About NDI

National Dance Institute (NDI) was founded in 1976 by Jacques d’Amboise in the belief that the arts have a unique power to engage children and motivate them toward excellence. 

Each year, NDI transforms the lives of tens of thousands of New York City public school children and their communities through weekly classes, short-term residencies, and public performances.  Under the artistic direction of Ellen Weinstein and a staff of professional teaching artists, programs are offered to all children, transcending barriers of language, culture, and physical and cognitive challenges.  Children learn to work together and develop personal standards of excellence, a pride of achievement, and a curiosity about the world that supports their success in school and in life.  

No child pays a penny for NDI’s core programs.  

In 2011, NDI opened the doors to the National Dance Institute Center for Learning & the Arts on 147th Street in Harlem, allowing the organization to further its mission and expand its reach, serving as a beacon for children, teachers and artists in the community and worldwide.

"There are children who live each day struggling with academics, with complicated family lives, and with emotional and physical challenges. I have seen these children leave the dance floor with a renewed spirit of hope, better able to handle the problems they face because of the inner peace they derive from the beauty of dance."
- Shelley Harwayne, Educator and former District Superintendent, New York City Public Schools

Video: Special Forces

NDI's work with special needs populations.


  • Annually, NDI's programs impact over 40,000 public school students, their parents, teachers and local communities through classes, assemblies, residencies and performances.
  • The majority of NDI dancers come from low-income communities.
  • NDI dancers represent a diverse population: approximately 34% identify as Hispanic or Latino; 20% as Asian; 16% as African American; and 28% as Caucasian.
  • 2012 Annual Report

NDI Center

217 West 147th Street
(between Adam Clayton Powell & Frederick Douglass Blvds), NYC



View Larger Map