S.T.E.P.S. Program

Scholarship Training for the Enrichment of Primary Students

Orlando Ballet is entering its 30th year of providing free ballet classes to children in economically marginalized schools and communities in central Florida through the Scholarship Training for the Enrichment of Primary Students program, modeled after a similar award-winning program developed by New York’s Dance Theatre of Harlem.


This program provides students in 2nd-5th grades with the opportunity to acquire a comprehensive knowledge of dance as an art form.


The Orlando Ballet S.T.E.P.S. program offers classes in classical ballet, modern, contemporary dance, musical theater, jazz, hip hop and spoken word over it’s 13 weeks residency.


The first 3 classes are used to assess the students’ level of ability. Following the assessment classes, students are selected for the 10-week dance intensive.  Each class meets once a week for 1.5 hours.


Over the course of the intensive, students are provided with full dance attire.

  • Girls receive leotards, tights, ballet slippers
  • Boys receive T-shirts, black shorts, black socks, and black ballet slippers)


A final showcase is presented at the conclusion of the program. Participants will present the works created over the course of the intensive and will receive a certificate of completion from the Orlando Ballet S.T.E.P.S. program.


Family and friends are highly encouraged to attend the final showcase to support the children in their performance.


Additionally, students that displayed interest, exceptional ability, focus, and discipline  are invited to continue their training on full scholarship for one week to attend the Orlando Ballet Spring or Summer Camp. While attending the camp, participants are further assessed and considered for the full year scholarship to attend the Orlando Ballet School under the BRIDGE SCHOLARSHIP program.


Lastly, all STEPS participants are granted complimentary tickets to various Orlando Ballet performances at the Dr. Phillips Center and the new Steinmetz Hall when tickets become available.


The Orlando Ballet S.T.E.P.S. program serves multiple purposes:


  • Dance education aids the development of kinesthetic intelligence.
  • Dance education creates opportunities for self-expression and communication within the constraints of the medium of the body.
  • Dance, whether representational, thematic, or abstract, is a repository of civilization that changes through time.
  • Dance education teaches the values and skills of creativity, problem solving, risk taking, making judgments in the absence of rules, and higher order thinking skills.
  • Dance provides an opportunity for students to recognize that there are multiple solutions to problems.
  • Provide a fun and safe place for students during afterschool hours.
  • To improve youths’ capacity for leadership through self-discovery and the arts.
  • Provide positive interactions with caring teaching artists and adult role models.
  • Encourage and develop life skills, respect for others and positive social interaction.
  • Introduce and engage participants in positive, potential life-long career pursuits.
  • Provide an artistic focus with various forms and genres of self-expression.


With the incorporation of dance afterschool, the improvements in students’ schoolwork and attitudes toward school are praiseworthy. Children are learning to express themselves through movement and appluing problem solving methods. The S.T.E.P.S. program also affords an outlet for those who may not have an outlet outside of school.  For some children, the dance program is their only form of expression.


Benefit of the S.T.E.P.S. After-School Program

Indirectly, the implementation of this program supports an active learning environment afterschool or in a community center. It will also help in providing a balanced life for the participants and effectively increase health, wellness, and fitness.

In addition, students learn the discipline and benefits of hard work. The S.T.E.P.S. program can have a life-changing influence on children. From decreasing participation in criminal activity to improving education outcomes and building positive life skills. This thoughtfully crafted program does much more than reduce the number of latchkey kids. The Orlando Ballet S.T.E.P.S. program provides structure, support, and supervision that can help children succeed in the classroom and beyond.

If you need more information or would like to register your school to receive the S.T.E.P.S. program, call Orlando Ballet at 407-418-9818 or email Charmaine Hunter at [email protected] or Joni Newman at [email protected]

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Orlando Ballet School’s STEPS program is generously sponsored by:

Mission Sustainers

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