Community Outreach

Minnesota Dance Theatre actively develops new education partnerships and collaborations to extend beyond our studio walls and reach students and audiences of all ages, economic, and ethnicity backgrounds. This ensures a dynamic development of dance across all boundaries while further enriching the life and vitality of our community.


CAN Dance

CAN-studentCAN Dance has been a positive impact on children who may not otherwise have had access to dance, or any other athletic engagement.  Dance promotes physical health and mental acuity, helping children develop discipline and confidence—an investment in their future, and a long-term investment in the sustainability and vitality of the Twin Cities community.

Launched in December 2015, CAN Dance is MDT’s three phase educational outreach.  This extensive outreach directly contributes to the overall health, sustainability, livability, and vibrancy of the communities that MDT serves.

In the first phase, over the past two years, more than 3,100 children from Minneapolis public schools experienced Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy at the State Theatre with bus transportation provided. The tremendous impact of this gift extends far beyond that one afternoon at the ballet.

In the second phase, interested students from these schools had the opportunity to sign up for a tuition-free, two-week summer program at the school.  Along with daily classes in basic dance technique, the children were provided with transportation to and from the school, dance attire, lunch, and snacks.

In the third phase of the outreach, students who demonstrated aptitude and desire were invited to continue at MDT the next school year on scholarship. They participated in one class per week with dance attire provided for them at no cost.

CAN Dance metrics since 2015:

  • 3,100 students experienced Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy
  • Over 750 students in Minneapolis Public Schools experienced an introduction to dance class during their school day
  • 22 children participated in the summer dance program
  • 14 children were invited to continue at MDT on scholarship