For most cities, it is industry that brings people into the area and creates the city for a general purpose. However, it is the arts that stimulate the city to become a living, breathing community where people want to visit and be a part of. Sure there are those who can try to argue against this, but honestly who travels to France and doesn’t visit the Louvre? Or who could leave Florence without having waited at least two hours in line to stare longingly at Michelangelo’s David? Even if you were able to leave these cities without witnessing these masterpieces, the streets in France and Florence are both overflowing with live music and vibrant color that by just walking around along the cobblestones you are swept up into the artwork of the city.
Unfortunately, at some point in our society, the collective opinion has allowed art to only be deemed necessary in large, “upscale” cities. This attitude is especially prevalent when we look at the support of professional dance companies in smaller cities verses cities like New York City. Rather then focusing on a city negatively affected by this lack of artistic support, we want to keep things positive and instead look at a city where they are helping to rebuild a dance company and the benefits the community has experienced from the company’s presence.
Cleveland, OH the city of “rock and roll” is also our amped-up city that has recently revitalized the Cleveland Ballet in 2014. To put things into perspective, Cleveland has a population of 385,809 in comparison to New York City with a population of over 8.538 million! Luckily, the city of Cleveland has not allowed numbers to deter them in their quest for advocating the arts. And what better organization to support than a dance company whose mission is to present “world class dance on stage through classical and new works and to ensure that classical and neoclassical ballet is accessible and relevant to audiences of all ages and backgrounds.” Since the dance company’s revitalization, Cleveland has gained an expanded cultural richness and, of course, seen a rise in a number of cute little ballerinas in tutus. Which, if we are being honest, is one of the best adorable perks of attending any ballet performance.
There are several examples of how having a dance company in Cleveland has helped the city’s culture. Perhaps the best example is the positive exposure children get from seeing the Cleveland Ballet. The Cleveland Ballet is an especially good example since they regularly participate in outreach activities, and work with schools and other non-profits to expose children from all socioeconomic backgrounds to the arts. Having a professional company also increases Cleveland's support of bringing dance into the community through outreach and community funded events.
The city also moves towards creating more kids dance classes in Cleveland from the Cleveland Ballet’s presence. Besides gaining the professional dance school associated with the ballet company, the city sees an increase in other dance schools both professional and recreational in the area! A huge component in a child’s involvement in dance is getting the child to and from dance class each week. This job normally goes to our lifetime and forever loved personal chauffeurs, our parents. A parent who attends a professional performance of the Nutcracker or Swan Lake witnesses the beauty, hard work and dedication dance requires first hand. From viewing a Cleveland Ballet performance a parent is able to gain a deeper appreciation for the art and become more willing to enroll their child in a kids dance class in Cleveland.
The benefits from enrolling children in a dance class are endless! From building self-esteem to challenging a child’s focus and mind, dance class is a great way to spark creativity in young ones. Kids dance classes also helps kids learn valuable life lessons like that improvement comes with commitment and in order to see results they need to put in the work. Even a child who simply participates in a recreational dance class in Cleveland will gain the confidence and joy that only a dance class can offer.
In the end, it is the benefits children receive from both being exposed to dance and participating in it themselves through kids dance classes that becomes the ultimate reason for having a professional dance company in every city. Yes, the dance company will bring culture and nightlife to the city, but most importantly it will inspire children to become creative and help them develop an appreciation for the arts thus sustaining art for generations to come.
Click below to check out the great kids dance classes now offered in Cleveland's East Suburbs by Dance To EvOLvE!