The Joffrey Workshop has always had a strong Latinx presence in its student body and we recognize the need for a more significant BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) presence in our programs.
We understand the exclusionary history of ballet and the larger systems that have kept some groups of people from accessing dance. These groups include, but are not limited to race, ethnicity, indigeneity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, and/or socio-economic status. The Joffrey Worksop believes the representation of all aspects of diversity is essential to the growth and survival of dance.
We also recognize that equity is built into the policies, procedures and practices of an organization and we have thoroughly examined our programs to create more equitable spaces. By updating our practices to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion we aim to provide a dance experience that allows all students to thrive.
To create an inclusive environment where each student is encouraged to use their voice and live their most authentic lives we ask our faculty to take part in continuing education courses, including a course created by Cultivating Better Tomorrows. We are co-founders of this organization which works to support other performing arts organizations and corporations in prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion in their spaces.
We will continue to examine and improve our programming so that we can provide the best education for our students. We acknowledge that there are situations that we have not yet encountered but are committed to learning from. With humility, and an awareness of challenges and differences amongst us, we move forward with the best intention of making the most positive impact on the students we reach.
Some things we are doing to support our commitment to this work are:
Hiring a diverse faculty so that students can see themselves in their teachers
Inclusive dress codes for students
Partnership with organizations that give scholarships to students who face structural inequities and barriers to quality arts education
Mentoring dancers outside of the studio, including ambassadors from the Brown Girls do Ballet organization
Collaborating with other entities that are committed to this work