BalletHaven: Training for Middle School Girls

(We've been able to lay a pretty solid foundation with the $6400 we've raised since 2011, but dance is expensive! This new goal is what we'd like to raise to "run" annually; we'd like to raise $3000 per year, so depending on when we're able to meet it, this goal will take us out 4 years. By that time, our first Founding Members will be in college!)

BalletHaven was founded in December 2011 by classically trained dancer, Mnikesa Whitaker. Graduating Magna Cum Laude & Phi Beta Kappa from SMU in Dallas with a degree in English Education, she has taught middle school English since 2002. Created for girls in grades 5-8 at Fair Haven School, BalletHaven seeks to incite a sense of discipline, dedication and power.

In addition to after-school training and tutoring, advanced dancers can enter the Pre-Professional Training Class, which meets DURING the school day! These ladies are becoming the dance leaders who are advancing the BalletHaven vision "that our students will graduate from Fair Haven K-8 School with the DISCIPLINE and DEDICATION necessary to succeed in any academic or artistic endeavor in high school, college and beyond."

From December 2011-December 2013, generous supporters have raised $5000 towards this program! Also, in April of 2012, we were awarded a $2000 grant from the Community Foundation of New Haven. Dance is an expensive art form, especially as we've grown from 60 interested girls last year to over 130 this year! Thirty-five girls were selected as BH members after 2013's application and audition process. As the program prepares to send another round of our Founding and new BalletHaven Members to high school, we want to financially position ourselves to sustain the following:

· fund the BH Hoodie and dance bag (earned for hard-work after a dancer's FIRST year)
· fund the BH Sweatpants (earned for hard-work after a dancer's SECOND year)
· building up our BalletHaven "dance closet" with leotards, leggings, dresses and other pieces we will need for performances and classes:INCLUDING a STURDY set of TEAM WARM-UPS.
· tickets for one live theatre performance a year
· funds to send some of our hardest-working dancers to summer dance conventions and workshops:

Please be sure to keep up with us at: !!!
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Mnikesa Whitaker

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