increasing long-term access to dance education for the Buffalo community

History of CityDance

Neglia Ballet began CityDance, Neglia Ballet’s community-engaged programming, in 2001 with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mark’s Family Foundation and through corporate support. Originally, CityDance was modeled after other successful partnerships between professional ballet companies and public schools, such as Dance Chance run by the Pacific Northwest Ballet and Dance in Schools operated by the San Francisco Ballet.

Historically, the CityDance Program has partnered with the Buffalo public school system, immersing local youth in a series of dance classes that culminate in a demonstration of what they’ve learned for their classmates back at their schools.

From 2001-2015 the model enabled Neglia to provide over 25,000 students with the opportunity to experience professional ballet and participate in free workshops. In 2016, the program was revised to have a deeper impact on its participants while continuing to expose thousands of students a year to live ballet performances at Shea’s Performing Arts Center.

Complimentary Tickets & Youth Scholarships

Performances at Shea’s Theatre

Another aspect of making ballet accessible to everyone, is FREE viewings of ballet performances at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. Over the years up to 30,000 Buffalo Public School children have seen Neglia Ballet’s live professional performances, such as “Baba Yaga” on the historic Shea’s stage at no cost. For many, this is their first exposure to ballet and it inspires them to explore the arts and dance.

Youth Scholarships

At Neglia Ballet we strive to create long-term access to dance education for everyone. Students who show particular interest or potential in dance are offered scholarships to continue their training at Neglia Ballet during the summer and fall. Some students who show serious interest and commitment may receive financial support to continue ballet for multiple years, carrying them through high school graduation fully prepared to audition for colleges or ballet companies. In 2022 Neglia Ballet provided $16,045 in tuition support and served a total of 171 students! You can learn more about our immersion scholarships and apply for tuition assistance here.

CityDance Today

CityDance aims to increase long-term access to dance instruction for under-resourced communities of Buffalo.

Today, Neglia Ballet is working hard to expand CityDance class offerings to engage with more sectors of our community by offering free programming for youth groups, families, and seniors! We do this by collaborating with local schools, nonprofits and community centers and use an asset-based approach to develop customized dance classes for their students/patrons.



Help us RAISE THE BARRE for our Community!

100% of our CityDance programs are offered at zero cost to participants and partner organizations. CityDance relies on funding from individual and foundation support, and government grants. With your help, we will continue working hard to engage with more sectors of our community. DONATE TODAY and help us make dance accessible to all!

Become a CityDance Partner

Want to bring dance into your classroom or community center?

Please contact Michaela, CityDance Program Manager, at for more information.

Stay Informed with our Monthly CityDance Newsletter
and Social Media Accounts!




Shalymar was a scholarship student for 9 years. She learned about dance through our CityDance program at Herman Badillo Academy when she saw a Neglia Ballet “On School Time” production. She then attended the free classes offered at Herman Badillo through our CityDance program and received a full scholarship to study at the Neglia Conservatory of Ballet. In the 9 years that she studied with us, Shalymar performed roles in many of our professional productions, including the corps de ballet of The Nutcracker. She was later accepted to Pointe Park University, one of the top dance programs in the nation.

Arts Program Coordinator


This summer, 10 students from Arthur O. Eve School of Distinction #61: Home of the Arts were selected to participate in The Neglia Ballet Summer Workshop. The week-long intensive introduced our students to the basic elements of dance and ballet. At the end of the week, School 61 students had an opportunity to perform a Demonstration Class on August 25th at The Buffalo Summer Youth Arts Celebration (Buffalo Arts Studio). The Neglia Ballet Studio gave each student a Certificate of Completion as well as scholarships to continue ballet in the fall. We are so grateful for our partnership with The Neglia Ballet Studio and for the opportunities they have given our students.