The Ugly Duckling; A Message of Acceptance Told Through Dance

Ballet Quad Cities premiered its interactive bullying prevention program in 2007 and has since reached thousands of Quad City area children. This highly involved program includes interactive opportunities to learn about performance art, acceptance, and the story of The Ugly Duckling.

The first part of the program uses small group presentations in schools during which teams of Ballet Quad Cities’ professional dancers introduce students to the plot, characters, choreography, music, and costumes. The second aspect invites students to a live performance of The Ugly Duckling presented by Ballet Quad Cities. For many students, The Ugly Duckling is their first experience of a live stage performance. Prior to the performance, they get a behind the scenes look at how the dancers warm up, practice, and prepare themselves to go onstage. Classroom materials provide music, worksheets, and information on performance etiquette to strengthen these concepts between the school visit and live performance. We regularly receive positive feedback from parents, teachers, and students who attend these performances. In 2014, the program earned the Literacy Award from the Bi-State Literacy Council for its innovation and high quality. John David from WQAD presented a story about this program in 2013 which you can view here.

Ballet Quad Cities’ The Ugly Duckling program offers a safe, compelling, and nonthreatening way to discussing bullying with elementary school students. With a curriculum built to complement and reinforce current anti-bullying programs in the schools , children have an opportunity to discuss how characters on both sides of a bullying situation feel, and how to constructively resolve issues related to bullying.

In addition, children get an interactive arts experience and an exciting first look at a live stage production.