‘Dancing Into the Future – I Can, Too!’ is a dance program geared towards children primarily from less-advantaged backgrounds to promote their self confidence, self esteem and freedom of expression. Each class has dance instructors from National Dance Institute (NDI).
The program started in 2011 and has since received recognition for the effects it has on the social development of children. It now has to 22 schools across Shanghai. The NDI partnered with the China Welfare Institute Children’s Palace and the Minhang School District, and co-organized it with the US-China Cultural Institute.
Dancer and choreographer Jacques d’Amboise created the dance institute in New York in 1976 and partnered with 39 public schools throughout New York City.
In the 1980s the NDI first worked with China’s Ministry of Culture and introduced an opportunity for children from New York to go to China and learn about its art culture. Since then, it has done other one-off programs with Chinese children, with Dancing Into the Future – I Can, Too! being the institute’s first long-term program.
"Every company, business, bank, wants to be able to make deals and business and share with China," said d’Amboise. "And they send diplomats and they do all this stuff, but we just take a child by the hand and say, ‘Lift your leg, and put it down, and make sure you do it with energy and life,’ and already you’ve made friends.”