Rejoice School of Ballet to present “The Little Engine That Could” an original ballet celebrating resiliency and friendship NASHVILLE--Nearly 25 pre-professional dancers will bring to life a new ballet exploring resiliency and friendship. The ballet, directed by Gerald Watson, a Nashville Ballet company dancer and Rejoice faculty member, will feature students ages 8-14 and include dancers from Nashville Ballet’s adaptive ballet class. The Little Engine will be danced by a ballerina in a wheelchair. “This ballet is at the heart of our mission,” said Patricia Cross, founding executive director of Rejoice. “We believe the beauty and discipline of ballet should be accessible to all children regardless of income, background or special needs.” In preparation for the show, Rejoice dancers have been studying the 7 C’s of Resiliency: confidence, competence, connection, coping, control, character and contribution. Counselors from Daystar Counseling Ministries led group sessions to discuss confidence and coping skills with dancers to prepare for the show. “We are more than a ballet school. In addition to excellent training, we offer programming to dancers to help them navigate growing up and becoming successful adults in our community,” said Cross. Dancers from Nashville Ballet’s adaptive dance program will join Rejoice dancers on stage. “Working with the adaptive ballet class at Nashville Ballet allows Rejoice the opportunity to learn how we can better serve everyone in our community,” Watson said. “It’s also a new avenue for the adaptive dance program to push their boundaries and show their audience just how relatable and artistic we all can be when given the best tools." Rejoice, a non-profit ballet school in East Nashville, serves nearly 130 students from diverse backgrounds. Each family pays on a sliding-scale, which removes barriers to access to quality ballet training.
Little Engine Showtimes 4th Story Theater (2200 West End Ave.) Feb. 21 7 p.m Feb. 22 2 p.m. Feb. 23 2 p.m. Feb. 28 7 p.m. Feb. 29 2 p.m. March 1 2 p.m.
Rejoice School of Ballet By the Numbers:
78 percent from low-income families, as defined by federal poverty standards.
52 percent African American or African
40 percent Caucasian
4 percent Bi-racial
4 percent Latino
About Rejoice School of Ballet Rejoice School of Ballet in East Nashville empowers youth to realize their potential by training, nurturing and celebrating dancers from diverse racial, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. This year the studio celebrates its 20th year of empowering diverse students through the study of classical ballet.