• NDI dancers in New York and Shanghai perform together utilizing the NDI Center’s TelePresence technology for the first time, in collaboration with CISCO and Tata Communications.
  • NDI opens the doors of the NDI Center to the general public for the first annual Open House celebration.
  • The 2013 NDI Annual Gala honors longtime board member and friend, Robert D. Krinsky along with star of stage and screen - and parent of an NDI alum - Mandy Patinkin.
  • NDI’s 2013 Event of the Year, The Big Easy: NDI Celebrates New Orleans, is conceived and directed by NDI Master Teaching Artist Mary Kennedy.


  • B.D. Wong emcees a Star Party Benefit at the NDI Center, featuring performances by Broadway luminaries including Victoria Clark, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jessica Molaskey and others.
  • NDI’s 2012 Event of the Year, Inner Vistions: A Celebration of Stevie Wonder, is conceived and directed by NDI Master Teaching Artist Bianca Johnson.


  • Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other prominent officials cut the ribbon to NDI’s new home, the National Dance Institute Center for Learning & the Arts, on West 147th Street in Harlem.
  • Jacques' Dance Nest series inaugurates with Invention in Three Parts: Music, Dance & Children, an evening featuring the premieres of 13 short dance works and the music of 13 different composers, and starring children of NDI, alumni, NDI Teaching Artists, and special guest performers Jennifer Chun, Kelly King, and Terrence Mann.
  • A delegation travels to China to conduct NDI Teacher Training Workshops in partnership with the Shanghai Welfare Children’s Palace.
  • The 2011 Event of the Year: A Sense of Wonder: Science & the Arts Play Together, conceived by Jacques d’Amboise and Kay Gayner, features Dr. Robert Benezra as The Narrator.



  • NDI Alumni: The Alumni Association of National Dance Institute, hosts the first annual Homecoming at LaGuardia High School during SWAT/Celebration Team rehearsals. More than 40 alumns gather to socialize, observe and participate in dance rehearsals.
  • Friends and family members gathered together for a memorial at Symphony Space to celebrate the life and accomplishments of Carolyn George d'Amboise.
  • The 2009 Event of the Year: Imagine, A Celebration of John Lennon is directed by Ellen Weinstein. Cloris Leachman and her son George Englund, Jr. guest star. The Event is the culmination of NDI's 2008-2009 curricular theme, John Lennon: his life and musical legacy.


  • Actor, singer and dancer Terrence Mann conducts a workshop at the 2008 Irene Diamond Summer Institute, creating choreography with NDI dancers to John Lennon's song "Imagine" with movement inspired by American Sign Language. The workshop launches NDI'S 2008-2009 Curricular Theme: John Lennon: His life and legacy.
  • Celebration Team dancers perform at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, MA as part of their INSIDE/OUT Series. Founder Jacques d'Amboise gives a Pillow Talk.
  • The 2008 Event of the Year: Volando a México directed by Dr. Jenny Seham, is the culmination of a year-long study of Mexico by the children of NDI. Eleven children from ConArte, a cultural program in Mexico City, participate in the Event.


  • The 2007 Event of the Year: An African Village: Postcards from Potou, directed by Ellen Weinstein, is inspired by the work of economist Jeffrey Sachs and his Millennium goal to end extreme poverty worldwide.
  • Thousands of New York City public school children raise more than $25,000 in pennies, nickels and dimes for the village of Potou, Senegal.
  • The Celebration Team performs in the 2007 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.


  • NDI senior staff travel to the village of Potou, Senegal at the invitation of economist Jeffrey Sachs. 

  • Kay Gayner directs The 2006 Event of the Year:  A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


  • The 2005 Event of the Year: It’s All Relative is directed by Tracy Straus and celebrates the life and genius of Albert Einstein.

Back to top


  • NDI’S Tiny Tots are re-named the First Team, in memory of long-time supporter and board member Joanna First.
  • 20 NDI dancers and alumni go to Shanghai, China for a month.
  • The 2004 Event of the Year: My Place is directed by Jacques d’Amboise.

Back to top


  • NDI is awarded The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities’ Coming Up Taller Award by Laura Bush.
  • The 2003 Event of the Year: Never Doubt Imagination is directed by Tracy Straus.

Back to top


  • NDI dancers perform in the September Concert, a citywide tribute remembering those lost on September 11, 2001.
  • The 2002 Event of the Year: The Spirit of New York is directed by Ellen Weinstein.


  • “Look Who’s Dancing Now,” the follow-up to the Academy Award-winning “He Makes Me Feel Like Dancing,” is aired on PBS June 20th.
  • The 2001 Event of the Year: Romeo and Juliet features music and lyrics by Jacques d’Amboise and Jerome Korman. The Event is dedicated to the memory of Raphael de Rothschild.


  • NDI dancers and alumni gather for the first annual Dance-A-Thon fundraiser.
  • The 2000 Event of the Year: 20th Century American Song: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness is directed by Lori Klinger.

Back to top


  • Jacques d’Amboise, with his son George, hikes the Appalachian Trail, raising money for NDI and teaching dance along the way.
  • The 1999 Event of the Year: Step by Step by Ellington is conceived and directed by Ellen Weinstein.

Back to top


  • Jacques d’Amboise is awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton.
  • NDI’s Teacher Training program is established.
  • The 1998 Event of the Year: City, City, directed by Ellen Weinstein, takes place for the first time at LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts.

Back to top


  • Jacques d’Amboise and Dufftin Garcia travel to Tel Aviv and the West Bank for an international residency.
  • The 1997 Event of the Year: Dancing up a Story takes place at The Delacorte Theater.

