Girls and boys from Lewis-Dual Language Elementary school will continue to dance at Wilmington Ballet thanks to the Arsht-Cannon Fund’s generous support of the school’s outreach programs. The Arsht-Cannon fund has given the dance school over $5000 in grant funding to support and expand Wilmington Ballet’s program with Lewis Elementary in downtown Wilmington. The program, started in summer 2015, provides a weekly ballet class to a group of up to fifteen male and female Lewis students, most of whom are of Hispanic descent, at Wilmington Ballet studios on Gilpin Avenue. Students who demonstrate a desire to make a larger commitment to ballet instruction are able to qualify for scholarships to take additional classes at the studio and are eligible to perform in the upcoming Nutcracker at the Playhouse on Rodney Square. “Our goal is to make ballet instruction and performance opportunities available to as many young people as possible regardless of financial circumstances,” says Jorge Laico, Wilmington Ballet’s artistic director and a former professional dancer. “When we became aware that there was a need in the downtown community for this program, we enthusiastically worked to create it. We are very grateful to Arsht-Cannon for supporting our efforts and we hope to be able to take on more students this fall, thanks to receiving this funding.” Arsht-Cannon has also renewed its support of the Wilmington Ballet’s Boys Scholarship Program with a $12,000 grant that will help to continue this three-year old endeavor started by Laico. Wilmington Ballet recruits boys ages eight and above from diverse backgrounds who show an interest and skill in ballet. Their training includes up to five classes per week in ballet technique, partner dance, contemporary dance and musical theatre in addition to public performance opportunities including the Nutcracker. Celebrating it’s 60th anniversary this year, Wilmington Ballet Academy of the Dance is one of the oldest surviving ballet schools in the tri-state area. The Academy is dedicated to providing superior classical ballet training to foster discipline, confidence, and poise to students of all ages in the Wilmingtonarea. For more information about Wilmington Ballet, visit www.wilmingtonballet.org.