Miami's Thomas Armour Youth Ballet Changes Name to Armour Dance Theatre
On April 10th, a cornerstone of Miami’s performing arts community underwent a name change to reflect its focus on providing the highest quality ballet training to Miami’s children along with an expansion of dance genres including tap, hip-hop, and contemporary dance to better serve their diverse students. The Thomas Armour Youth Ballet became the Armour Dance Theatre: Miami’s Community Dance Conservatory. Along with the rebranding and name change, their main location in South Miami has been expanded and remodeled to offer more programs and provide ample space to safely deliver dance instruction in a variety of genres.
While the rebranding effort was inspired to communicate a wider scope of dance more than just ballet, it also highlights Armour Dance Theatre's unique commitment to bringing dance training to all children regardless of income level, talent, or body type. With generous annual grants from The Children’s Trust, and the Miami-Dade County Dept. of Cultural Affairs, 400 children receive scholarships for a comprehensive after-school program that uses dance as the catalyst for a child’s development and success in school. An additional 200 receive scholarships at the main site in South Miami. The after-school community outreach programs are located in Perrine, West Coconut Grove, Little Haiti, and Miami Gardens creating a pathway to educational and professional opportunities within Miami-Dade County through the study of performance and dance education.
“Armour Dance Theatre uses dance as a vehicle to success. We understand that the study of any art form instills crucial life skills of discipline, focus, attention to detail, teamwork, and the ability to delay gratification to meet long-term goals. Our graduates take those skills and creative mindsets into a myriad of professions. We love the idea of a neurosurgeon who is also a fearless and formidable ballet or hip-hop dancer,” stated Ruth Wiesen, Executive Artistic Director of Armour Dance Theatre.
Founded in 1949, as a school of classical ballet named The Miami Conservatory, the subsequently renamed Thomas Armour Youth Ballet has provided quality dance training to members of the Miami-Dade County community with an emphasis on creating a dance community that reflects the diversity of Miami-Dade County through community programs, public performances, and scholarships.
The organization not only focuses on dance but also offers after-school and summer camp programs that incorporate academics, social-emotional skill building, parent engagement, and overall support services. Community programming focuses on physical fitness through professionally taught dance classes, literacy, homework, social and emotional literacy, nutrition, parent engagement, performance opportunities, enrichment components, and obstacle removal. Every year, more than 6,500 hours of dance are delivered across all five sites and over 500 pairs of ballet shoes, tap shoes, and uniforms are given to students free of charge.
With a new name and additional instructional space, the Armour Dance Theatre is focused on extending its impact in the Miami arts community, while exposing students and families to a variety of dance forms and performance opportunities. This is all a thorough effort to continue the organization’s goal of offering programming with a high success rate of helping to create educated and engaged members of the community while providing educational opportunities in diverse areas and promoting student inclusivity throughout Miami-Dade County.
For more info visit https://armourdance.org/