About NDI

National Dance Institute (NDI) was founded in 1976 by legendary New York City Ballet principal dancer Jacques d’Amboise, and leads the field of arts education with a model program that has been studied and replicated worldwide. Under the Artistic Direction of Ellen Weinstein, NDI uses dance and music to instill in students a love of the arts, a passion for learning, and a desire to strive for their personal best.


At the root of NDI’s methodology is the belief that the arts have a unique power to engage all children—regardless of background, ability, or socio-economic status—and motivate them toward excellence. NDI's exuberant, participatory, and intellectually engaging programs are enriching the lives of 6,600 children in 44 New York City schools each week. In addition, NDI has 12 associate programs in the United States, as well as one in Shanghai, China.


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


Since its founding, NDI has impacted the lives of over two million children…free of charge.

"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.
  • 2013 Annual Report

NDI Center

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

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