A benefit black-tie ball will be held Saturday, November 16 at Harvard Square's Charles Hotel to raise money for Citystep, a volunteer dance program involving Harvard students and Cambridge fifth-graders.
Citystep Director Sabrina T. Peck '84 said the gala affair will help defray costs for the organization, which eight times weekly sends undergraduates out to teach dance to 250 under privileged children at four public schools.
Citystep gets funding from the Office for the Arts, the city of Cambridge and private patrons, she said. The $8-a-ticket fete will include a performance by the student band Robespierre, several members of which are Citystep composers.
The tutors attempt to "have the children express through dance and theater what it is like to be a kid growing up in the city," said Peck.
The three-year-old program explores such motifs as loneliness, friendship, and rivalry and "expands the childrens' coordination, imagination, and communication through the dance medium," said Citystep producer William H. Berkman '87. Teachers have considered Citystep so valuable that they make the dancing part of the school day, according to Peck. Both the Cambridge's city council and school committee have both issued commendations to the program.
Citystep's 12 dancers, 28 dance teachers and 100 of the fifth graders will give a culminating performance in March and the 12-member troupe will tour seven foreign cities during three weeks in July, the students said.