These top US ballet companies teach art and dance to urban youth.
Isaac Akiba's parents are college-educated artists, making him an atypical participant in outreach programs nationwide. Most students are ethnic minorities and many qualify for free lunch – students traditionally defined as underserved, says Kayti Bouljon of the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle. "But if we look at 'underserved' in terms of arts education and dance education," she adds, "that encompasses every school in the district."
Here are three of the top US ballet companies' outreach programs:
The San Francisco Ballet (outreach program began 1979)
Reaches more than 3,500 students in 36 schools
70 percent students of color
65 students given ballet scholarships annually
25 percent of all its ballet school students are outreach participants and alumni
Boston Ballet (1991)
Reaches nearly 3,000 students annually
More than 300 students given 10-week scholarships
Boys account for more than 50 percent of participants
Pacific Northwest Ballet (1997)
More than 5,000 student alumni, with programs in 10 schools
56 percent students of color
70 to 80 students given scholarships annually