Education & Outreach Programs

For the past six years Ballet Quad Cities has presented an interactive bullying prevention program, designed to reach thousands of Quad City area children annually. As we review the program each year, we continue to enhance the content based on area educator’s input, and extend our reach into more area schools. Ballet Quad Cities’ multi-phase initiative, based on the story of The Ugly Duckling, includes interactive opportunities to learn choreography, role play, and learn about the author and composer, while keeping all activities age-appropriate. Using dance education we help to reinforce life skills needed to become healthy and successful adults by integrating a clearly articulated message of bullying prevention into the production of The Ugly Duckling. The in-school dance enrichment is led by well-qualified teams of Ballet Quad Cities’ professional dancers, trained in the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.

Olweus is a national Bullying Prevention Program based at Clemson University that has been cited for its effectiveness by the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Education and the Academy of Pediatrics. Our dancers were trained in the program by Ellen Reilly, a coordinator in the Davenport Community Schools for Learning Support Services for Safe and Drug Free Schools.

The Ugly Duckling is set on the Mississippi River in order to make Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale more relevant to Quad City area children. We have included a clean water component to the education piece of the printed material. Ballet Quad Cities’ artistic director, Courtney Lyon has restaged the choreography in order to emphasize the characters of the bullies, the victim and the passive bystanders. All participating teachers through the outreach initiative receive Educator Guides for The Ugly Duckling that includes suggestions for curricular enrichment in math, science, language arts, music, physical education and LIFESKILLS.

Following the in-school dance education, students attend a ballet performance of The Ugly Duckling at a specially scheduled school matinee in the theatre. All students attending The Ugly Duckling ballet receives an age-appropriate printed program with additional learning activities to be completed at home.

To date, approximately 24,000 students have experienced this program. Last year alone we touched 3,800 students from schools all across the Quad Cities and beyond. Students from Kewanee, Galesburg and Muscatine have all been impacted by this important message of aceptance as well. We will continue to expand and enhance The Ugly Duckling presentation every year!

Our history includes partnering with the Great Minds Program in the Davenport Community Schools in February 2009 to get this initiative started. Since then, Davenport schools have mandated that all 1st grade students attend a ballet performance as part of their annual curriculum.

Financial support helps to underwrite the cost of bringing this program to one school is $2,300. Costs include the 45 minute live ballet; dancer stipends for the in-school interactive programs; supplies and printed materials.