Photos: The young voices of Citydance
Photos: The young voices of Citydance
Boston Ballet’s Citydance program has reached more than 60,000 Boston Public School students in its 20-year history.
"I’m a big fan of ballet. I’ve seen a lot on TV and I like dressing up in costumes. I wanted to take ballet with my cousin, but I couldn’t. This is my first chance. When I got the note that I got to come here, my mom and I were screaming all day. I’m going to keep on coming on Saturdays. The best part is showing emotions through my body, expressing myself. I learned to have a straight and happy body and to listen. I listen better at home and at school now. This program relaxes me, helps take away some of my other thoughts and worries. At first I was nervous. I’m not comfortable with people I don’t know. Then when I got to know my teachers, it got better. This kinda helps me with my life, too." - Winter Jones, age 10, Mendell School, Roxbury
"I wanted to do this for more exercise and to show the world what I could do. If I could achieve, I could succeed. I love this studio. This is like my other family, all the teachers I work with, and I have friends. It’s fun to meet new people and dance and work with the class. I learned how to bond with other kids. But dancing is the best part. Sometimes when we do dances, I say, “That’s hard.” But I get through it, and it’s not hard anymore when I get used to it. After middle school, I want to go to the [Boston] Arts Academy and make up my own dances." - Brandon Mendes, age 10, Ellis School, Roxbury
"It makes me feel really important to be here. The first day, I was nervous about my structure and my shape, but now I’m not. I feel like I can really trust my teachers. One day we did a poster and put on it shapes and our special gifts. One class we got to dance freestyle, and they had us dance about a feeling. I could express myself and show movements I could do. It was awesome. But my favorite part is learning about cultures and about dances from around the world. [The teacher] showed us on a map. We did a dance from Puerto Rico and I’m from Dominican Republic, right above that. I thought this was just going to be about ballet, but it’s about a lot more. From the first week, I love it. I’m going to continue if my mom says I can." - Crystal Pimentel, 9, of Hernandez School, Roxbury
"I always wanted to be a dancer and a studier. I’m determined to learn everything I can before I don’t come here anymore, but I hope I can come back because I love ballet. At first, it was hard to remember some moves, but now I remember and I was showing my teachers at school. It shows you to be determined and not upset. If I can’t do it once, I have to try and try again. I don’t care if my knees hurt; I just do it. It’s really fun, and you get to experience dance in different ways, like hip-hop, square dance, ballet. I’m really gonna miss my teachers, even though they push us a little bit. All my teachers are my favorite." - Madeline G. Romero, 9, McKay School, East Boston
"I feel happy that I am here, and when I see my teachers I get excited because I wonder what I’m gonna learn today. Every day I come, I learn something new to show my parents and friends and sisters. And when we do the same thing over and over, we get better. I had trouble with balance before this, so I wanted to show my parents how good I could do. I like it best when I dance with other people, like when we say our name and what kinds of things we like, what sports. It’s easier to do with a partner and with friends around me. I get nervous when I dance by myself. I always forget something, but with practicing I can get it in my mind. At home, I remember what I did and keep on practicing balance and getting my legs to be straight. I see other people do it, and I keep on trying and then I can do it. Dance brings me more energy to do more stuff and be more happy, and it lasts for the whole day." - José Garcia, age 9, Mendell School, Roxbury