A fundamental tenet of RDT is to provide the community with access to quality dance education and performances—whether through free events or through paid admission to mainstage productions. All of RDT’s performances and outreach programs are designed to entertain and educate, engage and delight Lehigh Valley audiences of all ages about the art of dance. Dance education is an important mode of learning. In addition to discipline, it teaches powers of concentration, self-awareness, defines limitations and enhances musical aptitude. RDT is thrilled to have touched the lives of thousands of our community’s youth with its dance programs. RDT’s programs give students a non-threatening environment to take positive risks and learn creative expression, while teaching them the skills that encourages them to make smart choices.
Teachers and Community groups please contact us at 610.965.6216.
TIP After-School ProjectSince 1997 RDT has conducted an after-school dance education program entitled Talent Identification Program (TIP). Developed by Mel Tomlinson, a former dancer with New York City Ballet and Dance Theater of Harlem, TIP is an inclusive arts experience that provides a free dance education to urban at-risk and disadvantaged elementary, middle and high school students. TIP provides children who have talent—but who lack financial resources—the opportunity to learn the art and discipline of dance. Students receive: Free weekly dance classes; Free summer “dance camp” a two-three week session of daily dance classes; Free dance shoes and dance attire; performance opportunities with RDT; Free attendance at RDT performances and other dance events for the student and parents. Qualified students continue in the program until graduation from high school.
Lecture demonstration programsRDT’s lecture-demonstration programs introduce students to the world of dance. Students gain knowledge of the basic steps of ballet by watching a dancer demonstrate barre and center work. The students also learn a bit about the history of dance and how dancing can be beneficial for all athletes. They learn how simple, everyday steps can be translated into dance steps and how choreography tells a story. RDT’s lecture-demonstration program encourages audience participation and actively engages the students in the world of dance. This year RDT conducted lecture demonstrations to approximately 28 third-grade classes reaching approximately 1,200 Allentown students. RDT also produces this program for schools throughout the Lehigh Valley and youth organizations, such as Girl Scouts. These lecture demonstrations are also utilized as an audition for the TIP after-school program.
In-theatre programsRDT is committed to bringing live dance performances to the youth of the community. RDT annually produces the holiday classic Nutcracker as well as a spring ballet or concert performance with other area dance companies. With generous support from corporations and foundations, RDT can offer these programs to the schools at a greatly reduced ticket price.
In-school projectTo bring dance back into the schools, RDT produces in-school artist-in-residency programs that can utilize PA standards-based curriculum to incorporate dance and academic learning skills.
Summer ProgramsRDT conducts a summer dance intensive enabling young dancers to receive professional dance instruction during the summer from nationally recognized teachers without leaving their community.
Inspire! Artist ResidenciesRDT provides artist in residencies programs for the school as a rostered artist with this partnership program with the Allentown Arts Museum and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
Arts Awareness collaborations
RDT collaborates with area arts organizations like the Allentown Art Museum, Allentown Symphony, Baum School of Art, Civic Theatre of Allentown, Community Music School and Mock Turtle Marionette Theatre in arts awareness programs.