Idea | Dance | Empower
It was in 1993 that Patricia Cross first had the idea.
She felt called to offer classical ballet training to children who couldn’t afford it.
She danced, taught, choreographed and directed dance programs for her entire career, but she knew this idea would be different than anything she had done before.
In 1998 Cross had the opportunity to offer a free dance summer program for 10 children at Exum Chapel in East Nashville.
“As the boys and girls stepped up to the ballet barre in their newly purchased uniforms, they grew taller in their bodies and spirits,” she remembers. “They clearly wanted to learn how to dance and after that summer I knew I had to provide this opportunity for more children.”
In 1999, Rejoice School of Ballet was born as a non-profit organization. In the fall of 2000, 14 students walked in the door and a ballet school that offers excellent training to every student, no matter their ability to pay, began.
During the past 15 years more than 1,000 students from diverse backgrounds have received excellent dance education from a professional faculty in an environment focused on diversity and Christian formation.
The whole dancer is respected and loved.
“A dance education teaches students much more than how to become good dancers,” Cross says. “Through dance children learn discipline, teamwork, goal setting, a healthy work ethic, the benefits of exercise and good nutrition and that they can excel at whatever they set their mind to.”
All dancers at Rejoice pay on an income-based sliding scale. Around 80 percent of our student pay $17 a month for classes, dancewear and costumes.
Rejoice School of Ballet By the Numbers: