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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Houston Ballet Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts, Culture & Humanities, Ballet, Performing Arts Schools

Mission: To inspire a lasting love and appreciation for dance through artistic excellence, exhilarating performances, innovative choreography and superb educational programs. In furtherance of our mission, we are committed to maintaining and enhancing our status as: •A classically trained company with a diverse repertory whose range includes the classics as well as contemporary works. •A company that attracts the world's best dancers and choreographers and provides them with an environment where they can thrive and further develop the art form. •An international company that is accessible to broad and growing local, national, and international audiences. •A company with a world-class Academy that provides first rate instruction for professional dancers and meaningful programs for non-professional dancers. •A company with state-of-the-art facilities for performances, rehearsals and ongoing operations.

Geographic areas served: Greater Houston area and the surrounding communities, nationally, and internationally

Programs: Dance education, arts education, community engagement

Community Stories

59 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Houston Ballet brings world-class ballet productions to the city of Houston, exposing us to exciting performances by leading choreographers. I\u2019ve been attending the ballet for over 20 years, and Houston Ballet never disappoints!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

It would be a huge undertaking for me to list all the benefits of children learning dance but I would like to point out a few: Dance education aids the development of kinesthetic intelligence. Makes sense, right? But that just grazes the surface.

Dance education also teaches the values and skills of creativity, problem solving, risk taking, making judgments in the absence of rules, and higher-order thinking skills. It also fosters an individual’s ability to better interpret interpersonal nonverbal communication and… learning the dances of other cultures helps students to develop an understanding and respect for them. So not only are the benefits personal, they also help to mold outstanding global citizens.

This summer the kids at the Meadowlands had the opportunity to take part in a Hip Hop dance program sponsored by the Houston Ballet and taught by a very gregarious and talented instructor named Mr. Vi Dieu. To say that the kids took to this program like ducks to water would be a huge exaggeration! Mr. Vi had to coax, bribe and beg to get many of them out of their comfort zones…but he did it!!! Before long even our “coolest” boys had let down their guard and were enjoying themselves. Our wonderful instructor was even able to engage a particular special needs student whose quiet demeanor and general lack of self-confidence often makes it easy for him to be overlooked. By the end of the first class, all the kids were vying for Mr. Vi’s attention and praise and when the last class rolled around, most of the kids had mastered the dance routine. They were all very proud of themselves and a few stand out students were especially hopeful about enrolling in year around classes. As the summer progressed, Mr. Vi’s former students continued to break out some of their new moves—sometimes just for fun, sometimes to show me what they remembered and, once, to vie for the attention of the cute new girl! Did I mention that there is evidence to support the possibility that early humans danced to attract a mate?!?!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Houston Ballet's Education & Community Engagement program is an amazing program! I have a son with autism, who absolutely loves music and dance, but is unable to successfully attend a typical theater performance. HB has recently created their first ever autism-friendly ballet performances for families like mine, and it has been such a blessing to us and so many others across Houston. It means the world to us to have the opportunity to expose our special kids to the arts in such a relaxed and non-judgmental environment, and I am so grateful to HB for recognizing the need and taking the initiative to make these shows happen.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a middle school special education teacher. I took my 10 students to Houston Ballet Studio Series performance, featuring Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra two weeks ago. It was FABULOUS! Our class loved the show and we're very grateful for the opportunity to watch such an amazing performance from incredibly talented and hard working dancers. We also appreciate the wonderful Houston Ballet Foundation staff that greeted us especially Lauren Anderson who made our students with special needs feel very comfortable in a new environment. She is great! We sincerely thank Houston Ballet Foundation for making it possible for our community and most especially for students with special needs experience the beauty of arts. Our students' first experience with Houston Ballet was very positive and is something they still talk and get excited about. Thank You!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Houston Ballet is an AMAZING resource for the community. Working at a title 1 middle school we are unable to attend/participate in alot of events & performances throughout the Houston community. I am so grateful that Houston Ballet provides Master Classes and Ballet Talks for my students. The instructors are AMAZING, my students enjoy each and every session and always ask if they can have more. Thank you Houston Ballet for creating such an organized, professional program for our students.

Michelle390

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Houston Ballet has an amazing community outreach program! The programs are top-notch and introduce children throughout the Houston area to dance in a fun, engaging manner. Programs are offered on-site to schools as well as at the amazing Houston Ballet Center for Dance. The quality of programming is unsurpassed. Very impressive!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been so impressed by the Houston Ballet Foundation's dedication to providing children opportunities to experience the true, good and beautiful through fine arts. The performances and dance labs they offer to our children for free are almost too good to be true! Thank you, Houston Ballet Foundation for opening my children's hearts to beautiful art.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Being an elementary music teacher in Fort Bend ISD, I was overjoyed to find out about the amazing Ballet Talks program that the Houston Ballet offers. Not only is this program no charge for the school, but the Speakers bring props, costumes, and other such accoutrements for the students to experience while watching the Ballet. Most importantly, the presenters bring a high energy that is captivating to students of any age, allowing them all to experience the Ballet to their fullest potential.

