Ballet East Dance Company

Celebrating 40 years of "bringing arts to the community and the community to the arts".

Ballet East has long seen the need for an intensive dance program at Eastside Memorial High School, formerly Johnston High School. The State Board of Education recommended that this school be closed, and it is functioning now on a provisional basis. The school is working toward a plan, and administrators know cultural programming needs to be part of that plan. Programs are needed that will attract and hold students

The need for programs at the high school level has also been expressed by Dare to Dance alumni and their parents.

Eastside Memorial High School anticipates a student population in the next two school years of 1000-1100 students in grades 9 through 12, at least 85 percent of whom will be Latino (the state average is 45 percent), and 80 percent or more from homes of scarce economic resources (the state average is 55 percent). More than half of the students will have limited English proficiency, for whom a separate school is planned. Integrating activities are needed for these students.

Instructors are first-level performers in their fields of dance, with extensive stage and teaching experience. They must be fully committed to democracy of opportunity for all students and the individual support and advancement of each student. They will observe recognized principles of dance fitness and preparedness. It is especially important that the instructors are themselves exemplars of what can be achieved through dance. Biographical summaries of the proposed instructors are included in the attachments.


Teaching in the Dance Academy is built on the National Content and Achievement Standards for Dance Education and the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) by grade for dance, and designed for this student population. Instruction is coordinated with the school’s dance teacher: Amy Mendez

The curriculum is the visible part of the program Ballet East proposes, to be underpinned with the elements that research—and our experience—show to be most effective with at-risk students. The program is essentially the same for in-class and after-school instruction.

Impact Austin Grant for Eastside Memorial

Dance Program: 2009 - 2011 

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