NCDT REACH! is North Carolina Dance Theatre’s nationally recognized outreach dance scholarship program for children ages 7 to 10.

REACH!- Dance Attire Photo- Bette Rae Thomas Center.jpgThe NCDT REACH! program makes quality dance training accessible to minority, male, and female students, with evidenced financial need and little if any previous dance experience, who demonstrate a natural talent for movement and the potential to be trained in dance. The program affords children the opportunity to access quality dance training in their neighborhoods, free of charge, promoting self-esteem, discipline, a strong work ethic and an appreciation for the arts.

Open auditions are held each year for NCDT REACH! and selection is determined based on three criteria- natural abilities/ the potential to be trained in dance, financial need and family commitment to the program. Students selected for NCDT REACH! attend two classes, once a week for twenty-nine consecutive weeks, at one of four Park and Recreation centers, and all first- year students receive dance attire at no charge to their families. Students and their parents also receive tickets to select NC Dance Theatre professional dance performances.

NCDT REACH! was launched in 2009 through a $78,000 grant from the Women’s Impact Fund (WIF). The Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department partners with Dance Theatre to promote the program and to provide sites for the classes at the Albemarle Road Recreation Center, Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center, Ivory Baker Recreation Center and Naomi Drenan Recreation Center.

In 2011 NCDT REACH! won a program achievement award from the National Association of County Organizations (NACo).

NCDT REACH! Goals and Objectives

  • Increase self-discipline and work ethic
  • Provide access to professional dance performances
  • Provide audition opportunities
  • Enhance socialization and problem solving skills
  • Increase classroom attendance
  • Engage participants’ families
  • Provide class materials (dance shoes, attire) free of charge
  • Build appreciation for cultural diversity          


Partners and Sponsors




NCDT REACH! Audition Information

Click image below to download flyer

NCDT REACH! Audition FAQs:

What determines financial need?

  • Those who qualify for the North Carolina free and reduced lunch program
  • Those from low-income households

What should children wear to the dance auditions?

  • Comfortable clothes that allow freedom of movement, such as shorts, sweat pants, and t-shirts (solid colors—no words)
  • Socks should be worn on feet
  • You do not have to wear formal dance wear or shoes
  • Hair should be pulled back, away from the face and neck

What time should parents/guardians arrive at the audition?

  • · Parents/Guardians should arrive 30-45 minutes early to fill out audition registration paperwork
  • · Students who arrive more than 10 minutes late will not be permitted to audition
  • · Please note that parents/guardians will not be permitted to watch their child audition

When do the dance classes meet?
Once a week from September through May, from 5-7 PM

The Charlotte Observer features story on NCDT REACH!>

More Information
Contact the Education and Outreach Department: