NORD/NOBA Center for Dance (New Orleans, LA)


  <p>Male adult teacher in orange t-shirt and gray-green sweat pants doing a nearly seated balanced dance exercise with young dance students in leotards </p>

NORD/NOBA Center For Dance students participate in a workshop led by Patrik Widrig. Photo courtesy of the New Orleans Ballet Association

NORD/NOBA Center for Dance (CFD) was founded in 1992 in partnership with the New Orleans Recreational Department (NORD) and the New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA) with the purpose of making dance more accessible to New Orleans Parish inner-city students and families. NORD has six citywide centers that are used year-round to provide 2,500 free classes and workshops. In addition, NORD holds a series of free dance concerts at community sites, reaching 1,500-3,000 people.

In FY 2005, CFD received an NEA Learning in the Arts grant of $38,500 in support of the project Open Track and Step Up Pre-Professional Training. In partnership with Tulane University’s Department of Theatre and Dance, this program provides free year-round sequential dance training to low-income, inner-city students of the New Orleans Parish.

The Open Track portion of the program offers core dance classes for any child, ages 6-14, with an interest in dance. Students ages 11-18 who have a demonstrated talent and may wish to pursue a career in dance can audition for the Step Up program, which includes advanced level classes, performance opportunities, training with artists and companies in residence, and scholarships for summer programs. This phase of the program is designed for students who would not otherwise be able to afford the expense of training.

Because of Hurricane Katrina, CFD was forced to cancel classes for a couple of months until its performance spaces could be made useable and students could return to the area. As of November 1, 2005, classes were back in session and NOBA was working to replace the equipment and supplies lost in the hurricane.

(From the NEA 2005 Annual Report)