to increase long-term access to dance for under-resourced communities of Buffalo

What is CityDance?

CityDance aims to increase long-term access to arts instruction, specifically in dance, for under-resourced communities of Buffalo. Historically, the CityDance Program has immersed 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. 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.

CityDance is under construction!

Moving forward, Neglia Ballet strives to expand the CityDance Program to engage with more sectors of our community by offering free programming for refugees, seniors, youth groups and more! If you or members of your organization are interested in customized community arts programming, please contact Michaela at for more information.

Upcoming Events

Performances at Shea’s

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.

History of CityDance

Neglia Ballet began CityDance 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.

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.

CityDance relies on funding from individual and foundation support, and government grants.




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.