BalletRox Inc.

Transforming Young Lives through Dance Education

Jamaica Plain, MA   |  www.balletrox.info

Mission

BalletRox is giving kids a chance to dance! Our mission is to expose Boston youth to dance and opportunities for mastery and performance, to which they would not otherwise have access, giving them discipline and a supportive community to succeed in life. We strive to improve the well-being of local youth and the greater community through exposure and access to dance. Our programs are based on the premise that participation in dance not only provides dance training, but also contributes to social development, encourages healthy lifestyle, and helps develop valuable life skills. While BalletRox helps students increase technical dance abilities, it is these additional skills which lead to increased confidence levels and self-efficacy that are the most important goals of our programming.

Ruling year info

1992

Executive Director

Ms. Ellice Patterson

Main address

PO Box 301334

Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

American Concert Ballet

EIN

04-3140205

NTEE code info

Dance (A62)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BalletRox is faced with a multi-level need for support. On a programming level, class scheduling and space constraints continue to be a challenge in our shared home at Spontaneous Celebrations. This year we are again modifying our schedule. We are moving all tap classes to a more conducive space, and creating a new designated area for parents to congregate during class time. On a fundraising level, one of our biggest challenges is securing funding for operational support. We currently operate with the Board President functioning as an unpaid Executive Director, which is not sustainable in the long run. To meet this goal, we will be investing up to $15,000 in FY19 to purchase a new donor data base. On the community level, our student governing teen group Youth Council, is faced with a challenge to facilitate communication among all members. This year, we are introducing a 1 hour weekly time for its members to gather to work on various creative and programmatic projects.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

BalletRox Boston Public Schools Program

BalletRox Boston Public School programs provide weekly dance instruction to students as a structured, integrated part of their school day. We design individualized programs best suited to a school's needs, integrating with, and connecting to the academic curriculum and community cultures. Weekly dance classes are age and grade appropriate, sequential in learning based on City, State, and National Standards for Dance, and carefully aligned to BPS learning standards. At the elementary level, year-long programs incorporate curriculum such as science, math, literacy and community. The Middle School Curriculum explores ballet, tap, jazz, modern and post-modern dance, salsa, and hip hop. Sessions include dance history, discussion of current events in dance, journaling, and multiple performance opportunities. English language learners and students with disabilities are included in all classes.and community. The Middle School Curriculum explores ballet, tap, jazz, modern and post-modern dance, salsa, and hip hop. Sessions include dance history, discussion of current events in dance, journaling, and multiple performance opportunities. English language learners and students with disabilities are included in all classes.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

BalletRox Dance! is an accessible and affordable Community Dance Program located in Jamaica Plain. As young people learn dance technique - ballet, tap, soca, modern, hip hop, street jazz - they also learn essential life skills necessary for success and leading to self-efficacy. BalletRox Dance! operates 2 afternoons per week and on Saturday mornings, September to May. The program is open to all; there are no auditions and tuition is affordable, with a sliding scale based on income level. Dancewear and costumes are included at no extra charge, helping to ensure that participants have the basic tools necessary to succeed. We provide three field trips to professional dance performances at low or no cost to students and their families. Students perform in two recitals and several community dance festivals. Teens and pre-teens participate in the Youth Council, advising the program, assisting teachers, mentoring younger students, writing scripts and creating original choreography.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Awards

National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award Finalist 2016

President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of fields trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

BalletRox Dance! Community Dance Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

BalletRox has gone to numerous field trips, including to Alvin Ailey, Broadway in Boston's Cinderella, Russian Ballet Swan Lake, Dorrance Dance at Emerson Majestic Theatre and many others.

Number of free participants on field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

BalletRox Dance! Community Dance Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Each field trip would have around 50 free participants, which would total overall to 200.

Number of grants received

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

BalletRox has received a number of grants consisting of restricted and unrestricted grants.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

BalletRox empowers Boston youth through dance, providing a supportive community for life-long success. It aims to increase access to dance in our community and BPS where students might not otherwise have an opportunity. Boston youth lack access to arts programming yet research consistently demonstrates the benefits, especially for students of low socioeconomic status. Participants develop an increase in arts related outcomes including strengthened identity, skill development, and community engagement. They learn how focused effort leads to high-quality artistic work; increased creative and leadership abilities and joy and pride that come with mastering an art form and belonging to a supportive, extended community. BalletRox provides dance programming at 3-4 BPS sites, and offers sliding scale, fee based classes in our Community Dance Program. In addition, we provide a supportive, inclusive environment in which to strengthen important life skills leading to greater sense of self-efficacy. BalletRox dance classes are designed so that students learn to utilize these skills effectively in their weekly dance classes, in the creation and performance of a collaborative group dance and culminating recitals, and in interactions as part of BalletRox community. The organization is proud to offer high quality dance instruction and a sequential pathway to mastery of dance in a Youth Development Program Model. BalletRox provides instruction in which curriculum is age appropriate and sequential in nature, based on city, state, and national core standards as well as industry standards. BalletRox recognizes that most students will not go on to become professional dancers; yet provides to all who seek to work hard and to train - instruction, support, mentorship and scholarship.