Since the Fall of 2015, this program has reached over 900 students in my school, from Kindergarten to 5th grade. Each student was given the opportunity to not only have an amazing cultural experience, but also an opportunity to learn about how different elements of art (physical , dancing, musical) come together to create a beautiful experience. Many of my students have never seen a ballet, much less had the opportunity to touch a ballet toe shoe.
The Ballet Talks has been an amazing opportunity for the students on my campus, and we look forward to our future visits and collaborations with the Houston Ballet.

April74

Client Served

Rating: 5

HB outreach has touched the lives of underprivileged students across the city....for the last 3 years HB came to a school that many would be scared to drive in the neighborhood....the students were able to study from Lauren Anderson, Paul Appleman and Sue Hill as well as others...the students didn't understand what a great treat it was now but hopefully, when they reflect back they will!!!!

Bethany19

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Houston Ballet comes to our 3 Houston area clinics several times a year and offers a movement class to our patients. We appreciate all that the instructors do for us and our patients at Kids Developmental Clinic. It not only encourages the patients but the class also encourages their families, opening their eyes to the possibility of dance. Thank you all for your dedication to our patients.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

Our School (Sutton ES in Houston) has profited greatly from the different programs the Houston Ballet offers at no cost. This year we were able to have a program called X³ - Explore, Extend, & Excel at the school. 4th and 5th graders were able to learn and practice a science related dance routine and show it at the end to their parents which they were very excited about. It is wonderful to see that the students understood that they have to put in a lot of work to learn a routine but that it is a great feeling of accomplishment when you finally have your performance at the end!

Previous Stories
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Client Served

Rating: 5

Houston Ballet has done an outstanding job in introducing our students to Dance, an opportunity many of them would not have otherwise. Sutton ES has been in a partnership with the Houston Ballet for a few years now. Our students have greatly benefited from the different programs the Houston Ballet offers. Students have been introduced to Creative Movement and Ballet through the Learn from the Masters Program. We have had Ballet Talks for them where a representative explained an actual performance to them. Recently we were able to start an after school program where some of our students get the chance to have Dance Lessons at the Houston Ballet at no cost. These kids are so excited and motivated to go every week. We are looking forward to continuing the partnership for a long time! Thank you Ms. Anderson, Ms. Sommers and everybody else involved for your hard work!!!

Comments ( 1 )

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Houston Ballet Foundation 10/28/2014

Hello UCoulter, Thank you for your kind comments! We love working with you and your students at Sutton through the many programs, especially the after-school program Chance to Dance. Whether they are aware or not, the young dancers from Sutton who enter the studio each week are an inspiration to everyone in the building. The students' love for movement motivates company dancers, Academy students, and staff to continue to uphold Houston Ballet's mission: To inspire a lasting love and appreciation for dance through artistic excellence, exhilarating performances, innovative choreography and superb educational programs. Thanks, Houston Ballet

1 FierceDancer15

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Houston Ballet has been a blessing to our school and students who get a Channce to Dance. Our first and second grade students had the experience to be able to attend classes for the very first time. Three of the students got a scholarship to attend classes with Houston Ballet dancers. This is a wonderful life long memory to the students. Memories are made and new friendships are beginning. Thank You so much for the opportunity to give back to the community.

Keisha Bussey
Carter Academy

Comments ( 1 )

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Houston Ballet Foundation 07/20/2016

Hello Keisha, We strive to bring high-quality arts education to as many schoolchildren as possible each season. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony. Furthermore, we are thankful your first and second grade students got to experience the joy of ballet through our Chance to Dance initiative.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

I teach in a school where student exposure to the Arts is limited. When I first proposed the idea of an after school dance program with the Houston Ballet, my principal was skeptical but relented when I promised to take care of all the details. The Houston Ballet provided two dancers/teachers and a pianist who met with the students weekly. They taught the students so much more than dance -- they taught respect, discipline, manners, cooperation, science and responsibility. When the students performed for their families and teachers, they brought the house down. Their most enthusiastic supporter turned out to be the principal who could not praise their efforts enough. This was a wonderful opportunity and I would gladly have the Houston Ballet on our campus all year, year after year.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Houston Ballet has given the students at Bush elementary an amazing opportunity! The class is fun, engaging, and most of all rewarding. The parents and students are truly grateful, as many of the students have never been able to afford dance lessons. We have been more than happy with the staff and their positive attitudes towards the students. We look forward to working with the Houston Ballet in the near future!
Again, thank you for the opportunity.
Regards,
Ms. Estavan- After School Program Site Coordinator

Comments ( 1 )

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Houston Ballet Foundation 07/20/2016

Dear Writer, Your review affirms the successful outcomes of Houston Ballet's educational initiatives. We aim to inspire a new generation of arts enthusiasts inside and outside the studio. We are so grateful we had the chance to work with the wonderful students of Bush Elementary!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Houston Ballet's Outreach program has been inspiring and educating students at Klein Oak High School since 2007. I can't say enough about the energy, the knowledge, the professionalism and outright love given by Lauren Anderson and the many other staff members. I am proud to say that my hometown ballet company provides such beautiful outreach work for all levels necessary! Thank you HB!!!

