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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

San Diego Civic Youth Ballet

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Ballet

Mission: To provide the youth of San Diego with an opportunity to study, understand and appreciate, through education and participation, the art of ballet, and to enrich the cultural life of the community.

Target demographics: youth and families experience the art of ballet

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 400 students weekly through our studio classes and over 600 students through our community outreach classes and workshops.

Geographic areas served: San Diego

Programs: classical ballet education, affordable family performances, and community outreach programs in urban elementary schools.

Community Stories

47 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My wife and I have attended several San Diego Civic Youth Ballet performances and have thoroughly enjoyed every one. Having watched our own children perform in countless plays, recitals, and dance showcases over the years, we had a sense of what we might experience with SDCYB. What a wonderful surprise awaited us! The choreography, sets, costumes, and performance levels were exceptional. On more than one occasion it seemed as if we were watching a professional troupe. I can only imagine how proud the parents of these darling dancers must feel. We can't wait to join them for this year's Nutcracker!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter is 10 years old and has been dancing with the SDCYB for about 5 years. The love and patience that the staff and teachers have, as well as their skills in teaching kids of all ages, in addition to the performance opportunities kids of all ages have throughout the year is just unmatched. We are so lucky to have found this place so early, and been a part of the ballet family.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

What a great organization. My daughter has been taking ballet here for a few years, performing in shows, and loving every second of it. Every instructor has been top notch and great with the kids, the productions are amazing, and the experience is always positive for children and parents alike.

Nicole J

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter is 16 and has been a student at SDCYB since she was 4. After school, it is her second home. I cannot say enough about the faculty and instructors at SDCYB. They provide a professional and structured environment for both girls and boys to both enjoy their classes and reach their potential. The community has grown so much over the years and somehow they still seem to know and appreciate each student and their family. I continue to be impressed with Danika as the Artistic Director and Molly as the Executive Director. They are so focused on making SDCYB the best. I am forever thankful for the support and care they have provided for my daughter. And I know she is, too.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter has been part of SDCYB for almost a decade. We went to other dance schools at first and even as a young girl she did not connect. From the first class she loved it. The classes are pure ballet at it's finest. They are structured yet really fun for all ages. Danika, the director, is an amazing person and has helped my daughter grow in more ways than she will ever know. The administration is great - always friendly and approachable. The instructors are qualified and understand what it takes to teach at every age and ability level. Add all of the above to a beautiful location. I recommend SDCYB to anyone and everyone who is interested in ballet.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

While we don't need to mention exactly how long ago it was that I danced at San Diego Civic Youth Ballet, let's just say we're talking decades ago and not just years! When my parents first signed me up for class, I remember not being interested, but I gave it a chance and soon I was hooked. I am happy to say that I stuck with it for almost ten years and have felt the benefits of that time to this day. I even have a dear friend I still talk to who I met in ballet class when I was 8 years old. I'm still on this organization's mailing list because I enjoy seeing what they are up to and thrilled to see that they are still going strong after all of these years. Keep up the good work!

Client Served

Rating: 5

It doesn't get much better than SDCYB. I have had both of my kids go through their program for years. The teachers are all excellent and I am so grateful that my children have experienced the many benefits of ballet. They understand the value of hard work, dedication, discipline, patience and making smart choices about their health and fitness. They have made many friends over the years, we have enjoyed watching them grow both on and off stage and our entire family will forever be grateful to this organization for the work they do.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Believe it or not, I took ballet classes at the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet back in the 1950's. At that time, it was run by a woman named Maria Fielding and I have many fond memories of spending afternoons in Balboa Park. Recently, I decided to take my two grandchildren to one of their performances of "Coppélia." I love that ballet and haven't seen it in decades, so I chose this opportunity to expose the young kids to dance. To my joy (and surprise in this age of digital media), they loved it and immediately asked me when they could go again. Well, let's just say that I plan to take them as much as they want to go! As I watched all of the young dancers and saw the smiles on my grandchildren's faces, I was reminded of my own time studying ballet and reflected on how those life skills I learned with Mrs. Fielding over 50 years ago have stayed with me ever since. After "Coppélia," I found the ballet on Facebook so I could receive updates about future performances and saw their request for patrons to post reviews on this website. I am proud to enthusiastically support this as a "Great Nonprofit" and share the impact it has had, and continues to have, on my life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has taken ballet classes at SDCYB for years and our family is so proud to be a part of this organization. My husband and I will never forget the first time we saw her perform as one of the little candies in "The Nutcracker" and have so enjoyed watching her thrive and grow both on stage and in the classroom. Ballet is undeniably a beautiful art, but it's even more than that. It instills in its dancers qualities such as strength, focus, discipline, patience, a strong work ethic and so much more. My daughter has already expressed to us that she wants to continue her training and we can't think of a better place to do that than at SDCYB!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have two daughters that have been attending ballet classes here for eight years. Our family has only encountered positive experiences with the teachers and office staff. The teachers are respectful and encouraging, and they each have a unique and creative approach in addressing technique and choreography. The office staff is very friendly and approachable with any questions or concerns that parents may have. The teachers and staff are very supportive and genuinely care about each other.

San Diego Civic Youth Ballet emphasizes safety and security around the classes and performances. They are adamant about not letting the young dancers leave class without joining them with their parent, and they do not let ANY dancer of any age leave a performance without joining them with their parent.

I would highly recommend this ballet company!

