- To create and encourage the community's interest in and life-long appreciation of dance.
- To provide resources and opportunities for dance education into underserved parts of the community.
- To give the community a greater sense of ownership in Huntsville Ballet.
“Dance is a bridge that unites us all.”
-Artistic Director, Phillip Otto
Huntsville Ballet Company’s Discover Dance programming provides free classes, lesson plans and workshops to students and teachers in local public schools, providing opportunities to experience creative movement and dance in the classroom. Our programs emphasize the importance of arts integration and kinesthetic learning within the core curriculum.
By providing students with opportunities to learn through movement, dance is proven to be a powerful educational device for meeting the physical, intellectual and social needs of students. Discover Dance brings the community together to celebrate dance. The students challenge themselves and share their accomplishments. Family members take pride in their child’s growth as a dancer.
Scholarships to Huntsville Ballet School are offered each year for students in the community who show a passion for dance and wish to expand their education.
Discover Dance is based on a program devised by Artistic Director, Phillip Otto at Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, Washington. He received the State of Washington’s Golden Apple Award in Education for his excellence in outreach work with this program.
The primary artist involved in the program is Director of Outreach and Education, Cathy Curry. She holds a BFA in dance from Florida State University and a teaching certification from Alabama A&M. Ms. Curry taught in the Huntsville City School’s Magnet program at Academy for Academics and Arts. As Director of Dance she taught creative movement to grades K-5 while creating and directing a performing company for middle school students. Her Discover Dance programming has been strongly supported by the Alabama State Council on the Arts, inviting her as a faculty leader to share her experiences and lesson plans with outreach at their yearly workshops. Discover Dance has been commended and held as a pilot program for dance integration for the state of Alabama. Ms. Curry also teaches all techniques and ages for Huntsville Ballet School.
Huntsville Ballet Company dancers will also be used as demonstrators in the classrooms to model proper technique and work ethic.
School performances of The Nutcracker
In addition to providing curriculum enrichment in the classroom. HBC's Education and Outreach program also hosts two free morning performances of The Nutcracker for area third graders. This performance is accompanied by the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra and ties into the third grade Alabama history social studies curriculum. The school performances are a favorite with HBC dancers and artistic staff, as the audience is one of the most appreciative.