Comments ( 1 )

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Houston Ballet Foundation 07/20/2016

Dear Writer, Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience with Houston Ballet's Education and Community Engagement (ECE) department. Overall, each season we strive to bring engaging arts educational programs to as many schoolchildren as possible. We are grateful for the talented individuals that help run our educational initiatives, and Ms. Lauren Anderson is a prominent leader who facilitates the success of these important programs with the rest of our ECE team.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Houston Ballet brings a world of opportunity to students who could never afford to take classes at the Academy. Their high energy choreography helps bring out the best in all our students. Our most timid students have blossomed and become active learners in both dance and in the classroom.

Comments ( 1 )

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Houston Ballet Foundation 07/20/2016

Dear Writer, We are very grateful our Education and Community Engagement departments' efforts are successful in sharing meaningful educational opportunities through dance as an art form. Dance truly is an art form that promotes learning and development important to every child's well-rounded education. Thank you for taking the time to share your testimony!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I think Houston Ballet is an asset to not only the arts in Houston but across the nation and internationally.
I have watched Houston Ballet develop over the years excelling in their community and educational outreach programs. The Houston Ballet Company is fantastic in delivering art and culture at the highest level to the citizens of Houston. You know you are a true Houstonian when you mention as part of your holiday traditions is attending Houston Ballet's "Nutcracker" My favorite time to attend the Nutcracker is the Christmas Eve matinee. Thanks to all the hard work of Houston Ballet to keep this tradition moving on to the next generation of Houstonians.

Comments ( 1 )

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Houston Ballet Foundation 10/28/2014

Hello b.cotton, Thank you for your wonderful support. As you said, our community engagement has increased over the years and is continuing to grow with support like yours. We know that there are still many young children around Houston who have never seen a ballet, or taken a dance class. We hope that we can continue to grow those efforts and encourage those young dancers to make the Nutcracker a yearly tradition just like you! Best, Houston Ballet

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I just want to say that to go to a ballet at the Wortham Center, and see these world renowned dancers is a delight to the mind, body and spirit! The performances take you away to a remarkable place and gives you pure joy. The whole experience is unforgettable. The Houston Ballet does everything exceptionally well and is a treasure for the Houston area.
Sandy

Comments ( 1 )

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Houston Ballet Foundation 10/28/2014

Hello sandrea61, Thank you for your wonderful testimonial. We work hard to create that experience for each and every one of our patrons so that they can walk away feeling the same magic that you feel at a performance. We know it's worth every bit of energy when we read reviews like yours. We look forward to seeing you future performances. Thanks! -Houston Ballet

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Houston Ballet comes to many of the KIPP Houston High Schools to make a difference in Dance Programming and training. At KIPP Generations Collegiate, they have donated costumes, trained classes and dance teams in ballet and modern, provided field trip venues where students could experience live ballets and much more. We are very grateful for their Education and Outreach program without which our students would have a less considerable dance experience. The costumes and training have made the dancers feel comfortable and elegant. The students also feel more connected to dance in their community.

Comments ( 1 )

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Houston Ballet Foundation 10/28/2014

Hello ritacococlark, Thank you for your kind words. Your experience with Houston Ballet reaffirms our commitment to offering programming that meets your needs inside and outside the dance studio. The increased exposure to performances, training, and even costumes hopefully helps create an new generation of dance enthusiasts! We look forward to working with your students at KIPP Generation again soon! Best, Houston Ballet

1 Michael270

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am the Director of a pediatric outpatient rehabilitation facility. Jennifer Sommers of the Houston Ballet Outreach Program has been leading a movement class at my facility for 6 weeks. Enrolled in the course are a range of children varying degrees of neuromuscular, physical, cognitive, and communication deficits. I also participated in the class with a patient who has autism. Miss Jennifer made the activities in the class creative, not too difficult, applicable for each child, and MOST OF ALL, FUN! Each child demonstrated increased mastery of each routine in the class. Miss Jennifer gave special attention to those who needed it. The children, families, and staff here so greatly appreciate Miss Jennifer and the outreach efforts of the Houston Ballet. We thank you very much!

Comments ( 1 )

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Houston Ballet Foundation 10/28/2014

Hello Michael270, Thank you for your extremely kind comments. Miss Jennifer is an excellent member of our Education & Outreach team and her work at facilities like yours is very special. Houston Ballet believes that every child should have the opportunity to dance, which is why we take existing education programs and adapt them to populations with specific needs through our Adapted Dance program. As you saw with your group, dance classes in this program emphasize strength, flexibility and balance while encouraging creative expression and teamwork. Thanks again for your kind words. Best, Houston Ballet