976 by New York City Ballet principal dancer Jacques d’Amboise, and leads the field of arts education with a program that has been studied and replicated worldwide.

At the root of NDI’s methodology is the belief that the arts have a unique power to engage children of diverse backgrounds, abilities, and socio-economic positions, and motivate them toward excellence in all aspects of their lives. NDI’s goal is to support the social and emotional development of children through active, participatory arts experiences.

We celebrate the creative, confident, and compassionate young adults who emerge from our program with a strong sense of self and an enduring belief in their ability to succeed. Since our founding, NDI has impacted the lives of more than two million children.

For more information, visit NDI online at

Photo credit: 1) Maya Angelou. 2) NDI by Eduardo Patino.

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