Happy New Year from The Inner City Ensemble! ICE has been supporting Paterson Youth Since 1973. As we moving into a New Year, we remember our rich history and ask for your support in reaching even more youth in 2015. We look forward to sharing another successful year with you as we endeavor to change the lives of Paterson youth through dance and the arts. -Nicholas Rodriguez, Artistic Director
The Inner City Ensemble (ICE) reaches youth through dance. The lives of the youth who come through our doors are forever changed through the confidence, discipline and expression that dance instruction brings into their lives. Offering a creative outlet to at-risk youth was one of Ralph Gomez’s primary goals when he founded ICE in 1972 and it continues to be an objective that unifies the current Board-of-Directors. Dance and theatre classes allow students to nurture their talents in a safe environment, using a constructive vehicle—the arts.
2014 has been a year of revitalization for ICE. Artistic Director, Nicholas Rodriguez, taught dance classes to 4th, 5th and 6th graders in Paterson Public Schools reaching more than 100 underserved students, in conjunction with E3 University and the YMCA. ICE continued training teens through weekly classes with alumni Nicholas Rodriguez and Liliana Amador. ICE classes, showings and performances occurred at Passaic County Community College (PCCC). In December, ICE performed at PCCC with the Trenton Education Dance Institute and Grammy and Oscar-nominated Impact Repertory Theatre of Harlem.
The benefits of ICE go beyond dance instruction. Nicholas Rodriguez uses dance to accelerate the English language skills of Spanish speaking students. Several of the boys in class that struggled with the discipline of dance class now display focus, respect and discipline. One of these students created a dance solo section that he is performing publicly. None of the students can afford dance training without the ICE residency. These students rarely have exposure to professional level arts, but after their work with ICE a few students are considering dancing careers. Their families could not afford the professional training that now accelerates them into arts school and a future career.
With your generous support, ICE will continue changing the lives of youth through the art of dance. If you would like to make a donation to support the work of the Inner City Ensemble using PayPal or a credit card, please click the donate link here, or send a donation by mail to The Inner City Ensemble, PO Box 3232, Paterson NJ 07509.
Learn more about how ICE is impacting youth in our community HERE! At a recent Youth Arts Day, a teen summed up that impact: “We can’t change the world with a song, but as we change the world, watch the world sing along.”