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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on May 3, 2000. All rights reserved.

Dance Power for New Brunswick

E-mail: Nicole

A Very Special Evening with Gregory Hines," American

Repertory Ballet’s State Theater benefit for Dance Power, demonstrates

a special connection between the pre-eminent tap dancer of his generation,

a Tony Award winner who is also a star of Broadway, film, and television,

and New Brunswick’s innovative ballet training program for public

school students.

This is Hines’s third appearance on behalf of Dance Power, of which

he is the national honorary chair. Dance Power is the longest running

art/public school partnership in New Jersey. It probably helps that

Gregory Hines spent part of his childhood in the same household as

his cousin Richard Nurse, retired assistant dean of admissions for

Rutgers University and former American Repertory Ballet board member

who continues to serve on the steering committee of the DancePower.

As boys the two took some of their first dance steps together —

before Nurse ceded the field of competition to his cousin.

The benefit evening, Thursday, May 4, offers a 6 p.m. pre-performance

dinner at SoHo on George, what promises to be an exhilarating dance

performance, and a post-performance reception with Gregory Hines at

the Hyatt Regency, New Brunswick. Tickets for the full evening are

$250, or $150 to attend the performance and Hyatt reception only.

Founded in 1986, Dance Power is entirely tuition-free, and has provided

classical ballet training to more than 1,600 New Brunswick public

school students since its inception.

The rigorous, in-studio experience of Dance Power affords classical

ballet training to New Brunswick public school students within the

professional environment of the American Repertory Ballet studios.

Entry to the program begins in the third grade; each year in the fall

45 new students are admitted to the program. Third graders receive

free transportation to and from Princeton Ballet School in New Brunswick

and are provided dancewear, ballet slippers, a pre-class snack, and

25 weeks of one-hour ballet classes.

Students who want to continue their training beyond this third grade

experience can receive tuition-free training throughout their tenure

in the New Brunswick public schools, with advanced level students

training three to four times weekly at the school. Performance experience

enhances the training of in-studio Dance Power students who participate

in an annual performance in June. More advanced students appear with

ARB in "The Nutcracker" and other productions.

In addition, every Dance Power student attends two ARB performances

annually. Currently there are 34 students ages 9 to 15 in the continuing

program. The New Brunswick public school system is a demonstrated

arts leader and has included dance as part of its school curriculum

for over 10 years.

A Very Special Evening with Gregory Hines, American

Repertory Ballet , State Theater, Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick,

877-782-8311. The benefit evening offers a 6 p.m. pre-performance

dinner at SoHo on George, a dance performance by the star of stage,

screen, and television, and a post-performance reception with Gregory

Hines at the Hyatt Regency, New Brunswick, to benefit the Dance Power

endowment. $150 & $250. Thursday, May 4, at 6 & 8 p.m.

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