An integral part of ballet training is applying corrections in the belief that we can always do better.
We know there are things to examine, reflect on, and improve within our field and organization. With humility and vulnerability, Ballet Lubbock is committed to transforming the exclusionary history of ballet’s origins as an art form and is committed to bolstering a diverse and inclusive present and future for the field while acknowledging our own imperfect history.
We resolve to create an inclusive community where each person is encouraged and platformed to speak their voice and add to the rich communal culture, which cannot be achieved until we are free from racism, bigotry, and hatred.
Ballet Lubbock strives for and celebrates a world enriched by cultural diversity and enhanced by authentic community relationships.
We are committed to inclusive representation in our board of directors, staff, and casting, and fostering an environment of belonging that supports, encourages, and empowers traditionally marginalized populations including, but are not limited to, groups excluded due to race, ethnicity, indigeneity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, physical ability, language, socio-economic status, and/or immigration status. We acknowledge that there are discrepancies we have not yet encountered but we are committed to educating ourselves and our community.
We are all stakeholders in Ballet Lubbock.
The path to creating a better community is ongoing and we remain committed.
What we have done (Summer 2020 – Summer 2021):
- A Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) task force was assembled in June of 2020 that included Ballet Lubbock board members, staff, families, and community members. This task force has since become a permanent committee and meets regularly to examine Ballet Lubbock and inform on the path forward.
- Ballet Lubbock conducted a series of climate surveys to hear from people both inside and outside the organization about perceptions and what we can do better.
- Ballet Lubbock’s staff, faculty, and board of directors engaged in the following anti-racism and DEI training through X-Factor Solutions: Understanding Unconscious Bias (Fostering an Environment of Anti-Bias and Anti-Racism); and Public Speaking for Addressing Diversity and Speaking to Diverse Populations.
- The faculty also engaged in an X-Factor Solutions training in collaboration with Executive Artistic Director of Dance Canvas Angela Harris: Dance Teaching Practices that Support Diverse Student Bodies, participated in a seminar on inclusive teaching with the National Dance Education Organization, Functional Awareness training of Anatomy for all dancers, and Progressing Ballet Technique certification to enable anatomical education.
- Refined the school dress code so that dancers may wear tights and shoes that align with their skin tone.
- Formalizing expectations for our dancers, families, audience members, board, donors, and staff in order to hold us all accountable to Ballet Lubbock’s values.
What we’re doing today:
- Expanding our networks in order to increase the social and professional diversity of the Board of Directors; thereby, elevating different voices and contrasting insights at the table.
- Purposefully recruiting artistic and administrative staff in an effort to create a diverse and rich applicant pool for hiring.
- With care and intention creating an environment of belonging where all voices are sought, valued, and encouraged to thrive.
- Reaffirming our efforts to engage ALL members of our community through accessible dance programming by:
- Dance Connect – a program that brings free dance education to over 17 (and counting) elementary schools on a weekly basis.
- Community Youth Ballet – a free dance class that helps transition interested students from the Dance Connect program into the Ballet Lubbock School.
- Granting over $55,000 in tuition assistance to help eliminate financial barriers.
- Community Dance Days – a day of dance featuring community dance organizations.
- Sensory Friendly performances of The Nutcracker so that a holiday tradition can still be enjoyed by those with sensory sensitivities.
- Dance Abilities – specialized dance classes for students with special needs.
- A Swap Box to help pass on dancewear to the next student.
- Maintaining dancewear samples in a variety of skin tones.
What we’re doing in the upcoming weeks and months (Summer – Fall 2021):
- Building DEI values and goals into metrics and evaluation tools that are applied to all program and staff handbooks and evaluations.
- Hosting open and safe discussion forums from parents and community members.
- Strengthening and formalizing mentorship and support for students of diverse backgrounds.
- Adding an inclusive range of dancewear sizing.
- Expanding our Adaptive Dance programming to further engage populations with specialized needs.
What we’re doing forever:
- We will reaffirm and ensure programming is relevant to and reflective of our goals, and we will work to create a community that considers artistic representation of cultural and racial diversity for broader representation in our creative and educational work.
- We will ensure our resource allocation aligns with Ballet Lubbock’s core principles around equity, diversity, and inclusion. Resources for training, guest artists, and teachers will be prioritized.
- Knowing that the difficult work of dismantling bias and cultivating inclusion is never complete, we will continue to educate ourselves, seek feedback and perspectives not our own, and invest in creating the kind of culture where diverse perspectives flourish.