Colorado Ballet Education & Community Engagement’s program curriculum is based in Brain Compatible Dance Education created by Anne Green Gilbert of the Creative Dance Center. Check out these resources to learn more about what that means.

  • Creative Dance Center: A nonprofit organization that nurtures self-expression, creativity and learning through joyful and meaningful dance experiences. Colorado Ballet’s Education & Community Engagement Department utilizes methodology from the Creative Dance Center, established by Anne Green Gilbert.
  • Brain Compatible Dance Education: A structured methodology for teaching dance using a lesson plan and strategies that create an environment in which the brain is ready, willing and able to learn.
  • BrainDance: a sequential and holistic exercise based on developmental movement patterns healthy human beings naturally move through in the first year of life. View sample video.
  • Five Part Lesson Plan: A lesson planning structure which provides repetition and novelty by alternating between teacher-directed activities and student-centered activities, as well as skill development and improvisation.
  • National Dance Institute: A non-profit arts education organization that brings children together through inclusive dance and music programs. Colorado Ballet’s Education & Community Engagement Department utilizes methodology from the National Dance Institute.
  • Trauma-informed Approach: Approaching education with an understanding of the physiological, social, emotional and academic impacts of trauma and adversity on our students as a way to drive positive changes in our systems. Colorado Ballet Teaching Artists utilize a trauma informed approach with each dance class they teach.
  • National Dance Education Organization (NDEO): NDEO advances dance education centered in the arts. NDEO provides the dance artist, educator and administrator a network of resources and support, a base for advocacy, and access to programs and projects that focus on the importance of dance in the human experience. Colorado Ballet references the National Dance Standards for all in-school programming.
    -   National Dance Standards: These standards are organized by the Artistic Processes of Creating, Performing, Responding and Connecting. They are developmentally appropriate, adaptable to a variety of teaching settings and applicable to all genres and styles of dance.
  • Colorado Department of Education (State Dance Standards): Colorado Ballet also refers to the state standards in dance for all school programs. In addition, many programs are STE[A]M or Arts Integration and incorporate standards in core subjects.


  • Adaptive Programs: Colorado Ballet’s adaptive dance program takes our existing Education and Community Engagement programs with trained staff and adapts them for children and adults with disabilities.
  • Inclusive Programs: Programs that provide the opportunity for children with and without disabilities to participate in the same activity. All of Colorado Ballet’s Education & Community Engagement programs are inclusive.
  • Down Syndrome: a genetic disorder whereby a person has three copies of chromosome 21 instead of two.
    -   Global Down Syndrome Foundation
    -   Be Beautiful Be Yourself:Colorado Ballet’s adapted dance class for approximately 30 students ages 5-16 with Down syndrome.
  • Parkinson’s Disease: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects predominantly dopamine-producing (“dopaminergic”) neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra. Symptoms generally develop slowly over years. The progression of symptoms is often a bit different from one person to another due to the diversity of the disease.
    -   Parkinson Association of the Rockies
    -   Rhythm & Grace: Colorado Ballet’s adaptation of the nationally recognized Dance for PD® model created by the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group.
    -   Dance for Parkinson’s Disease®
  • Autism: Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication.
    -   Autism 101: Colorado Ballet Education & Community Engagement Teaching Artists have completed this training.
    -   Autism & Education: Learn more about how to navigate the school system for students on the autism spectrum.
  • Developmental Pathways: A nonprofit agency serving individuals with developmental disabilities/delays and their families.
  • Disability Etiquette: Basic disability etiquette involves treating people with disabilities with respect.
  • Sensory Processing Disorder: A neurological disorder in which the sensory information that the individual perceives results in abnormal responses.
    -   Sensory Friendly Programs/Sensory Friendly Production: These programs and productions provide an accepting space for children and adults with sensory processing disorders, autism and other disabilities. Adaptations may include: Lower sound levels, dimmed house lighting, relaxed house rules allowing patrons to speak, stand up and walk around, or a sensory break space in the lobby.
  • Person First Language: Person First Language emphasizes the person, not the disability. By placing the person first, the disability is no longer the primary, defining characteristic of an individual, but one of several aspects of the whole person.
  • Inclusive language: Inclusive language acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, is sensitive to differences and promotes equity and access.
  • Identity First Language: Many people with disability also embrace ‘identity-first’ language, which positions disability as an identity category. This language is known as ‘identity-first’ because the identifying word comes first in the sentence and highlights the person’s embrace of their identity.
  • Gender Neutral Language: The idea that policies, language and other social institutions should avoid distinguishing roles according to people's sex or gender.
  • Body Neutral Language: A philosophy that you should focus on what your body can do for you rather than what it looks like.
  • Dance as a Universal Language (ELL/ESL students in dance): When language fails, dance speaks. Dance can serve as a way to learn more about one another.
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