The National Dance Institute honored The Great Comet star Josh Groban at its 41st annual gala, which took place April 24 at the PlayStation Theater in New York. Groban was honored for his passionate support of arts education. The event also honored NDI board member Arnold S. Penner and his wife, Madaleine Berley. The National Dance Institute was founded in 1976 by famed choreographer and dancer Jacques d’Amboise. The in-school program reaches thousands of children each week, bringing the joy of dance and values of arts education to otherwise unexposed youth.
“I’m a fan of dance. I’m not a good dancer, but I'm in awe of great dancers,” Groban told Playbill. “But moreso than that, tonight, I’m in awe of people who bring dance and music and theatre to young people. I am an enormous supporter of dance education and arts education. Not just as a fan of Jacques [d’Amboise] and as a fan of dance but as a fan of the work that they are doing to give that spark of light to young people that we are lucky enough to have when we were younger.
“I often say it’s sometimes not about whether you discover a talent that’s gonna make you a professional dancer and singer,” Groban continued. “I was not a good dancer—still not a good dancer. But the education that I had with the arts made me the person that I am.”
Flip through the photos of the gala below:
NDI also celebrated The DREAM Project, a workshop program that pairs differently-abled children with typically developing children to give all kids a chance to dance. The fundraising event included a live auction introduced by Alec Baldwin, as well as performances from NDI’s young dancers.
The National Dance Institute helps school children learn the importance of teamwork, perseverance, and respect, through immersive arts education programs.
Visit nationaldance.org for more information.