Client Served

Rating: 5

This fabulous class was one of the best things ever for my daughter! She blossomed and gained so much confidence. It was awesome to see! She is proud to call herself a ballerina!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The San Diego Civic Youth Ballet is one of my favorite charities in San Diego! Just one look at these young dancers performing on stage and you will feel the same way! Arts programs continue to to disappear from our schools, so community organizations like SDCYB are essential to providing an opportunity for youth to have an outlet for creativity and expression and foster a passion for the performing arts. Looking at these young performers, you can see the pure joy that their experience in SDCYB has brought to their lives. Nothing warms my heart like seeing an SDCYB performance. Thank you for all that you do for local youth and the greater arts community!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 15 year old daughter has been dancing with SDCYB since she was 7 years old. We love this studio so much and for so many reasons. When she was little, she participated in their homeschool dance classes that fit our schedule really well. One of the things we've cherished most about SDCYB is their amazing staff! Each of my daughter's dance teachers has their own unique approach, but they are all able to inspire without pressure, communicate clearly, and help my daughter progress in her dance with support and expert guidance. I LOVE that every student is given an opportunity to perform in high-quality productions multiple times a year and I truly appreciate not having to buy glitzy single-use costumes each time she performs (unlike other dance companies). SDCYB has a gifted Costume Mistress who puts together beautiful costumes for each show that the students borrow and return for future productions. I also really appreciate SDCYB's dedication to our community, providing free outreach programs for youth all around the county. What a gift to our community!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

SDCYB provides some of the most affordable ballet training in San Diego and the only thing that might match the beauty of the art they produce on stage is the beauty of Balboa Park, where their performances and classes take place. It can be challenging to get a spot in the classes because the organization has grown so much in the last couple of years, that's just a testament to the strength and quality of the school. No matter what, even if your child can't sign up for class, you can still bring your family to a performance of "The Nutcracker" or one of the many shows they present throughout the year. As more and more arts funding gets cut from public schools, we need more places like SDCYB!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As someone who values arts education and appreciates ballet, I have followed the work of the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet for a couple of years and am always impressed with the high level of professionalism I see in both the young dancers and in the teachers and staff who mentor them. SDCYB has been in Balboa Park for over 70 years and is not only a historic institution, but yet another reminder of why we call this "America's Finest City."

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter and I love SDCYB. This ballet school holds high standards for both their staff and students. It is clear that at SDCYB the administration fosters an environment of respect and professionalism. It is a place where kindness and principled behavior is both supported and expected from all parties involved.

Client Served

Rating: 4

We have been with SDCYB for over 6 years. Both my daughter and I have been very happy with the staff and the dance instruction she has received. Highly recommend SDCYB!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter dances at SDCYB, and we as a family love to volunteer our time in order to help in the productions, which are extremely professional, a true delight to watch and for the dancers to prepare for future dancing opportunities.
SDCYB offers more than ballet classes, it offers a real life opportunity to kids and their families to experience the fun, the love and the passion for this artistic expression.
We truly appreciate what the full staff and all the community of SDCYB do.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SDCYB is one of the best ballet schools we've been to. The staff is always very professional in all aspects from the office administration to the programming and execution of their performance events. SDCYB is one of the few place we have come across where dancers of all ages have the opportunity to be involved and exposed to continuous dance and performance experiences. It is impressive to know that SDCYB is a non-profit organization and that many of their special event activities rely on volunteer work as well as donations. Yet, even when this is true, their level of professionalism is incredible. We love SDCYB and the people who work there.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a fantastic organization and and great experience for all dancers.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

My two girls have danced with San Diego Civic Youth Ballet from Tiny Tots on. This ballet organization is amazing. The teaching staff is first rate. They are all extremely professional yet caring. The level of instruction is high quality. We love coming to Balboa Park to take classes and for performances. I also take the adult ballet class and look forward to each and every class. My family has enjoyed our time here tremendously.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am pleased to recommend the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet to parents considering dance for their children and youth. As a former dancer who went through a ballet company with pressure surrounding weight and body image I was very concerned about making sure that my child had a better experience than I had. Not only does SDCYB have incredible technical instructors, they also have personalities that make dancing enjoyable. All children and youth are encouraged to enjoy ballet as an art form and are taught to have an appreciation for the expression, the music, their bodies, and other people. They have produced some incredibly talented dancers who are clearly poised to become career dancers. The entire staff understands however that not all participants are there to become career dancers. They appreciate that all dancers come in with individual levels and goals of participation and they don't attempt to classify dancers exclusively based on an age group. The performances they produce are truly beautiful productions with exquisite costumes and professionally choreographed numbers that you will be proud to have family members and friends attend. Also, very importantly, SDCYB instructors take the safety of all dancers seriously and are meticulous with drop off and pick up and bathroom breaks.
I have been thrilled to have my child dancing with SDCYB for 5 years and will continue to enroll her and support what I believe is the best dance company in San Diego.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thirteen years ago, my then four year old daughter started taking ballet classes at San Diego Civic Youth Ballet. As soon as her little sister turned four, she started lessons too, and is still dancing today. This year will mark her tenth consecutive year performing in The Nutcracker. We love the SDCYB program, staff, and teachers, who really care about their students. My girls have made wonderful friends there over the years, as well as gaining pose, strength, confidence and self-discipline. It has been a very rewarding experience for all of us.

Balletmom

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our family loves this ballet company. The instructors are very professional, and personable. The building and surrounding park are beautifully artistic and inspiring. Our daughter has been attending class since she was a little girl, and we have seen her grow with the qualities of discipline and grace. We recommend SDCYB for any family considering a dance company for their daughter or son. A big thumbs up!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My two daughters have been students at SDCYB since they were little. The teachers while professional, are extremely personable making the students feel welcomed and comfortable. This allows each student the self-esteem to give it their all. We are pleased with the character growth and ballet expertise of our girls as a result of being a part of SDCYB.