Ballet Hispánico is the nation’s renowned Latino dance organization and one of America’s Cultural Treasures. Ballet Hispánico brings communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures through innovative dance performances, transformative dance training, and enduring community engagement experiences.
Founded in 1970 by National Medal of Arts recipient, Tina Ramírez, the organization emerged during the post-civil rights movement on New York’s Upper West Side, providing a safe haven for primarily Black and Brown Latinx youth seeking artistic sanctuary during New York City’s plight in the 1970s. The need for place, both culturally and artistically, led families to find Ballet Hispánico. The focus on dance as a means to develop working artists, combined with the training, authenticity of voice, and power of representation, fueled the organization’s roots and trajectory.
With its strong emphasis on dance, achievement, and public presence, the organization has flourished in its three main programs: its Company, School of Dance, and Community Arts Partnerships. The organization serves as a platform for historically omitted and overlooked artists providing them with increased capacity, voice, and affirmation. Over the past five decades, by leading with Latinx culture at the forefront of performance, education, and advocacy, Ballet Hispánico’s mission is a catalyst of change and possibility for communities throughout our nation.
The Ballet Hispánico School of Dance is a leading center of excellence in dance education—serving over 1,000 students and celebrating 50 years of dance and culture—and offers accessible, high-quality dance training to students of all levels ages 2 through adult. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, it empowers students by offering a holistic approach to movement discovery, including pre-professional training and classes for the novice dancer. Through its pre-professional program, the School trains eclectic, versatile dancers who stand out in a competitive professional environment for their mastery of the classical ballet tradition, contemporary techniques, Spanish Dance, and performance skills. Dance training also goes beyond the classroom through cultural enrichment activities at venues across NYC, giving students a comprehensive view of the dance community at large.
Community Arts Partnerships (CAP) engages and enriches communities by providing educational programs that celebrate the authenticity of Latinx heritage, culture, and traditions. Our programs empower students to express their personal experiences through improvisation, movement creation, and/or the practice of Latinx dance forms while formulating opinions about their social and cultural environment. Ballet Hispánico’s Company repertoire is utilized as a resource providing access points for movement and context.
The Community Arts Partnerships education philosophy embraces a cultural relevant methodology that encourages the research of Latinx expressions through the work of artists, dancers, musicians, and choreographers while supporting a student-centered approach, were the student shapes and informs the educational experience. In addition, our holistic programs immerse students in the technical training of Latinx dance forms by inviting them to celebrate diversity and connect with the community. Our goal is to create an experience that is accessible, inspirational, unifying, and that supports the environment of the learning communities.