We increased our dance class offerings in the year 2018, and added a new level to reflect the expanding skill level of our students. Each student now receives thirty weeks of dance instruction at BalletRox Dance, ranging from one to six hours per week depending on age. Classes include ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, modern Soca, creative movement and hip hop. In addition to dance instruction, BalletRox provided each student with a complete set of dancewear, including dance shoes, leotards and tights, and recital costumes for two performances. Students ages 11 and up participate in the BalletRox Youth Council, which meets regularly and is responsible for planning the recitals, performances and field trips, acting as teaching assistants in dance classes for the younger students, and providing direction to the program. In the past, BalletRox arranged field trips to see professional performances, including Pilobolus and Grupo Corpo at the Boch Center Shubert Theatre, Beauty and the Beast at Wheelock Family Theatre, and Alvin Ailey at the Boch Center Wang Theatre. BalletRox provided free tickets to these performances. All students performed in a mid-winter dance performance produced by BalletRox, Dancing through Decades, and will perform in a year-end performance of Lion King at English High School. The hip hop, soca and advanced ballet classes performed at the BSO Franklin Field Festival, the Providence Bruins intermission show, the ICA Family Day, the Wake Up the Earth Festival in Stony Brook Park, Jamaica Plain; these same students performed at Dance for World Community in Cambridge on June 9th, and at the South Shore Arts Festival on June 16th. In the year 2019 our field trips included Boston Ballet to see Coppelia performance as well as the Museum of Science to see a movie Cuba. Our Youth Council has applied and received a grant to promote women empowerment ideas through dance. This dance, choreographed and led solely by students, could be seen at the Building Impact No Gala event, an ICA Family Event 2019, as well as numerous other annual events that BalletRox has had the honor to be participating in. In our Boston Public School Programs, we taught dance classes four days a week at the Hennigan, Haley and Mather Schools. We expanded our curriculum to include more classes geared toward 6th, 7th and 8th graders, focusing on identity and diversity through dance, and incorporating Latin dance, Hip Hop, and Musical Theatre into the curriculum. We are expanding our program to add BalletRox dance at the Henderson school in the year 2019. Through our public school classes we reached over 600 students, including Sheltered English Immersion students, Social and Academic Remediation students, and PACE Autism students.

We have identified capacity building as a major need for our organization and have made structural changes in our staff and Board. We have doubled the amount of time that paid staff will spend on development and fundraising in FY18 and FY19, and substantially increased the amount of program and administrative staff time. We continue to manage our budget carefully, and are slowly building a three month reserve fund. Our longer term goals include diversifying the board to better reflect the communities we serve and securing the finances to pay for a full-time administrative/executive director, in order to provide stability to the organization, and expand our reach. We conduct regular meetings with students and families to ensure that we hear from the community we serve. We provided staff with professional development; all instructors attended a full day training in best practices in delivery of arts education in a classroom setting, for students with and without disabilities, and three staff members attended Boston Ballet’s Adaptive Dance Training Program where they learned useful teaching strategies for working with students with disabilities. The youth we serve are engaged in our Youth Council, which meets regularly, and advises BalletRox on programming, curriculum, and activities they want to participate in. The Youth Council co-chairs are invited to Board meetings. Our Board has parent representatives, both current and past parents, and we consciously seek out Board members who come from the community we serve. Our staff includes a former BalletRox scholarship student, and a grandparent of a current scholarship student, and is representative in terms of ethnicity and race of the community we serve.

We provided full and partial scholarships to 85 students to attend BalletRox Dance!, our youth community dance program at Spontaneous Celebrations in Jamaica Plain, and taught over 700 BPS students in grades K-8 at four schools in Boston. Our students come from the economically depressed neighborhoods of Dorchester, Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park and Mattapan. We select the full scholarship students from our in-school teaching program in the Boston Public Schools in Dorchester and Jamaica Plain, based on demonstrated financial need, and recommendations from their school teachers, principals, and BalletRox in-school dance instructors. The partial scholarship students were referred through Boston neighborhood health centers, public libraries, and the Boston Public Schools, and were awarded scholarships based on demonstrated financial need. The students range in age from 4 to 19, and are reflective of their neighborhoods in terms of ethnicity and income levels. 50% are African American, 25% are Hispanic, 14% are Asian, 10% are White, and 1% are Other. Virtually all are eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch, with family income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. More than half of the students are first generation immigrants, whose families speak English as a second language. 40 of the students are returning students; 35 are new to our expanded program.
BalletRox Dance! Participants develop an increase in arts-related outcomes: (1) Strengthened identity, (increased confidence, focus, and perseverance), observed through youth asking questions, paying attention, taking chances, volunteering and participating at high levels of engagement; (2) Skill development, (increased dance skills, artistic expression, knowledge of dance) observed as participants progress in dance technique, incorporate skills into choreography, and communicate about and identify different dance genres in society; (3) Community engagement (increased collaboration with peers, accountability, and leadership abilities) observed as youth communicate about design, choreography, and performance, work respectfully with peers, younger students, instructors, and staff. We reach nearly 100 students with Autism weekly, middle school students created independent choreography and performed before large school audiences, and English language learners found a supportive environment in dance classes, where they could be extremely successful. Going forward, we are aiming at growing our student body to a 100 students at our BalletRox Dance! Community Program. Through professional development programs, we are hoping to provide our teachers with the latest technical and class management skills, as well as to prepare them to work with various groups with disabilities. Finally, we are planning to expand our outreach program to add an additional, Henderson school, to a list of our successful school programs in the area.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Paper surveys, Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We have added additional level of classes and styles of dance classes.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

BalletRox Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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BalletRox Inc.

Board of directors
as of 2/25/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Gregory Manousos

Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP

Term: 2020 - 2021


Board co-chair

Ms. Carol Knox

UAW, AFL-CIO, Retired

Term: 2020 - 2021

Carol Knox

UAW, AFL-CIO, Retired

John Tobin

Northeastern University

Monique Veale

METCO

Jane Allard

Akamai Technologies

Gregory Manousos

Morgan, Brown, and Joy, LLP

Rachel Hassinger

WGBH Educational Foundation

Morgan Keith

Liberty Mutual

Jeremy Thompson

Services Employees International Union

Magalie Neff

Boston Public Schools

Sarita Uribe

Tambo Artes

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/29/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data