Neglia's Successes Amidst the Pandemic
Despite shutdowns, restrictions, and canceled events & programs, Neglia Ballet is proud that we continued to serve our community during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a timeline to demonstrate some of the organization’s successes.
March 2020 – Within days of closing the studio due to state restrictions, Neglia was teaching ballet online via Zoom to all of our levels from ages 3 – adult
April 2020 – Launched “Soutenu Emergency Tuition Fund” to provide extra financial assistance for students in need, especially those families on the frontlines and affected by COVID, either health-wise or financially
Received first PPP forgivable Loan
June 2020 – Neglia hosted their international summer program online, bringing together teachers and students from 4 countries and 5 states for 25 days.
July 2020 – Neglia hosted their first Virtual Town Hall so that they could safely engage with stockholders, audience members, foundations, and individuals, with updates about the status of the organization.
August 2020 – Executive Director Heidi Halt joined Michael Murphy (Shea’s) and Jim Pace (Buffalo Musician’s Union) for the podcast “OFF ROAD with Peter Palmisano” to discuss COVID-19 challenges on the performing arts.
September 2020 – In-person training resumed at the studio to provide a safe space for students to continue to thrive with the routine, discipline, and camaraderie of ballet. For many youth students (who must take academic classes online) being at Neglia’s studio is the only in-person contact they have with their peers each week. Zoom classes also offered for those who cannot come to the studio.
Neglia’s classes have proven to be a great source of wellness, both physical and emotional, for all students. The perseverance demonstrated by students during the pandemic motivates the organization to keep moving forward.
October 2020 – The Llama Mask Project encouraged a fun way to remember to dance 6-feet apart when a life-sized llama replica became Neglia’s studio mascot. Neglia partnered with Stitch Buffalo (who empowers refugee women to sew and sell textiles) to create custom llama facemasks as a fundraiser for both organizations. Over 50 masks sold.
Neglia offers Whirl & Twirl fall session for children ages 4 – 6 WITH a parent so they can safely dance in the studio together.
November 2020 – Using Network for Good (a new donor management platform sponsored by Cullen Foundation) Neglia exceeded their Fall Appeal Fundraising reach and goal. Alumni as young as 21-years old donated for the first time.
Several alumni return to train at Neglia’s studios. Heidi Halt works with alumna Adelaide Clauss (now with the Washington Ballet) on an original contemporary piece “Come Closer”
Alumni bonds emphasize the legacy and the extended family created at Neglia Ballet.
December 2020 – Unable to perform the 12th annual Nutcracker at Shea’s with the BPO, Neglia students created and recorded a unique short film “Year Without A Nutcracker” imagining how the Nutcracker and the Rats cooperate during the quarantine. This was a highlight for many during the holidays as performance opportunities are a core of Neglia’s mission.
January 2021 – Neglia’s Adult Ballet Program (ages 18 – 64) is more popular than ever with weekly classes at capacity. 75% of the Adult students now attending class on Mondays are new to Neglia and 60% are brand new to ballet.
Keep The Doors Open Testimonials – Students, alumni, and adults share why Neglia is important to them
February 2021 – Neglia receives the 2nd PPP forgivable loan.
For the 3rd time since March 2020, Neglia Ballet is highlighted on Spectrum Cable News.
March 2021 – Neglia is working to revamp our website to be more useful and engaging to users
June 2021 – Neglia will create a virtual end of the year conservatory performance
July 2021 – Neglia’s Summer Intensives will be offered in-person and online. Many scholarship recipients from Argentina will train with Neglia via Zoom as they still cannot travel to the US.
September 2021 – Neglia plans to increase the number and frequency of class offerings to restore to pre-COVID programming for ages 3 – adult
November 2021 – Dates for Thanksgiving weekend have been secured with Shea’s for The Nutcracker
Neglia Ballet continues to provide inspiration and a welcoming atmosphere. The organization has creatively weathered COVID-19 challenges to ensure its doors will remain open for future generations.
Grants – Neglia is grateful to have received funding for general operating and COVID-relief from these organizations: