• In the current school year, NDI’s In-School Program serves 39 partner schools in the NYC area, reaching more than 6,500 children each week.
  • NDI works with every child on a grade, including English Language Learners and children with special needs.
  • A Master Teacher/ Choreographer, Musician/ Composer and Assistant Teacher lead every NDI class.
  • NDI serves diverse low-income communities. Nearly 60% of NDI dancers are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Approximately 71% of the students we serve are children of color.
  • NDI’s Advanced Scholarship Programs offer extended training outside of school for exceptionally motivated children who demonstrate the passion and committment to immerse themselves in a greater challenge.
  • Throughout our history, NDI has successfully seeded programs both nationally and abroad. There are currently 12 NDI associate programs thriving in the US.
  • NDI has led cultural exchanges around the world, including China, Russia, India, Africa, Israel, Palestine, Indonesia and Switzerland.
  • NDI programs are free for every child.


Over the years, NDI and Founder Jacques d’Amboise have earned prestigious honors including the MacArthur Genius Award, National Medal of Arts, Kennedy Center Honors, President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities’ Coming Up Taller Award, People Magazine’s People First Honoree, the Arison Award, NYC Mayor’s Award of Honor for Art and Culture, Governor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Art and Culture of New York State, and induction into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, among many others.


NDI’s In-School Program is exuberant and intellectually engaging – and unlike any other program of its kind. The program consists of two models: a year-long program as well as shorter, intensive residencies. A Master Teacher/Choreographer, Musician/Composer, and an Assistant Teacher lead an entire grade level in classes that take place during the school day, deeply rooting the arts in a school’s culture and curriculum. In the process, our teachers foster in students a love of the arts and a curiosity about the world. The In-School Program teaches skills vital to a child’s education – critical thinking and collaboration, habits of healthy living, global perspective, cultural literacy, the ability to communicate ideas through an art form, an essential confidence in his or her ability to learn, and a hunger for continued achievement. At the core of NDI’s success is its unique pedagogy, developed over decades, that addresses the needs of children across a spectrum of abilities. NDI serves all children including those with physical and cognitive challenges, blind and deaf children, and English language learners.

NDI special partnerships include:
• Lighthouse International, a school for children who are blind or visually impaired
• A Special Forces program at PS 199 that pairs
special needs students with general education students


SWAT Team (Scholarships for the Willing, Achieving and Talented): Approximately 100 dancers selected from the In-School Program receive advanced dance instruction for 3-5 hours each Saturday or at selected after-school locations. The program culminates in NDI’s Event of the Year, a large-scale public performance featuring the SWAT and Celebration Team dancers.

Celebration Team: Approximately 90 dancers who demonstrate an extraordinary commitment throughout their NDI training are given scholarships to join our most advanced performance troupe. These dancers perform year-round in a variety of locations, which have included Symphony Space, Lincoln Center, Juilliard, New York City Center, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the White House, as well as in nationally televised events.

Irene Diamond Summer Institute: A month-long performing arts academy, this rigorous program combines a full schedule of classes in ballet, jazz, tap, ethnic dance, modern, music and theater. Special guest artists introduce the children to a range of artistic experiences. Each year, 100 full scholarships are awarded.

Event of the Year: Each June, NDI’s Advanced Scholarship Programs culminate with a final Event of the Year. The Event features original choreography and music, and professionally-designed sets, costumes, and lighting. Dancers perform over three days for New York City audiences. Free performances are offered to New York City public school children participating in our In-School Program.

NDI Teaching Artists are professional dancers and musicians trained in NDI’s unique, award-winning pedagogy. NDI offers Teaching Artist Trainings in New York City, including a Two-Week Intensive and a Special Popluations Workshop, that enable professional dancers and dance educators to study NDI’s renowned teaching methodology. Our Master Teachers also share NDI’s pedagogy with communities throughout the U.S. and internationally through Teaching Artist Training residencies.

NDI dancers have benefited greatly from international cultural exchanges, with artists and children from countries such as China, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Palestine, Russia and Bali. NDI regularly hosts international visitors in New York City, most recently teachers and students from the Shanghai Children’s Palace in China, ConArte in Mexico City, and master choreographers from Bali. Through these exchanges, our dancers build cultural literacy and global awareness, and are exposed to diverse cultural traditions and styles.

NATIONAL DANCE INSTITUTE CENTER FOR LEARNING & THE ARTS: National Dance Institute officially opened the doors of its permanent home in the fall of 2011. The NDI Center, comprised of four studios including a performance space, two galleries and administrative offices, furthers our mission and expands our reach, serving as a beacon for children, teachers and artists in the community and worldwide.


There are children who live each day struggling with academics, with complicated family lives, and with emotional and physical challenges. I have seen these children leave the dance floor with a renewed spirit of hope, better able to handle the problems they face because of the inner peace they derive from the beauty of dance.
- Shelley Harwayne, Educator and former District Superintendent, New York City Public Schools