Reach is a three-year scholarship dance program that makes beginning level, quality dance training accessible to students who demonstrate a natural talent for movement and the potential to be trained in dance. The program affords children the opportunity to access quality dance training in their neighborhoods free of charge promoting self-esteem, discipline, a strong work ethic and an appreciation for the arts.
Open auditions are held each year and selection is determined based on natural abilities, the potential to be trained in dance, financial need and family commitment to the program. Students selected for the program attend classes two times each week at a designated Mecklenburg County recreation center. All first-year students receive their dance attire at no charge to their families. Students and their parents also receive tickets to attend select Charlotte Ballet performances.
Reach was launched in 2009 through a $78,000 grant from the Women’s Impact Fund. The Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department partners with Charlotte Ballet to promote the program and provide sites for the classes at the Albemarle Road, Bette Rae Thomas, Ivory Baker, Naomi Drenan and Hickory Grove Recreation Centers.
In 2011, Reach won a program achievement award from the National Association of County Organizations.