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National Dance Institute New Mexico to host a week of activities, virtual fundraising gala

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — National Dance Institute (NDI) New Mexico is launching a weeklong series of live events to recognize its community of students, families, educators and supporters.

“Event Week Celebration” is a “fun and interactive” prelude to NDI New Mexico’s 2021 Virtual Gala “Brand New Day!” The gala will be live-streamed, free of charge, at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 8, according to an NDI New Mexico news release.

Students fill the stage in the opening number of “Route 66” for the National Dance Institute New Mexico’s 25th anniversary performance at the Hiland Theater in May 2019. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

Daily activities will take place Monday, May 3 through Saturday, May 8 as part of “Event Week Celebration.” The activities will range from online dance lessons to family activities, panel discussions and car parades. The celebration is an opportunity for students to engage with NDI New Mexico instructors, school teachers and each other. The goal is to give students the ability to enjoy the “pride and support” they receive from audiences when they perform live at annual galas in Albuquerque and Santa Fe as well as performances around the state.

“Event Week Celebration” culminates with NDI New Mexico’s annual fundraising gala, which is free of charge and virtual this year. The gala’s title “Brand New Day!” is a reflection of new opportunities in 2021 for New Mexico children and a careful return to NDI New Mexico’s in-person programs in schools around the state, as well at The Dance Barns facility in Santa Fe and The Hiland Theater in Albuquerque, according to the news release.

“Culminating year-end events are important milestones for children in our programs, as well as joyful community celebrations that thousands of New Mexicans enjoy each year,” NDI New Mexico executive director Russell Baker states in the news release. “The ‘Event Week Celebration’ strives to fill what would feel like a springtime void with positive, healthy, youth- and arts-centered moments for people of all ages, and to enable communities around the state to connect with NDI New Mexico’s messages of joy and excellence.”

The live-streamed “Brand New Day!” program will feature hundreds of NDI New Mexico children from around the state dancing to original choreography, according to the news release. Attendees will hear testimonials and insights into how the organization adapted in 2021 to deliver on its mission and serve 8,900 students. NDI New Mexico also will present new features this year for its gala donors and sponsors.

“Event Week Celebration” is underwritten by Thornburg Investment Management. Each day of the celebration will be themed. There will be morning and evening activities either online or in person. The activities will allow NDI New Mexico’s community an opportunity to learn dance moves, participate in games, and compete for prizes. Participants can share their experiences by uploading photos and videos to NDI New Mexico’s official website and social media feeds.

“At Thornburg, we are proud to continue our support of NDI New Mexico’s mission to help children develop discipline, a standard of excellence and a belief in themselves that will carry over into all aspects of their lives,” Erin Cave, director of social responsibility for Thornburg Investment Management, says in the news release. “We are excited to celebrate the hard work and success of hundreds of dancers at this year’s gala, ushering in a brand new day and the future of New Mexico.”

Events will begin with “Get Moving Monday!” on May 3. It will be followed by “Thank a Teacher Tuesday!” on May 4, “Wellness Wednesday!” on May 5, “Throwback Thursday!” on May 6, “Friday Fun!” on May 7, and “Super Saturday!” on May 8.

A full list of activities and online events can be found at

The purpose of NDI New Mexico’s programs is to help children develop discipline, a standard of excellence and a belief in themselves. NDI New Mexico is founded with the knowledge that the arts have a unique power to engage and motivate children. For more information on NDI New Mexico, call 505-670-3002 or visit

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