Community Engagement Programs


Festival Ballet Providence has been engaging the community for 40 years in programming designed to introduce schools and the community to the art of ballet and bring ballet into places where dance is almost nonexistent. Reaching an average of 13,000 youth each year, we engage young audiences both in schools and in theaters. In 2016 we brought over 3,000 students to main-stage ballet performances, presented lecture demonstrations to 1185 students and engaged 368 children at local libraries. Building working relationships in the community with partner organizations and businesses builds understanding and support around the art of dance. Our Adaptive Dance Program provides special performance opportunities for our students with Down Syndrome. Our investment in the future includes mentoring pre-professional dancers as trainees and as well as a diverse group of interns behind the scenes building skills in arts administration and theater production.

In Schools

As our children communicate more and more through digital media, the need to educate them on communication and expression through movement is ever more necessary. Dance as an artistic form of communication and a physical expression is missing from most school curriculum. Festival Ballet Providence understands this void and has a vast array of programs to help schools fill this need.

Short Lecture Demonstration

Lecture Demonstrations engage students in half hour to two hour programming designed to build knowledge on the art of dance and connect to grade level curriculum standards.

Storytelling and Fairy Tales

Hear a reading and discover how dancers translate that story into dance. Connecting with literacy standards at all grade levels through the ballets of The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Cinderella, The Widows Broom, The Little Mermaid and many more. Programs change seasonally, so email us to find out what is currently available.

Get Ready for the Show

Learn about theater etiquette and what to expect before attending one of our mainstage performances. Find out more about what you will see and hear in the theater.

Tutus Tiaras and Tights

Discover the language and history of ballet. Why do ballerinas dance on their toes and dancers bow to their audiences? Students learn dances alongside professional dancers to the music of the great ballets.

Voices of Beauty

FBP dancers utilize dance as a means to open communication about social issues such as self-esteem, empathy, bullying, body image and racial injustice. Integrating words and movement to build social skills.


Residencies can be customized to fit student populations and time frames, and may include student culmination performances. Residencies can be arranged either during or for after school programming.

Get up and Dance!

Festival Ballet Providence’s health and wellness program gets students up and moving, talking and creating dance. Discover how dancers fuel and hydrate for peak performance and mental clarity. A great program to invigorate your physical education and arts programming with the creative problem solving and rigor of a professional ballet class.

Part of the Oath

Developed by Dr. Colleen Cavanaugh, MD this program brings social issues together with student written poems and dance for a program that empowers students with their own words and movement. Utilize dance as a vehicle to express the issues of gender identity, bullying, body image and race relevant to the health and wellbeing of teens and tweens.

“Our students come from every area of the city, and from many different socio-economic backgrounds. It was so gratifying for me to see our students (some who may not have access to the arts, ballet in particular) learning about dance and participating on stage in our beautiful auditorium space.”

Kimberly Luca, Nathan Bishop Middle School teacher

ChatterBox on Tour

Festival Ballet Providence brings our highly popular chatterBOXtheater productions complete with sets, costumes, and dance floor to schools across southern New England. Student experience a live performance in the comfort of their own school to ballets such as Peter and the Wolf, Hansel & Gretel, The Little Prince; and Pippi. Following the performance students are invited to ask the dancers questions.

In Theaters

Festival Ballet Providence knows that school field trips to see a grand ballets are life changing events for students, as some of our company members first fell in love with ballet on their class trips. Whether watching a Discover Dance Performance in the magnificent space of our historic theaters, or a chatterBOXtheater performance in the intimate space of the FBP Black Box theater, young audiences leave the performance amazed.

Discover Dance Performance Series

Festival Ballet Providence fills PPAC and the VETS with students from all across Southern New England for our Discover Dance Performance Series. Many of the schools who attend are inner city schools in high poverty communities with over half of the student population receiving federally subsidized lunches. For many students, this is the only exposure they have to a world class professional ballet company and these historic grand theaters. Our Discover Dance performances are full length ballets with the same breath taking costumes and scenery that our season ticket holders experience. Discover Dance performances are available by advance registration only for public, private and homeschool groups of 10 or more.


Festival Ballet Providence’s family series, chatterBOXtheater is available for school groups. To schedule your school for a private viewing of one of our current season productions, please contact the Director of Community Engagement, Valerie Cookson-Botto.

In the Community

As Providence’s resident professional ballet company, Festival Ballet Providence reaches deep within our city and throughout southern New England building strong community relations. Our programs extend to libraries, community centers, parks and hospitals in southern New England. Recent community visits included: Custom House Square in New Bedford, Mass; Hasbro Hospital; WaterFire Providence; the Providence Community Library and many more. Our partnerships include work with GAMM, Community Music Works, Trinity Rep, Seven Hills RI, Love Your Melon, MAE Organization for the Homeless. Thousands of complementary tickets to FBP’s mainstage performances are offered to community services and non-profit organizations.

“This dance inspired me. The performance was amazing and so good to watch”

Jose, 5th Grade

In the Future

Festival Ballet Providence is committed to training the next generation of not only dancers, but arts administrators and theater technicians. Our investment in the future includes our Trainee program, as well as high school and college Internship program. Trainees start their journey in our Summer Dance Intensive where they are taught, guided and vetted for Trainee positions in the company. The Trainees train, perform and work alongside our professional company members who mentor and support their growth as artists. Additionally, each year high school and college students join us for summer and academic year Internships. Working with our administrative and production teams, they learn hands on behind the scenes from our office, studio, and at The Vets, the Providence Performing Arts Center and FBP’s Black Box Theater space.

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