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New Haven Ballet is dedicated to sharing our love of dance with the broadest possible audience. We invite the community to learn and engage in dance through our community programming. It is our hope to cultivate and educate a new generation of dancers and arts advocates.


New Haven Ballet’s Shared Ability program consists of weekly dance workshops where dancers with and without disabilities create performances. Classes are wheelchair accessible and led by Kerry Kincy, a teaching artist who uses dance as a tool to build social and cognitive abilities. The program affords participating artists, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, and other challenges, and their families a chance to dance, meet, interact, and share their unique experiences in a safe and supportive environment.

Contact Ruth Barker at Tel. 203-782-9038 or Email administrator@newhavenballet.org for accommodation requests.

New Haven Ballet began Shared Ability in February 2009.


New Haven Ballet’s DanceAIR program offers free in-school ballet classes to young children at New Haven public elementary schools with high populations of students of color and students eligible for the free/reduced lunch program.

In spring 2023, New Haven Ballet collaborated with New Haven public schools and LEAP (Leadership, Education and Athletics in Partnership, Inc.) to redesign and restart our DanceAIR program after the pandemic. We offered DanceAIR during the day at Edgewood School and after school at Truman, Lincoln Bassett, and John S. Martinez Schools. Ninety per cent of students at DanceAIR schools are children of color, and 71% are eligible for free/reduced-price meals. In December 2022, New Haven Ballet offered a free performance of Nutcracker excerpts at Dixwell Community House (Q House), which serves families in the Dixwell and Newhallville neighborhoods of New Haven. The performance attracted a standing-room-only audience, which led New Haven Ballet and Q House to develop a long-term partnership with free weekly dance classes at the Q House.

During the 2022-2023 academic year, 58 children participated in DanceAIR. The program concluded with a free performance in May 2023 at ACES ECA Arts Hall, which was attended by 325 family members and friends. DanceAIR classes are provided free of charge to students, and we also extend scholarships to DanceAIR graduates who choose to continue their training at New Haven Ballet’s School.

New Haven Ballet is proud of the success of DanceAIR. In 2023-2024, we offered free in-school ballet classes to over 45 young children at five New Haven public elementary schools, a significant increase from the previous year. Our partnership with Q House, which began last spring with one free dance class offered weekly, has now expanded to three classes (Creative Ballet, Pre-Ballet/Primary, and Level 1-2 Ballet) held each Friday evening. Currently, 67 students are enrolled in these classes, a testament to the program’s growing popularity. Last December, 27 DanceAIR and Q House students showcased their talent in New Haven Ballet’s Nutcracker at Q House, once again attracting a full house. Additionally, seven DanceAIR students had the opportunity to perform in our public performances of The Nutcracker on stage at New Haven’s historic Shubert Theatre, a testament to the program’s success in nurturing young talent.

Through DanceAIR, students receive high-quality arts education, expand their understanding and appreciation of dance and the performing arts, learn basic dance technique and choreography, and have an opportunity to express themselves artistically by combining musicality and rhythm. They experience the discipline and physicality of dance, which emphasizes focus, athleticism, coordination, artistry, strength, balance, flexibility, and the rewards of hard work.

Since 2014, DanceAIR has reached young students at many public elementary schools in New Haven including Fair Haven School, Columbus Family Academy, John S. Martinez School, Lincoln Bassett School, Quinnipiac School, Truman School, Barack H. Obama Magnet School, and East Rock School.

DanceAIR provides:

  • Dance Classes – Teachers provide weekly dance instruction for ten+ weeks in each school. The program is offered during regular school hours and as an after-school program at the Q House. Each class includes a warm-up with stretches using basic ballet technique, floor work grounded in ballet technique, teamwork through choreographing and rehearsing a dance piece, and a cool-down.
  • Community PerformanceDanceAIR students are invited to perform in a community performance. The NHB Company of pre-professional dancers also performs.
  • Scholarships – NHB offers scholarships to students from each school who successfully complete the program. DanceAIR students demonstrate exceptional talent, dedication, and aptitude. Scholarships include tuition for multiple dance classes a week at NHB School for one year, performance fees, and dancewear. Past DanceAIR winners have received financial aid to supplement their dance training after concluding the DanceAIR scholarship. These students are training to the fullest extent and participating in every performance.
  • Community Partners – Our newest partner is the Q House, which provides free classes to people in the Newhallville and Dixwell neighborhoods. Click Here to see our Children’s Division Director, Timothy Fountain, speak with WTNH News 8’s Lisa Carberg about this unique and exciting partnership.

If your school is interested in offering DanceAIR or for information on how you can help make dreams come true by supporting the program, please call: 203.782.9038.

Photos: ©Thomas Giroir Photography


To provide the greater New Haven Community with exceptional classical ballet training, performances, and outreach programs, that nurture appreciation of ballet and foster the joy of dance.

On October 31, 2020, NHB’s Board of Directors adopted the following Diversity and Inclusion Statement:

New Haven Ballet celebrates those who aspire to excellence in classical ballet. A culture of creativity is the core of our work and diversity promotes innovation. The arts can provide powerful life-changing experiences that prepare students and impact audiences to lead more successful, meaningful and culturally rich lives. The arts can also prove to be an important platform for social change. At New Haven Ballet we are passionate about creating an inclusive dance environment and performances that promote and value diversity and inclusion. We will continue to strive to increase diversity in age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, and perspective, which will improve and strengthen our work.

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