Focus: Dance Outreach Program | Mentor: Julie McLeod
In 2013, accomplished dancer, Cecily Stewart (New York Theatre Ballet, Allegro Dance Theatre, State Street Ballet, ArtBark International), approached Julie at AWoL to assist her in starting an education outreach program called Library Dances, to enhance high school students’ kinetic understanding, literary comprehension, and self-esteem by teaching dance inspired by the literature they are studying. Cecily’s vision facilitates the practice of linked learning by allowing students to work with professional dancers, as well as provide artistic performances that are accessible to the entire community.
Cecily was 13 years old when Julie McLeod first mentored her in choreography, and Julie was thrilled when she asked for assistance with Library Dances. With Julie’s guidance, and occasional calls for advice, Cecily’s vision is now heading into its fourth season. Art Without Limits acted as Library Dances’ fiscal sponsor until it achieved its own nonprofit status in 2015.
I am incredibly grateful to Julie for her patience, encouragement, advice, and for always having the time to help me through the challenges of creating, producing, and coordinating a project with such scope and impact." — Cecily Stewart, Emerging Artist
Under Cecily’s direction, State Street Ballet dancers have performed alongside students from Santa Barbara Junior High School, Laguna Blanca Upper School, and San Marcos High School in performances of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “Romeo and Pirouette”, “The Great Gatsby”, “The Scarlet Letter”, “The Gift of the Magi”, and “Zorro”. Cecily serves as State Street Ballet’s Outreach Coordinator and the Director of Library Dances.