Back to top


  • President Clinton and Hilary Clinton invite NDI children to perform in the Rose Garden at the White House for the Greek State Dinner.
  • The 1996 Event of the Year: This Joint is Jumpin’ is directed by Ellen Weinstein.

Back to top


  • Jacques d’Amboise is awarded the Kennedy Center Honors.
  • Ellen Weinstein is named Artistic Director.
  • The 1995 Event of the Year: Fat City takes place for the first time in Central Park at the The Delacorte Theater.
  • The United Nations invites 26 NDI dancers to perform at their 50th Anniversary in Geneva, Switzerland, underwritten by the Japanese company Felissimo.

Back to top


  • Children from the earth’s geographic extremes take part in The 1994 Event of the Year: Rosebud’s Song.
  • Irene Diamond and the Aaron Diamond Foundation underwrite NDI’s Summer Institute.

Back to top


  • Phil Donahue invites NDI children to perform with him for his 25th anniversary television show.
  • NDI returns to Madison Square Garden with The 1993 Event of the Year: Amerimusica II.

Back to top


  • The 1992 Event of the Year: Amerimusica, directed by Ellen Weinstein, is a celebration of the widely varied cultures of the Americas during the past 500 years and features original music by David Amram.

Back to top


  • June 3, 1991 is declared “National Dance Institute Day” by New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.
  • More than 1,500 children, including dancers from Madras, India, perform for two weeks at Brooklyn Academy of Music in The 1991 Event of the Year: Chakra starring Malika Sarabai.

Back to top


  • Members of NDI's SWAT and Celebration Teams star in a dance film of "The Peanut Ballet" for Children's Television Workshop.
  • More than 1,000 children perform in The 1990 Event of the Year: The Shooting of Dan McGrew This tale of the Alaska God Rush includes music by Galt McDermott and Judy Collins and features 25 children from the Soviet Union.

Back to top


  • NDI’s Adopt-A-School program is launched.
  • NDI affiliate program, Trenton Educational Dance Institute, is founded.
  • The 1989 Event of the Year: Meilleurs Amis features scenery and sets by Red Grooms.

Back to top


  • The NDI Alumni Association is founded.
  • NDI partners with Very Special Arts to create a dance program for visually impaired children.
  • Jacques d’Amboise directs The 1988 Event of the Year: A Day in the Life of Coney Island with the North Bondi Lifesaving Team from Australia as guests.

Back to top


  • A Celebration of Literature unites important American writers, composers, visual artists and choreographers to create short, theatrical ballets for children. “We Real Cool” is created from the poem by Gwendolyn Brooks, and is filmed in a vacant lot in New York City’s Lower East side, with a backdrop mural designed by Red Grooms.
  • The 1987 Event of the Year: A Celtic Tale takes place at Madison Square Garden and features a moveable sculpture by Helena Blumenfeld.

Back to top


  • NDI does its first cultural exchange with China, and 56 children from China come to NYC to perform with 1,500 NDI dancers in The 1986 Event of the Year: China Dig.

Back to top


  • 1,500 children perform in The 1985 Event of the Year: Andrew Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans, which stars Donlin Foreman and Ann Reinking.
  • NDI holds a residency at PS 29 in Brooklyn for the entire school and premieres the work The Shooting of Dan McGrew, which features original music by Galt McDermott and is underwritten by Joseph Papp.

Back to top


  • “He Makes Me Feel Like Dancing” wins Best Documentary category at the 56th Annual Academy Awards. NDI dancers perform in Hollywood.
  • The 1984 Event of the Year: The Knack, features scenery by Red Grooms and stars Richard Kiley and Chloris Leachman.

Back to top


  • The 1983 Event of the Year: The Three Musketeers, inspired by the Alexandre Dumas adventure story, features over 1,000 children at Madison Square Garden’s Felt Forum.

Back to top


  • The 1982 Event of the Year: Fat City. Christopher d’Amboise, Judy Collins, Patricia McBride, Mary Tyler Moore, John Schuck, Janet Eilber, Kevin Kline and The NYPD Dancing Police join 1,000 NDI children on stage at Madison Square Garden’s Felt Forum. The Event is filmed as part of the documentary “He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin'."

Back to top


  • The 1981 Event of the Year: Texas Duke. Jacques d’Amboise writes, choreographs, and directs over 1,000 children in this spoof of a border town incident in a saloon on the Rio Grande. New York City Police dance with New York City Ballet ballerinas to a song written by Balanchine.
  • Nancy Reagan invites Jacques d’Amboise and both hearing and deaf NDI children to the White House at holiday time for a demonstration of NDI teaching methods.

Back to top


  • The 1980 Event of the Year: Big Mama featuring 800 NDI dancers is co-hosted by Judy Collins and Tony Randall.

Back to top


  • Christopher d’Amboise, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Judy Collins, and Patricia McBride join 400 boys and girls for The 1979 Event of the Year at Madison Square Garden’s Felt Forum.

Back to top


  • The 1978 Event of the Year: Dance Space, takes place at New York State Theater, and 100 dancing boys participate.

Back to top


  • The first annual NDI Event of the Year: Dance on a May Day, takes place at New York State Theater, between the matinee and evening performances. 30 boys participate.

Back to top


  • NDI is founded by New York City Ballet principal dancer Jacques d’Amboise.

Back to top

In-School Events
NDI History Timeline

In-School Events

In-School Events

In-School Events
In-School Events
In-School Events

In-School Events
In-School Events
In-School Events

In-School Events
In-School Events
In-School Events