National Dance Institute New Mexico Launches ‘Event Week Celebration’


National Dance Institute (NDI) New Mexico today announced its first “Event Week Celebration,” a weeklong series of online and live events to recognize and celebrate its community of students, families, educators, and supporters and to serve as a fun and interactive prelude to its 2021 Virtual Gala Brand New Day. The gala will be livestreamed free of charge May 8, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. mountain time at

Featuring daily activities May 3-8—ranging from online dance lessons to family activities, panel discussions, and even car parades—Event Week Celebration offers an opportunity for students to engage with their NDI New Mexico instructors, schoolteachers, families, and each other. The event will also allow students to enjoy the pride and support they typically receive from the community when they perform live onstage at NDI New Mexico’s annual galas in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, as well as community performances around the state. Information about all activities and links to online events can be accessed at

“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,” said NDI New Mexico Executive Director Russell Baker.  “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.” 

Event Week Celebration culminates with NDI New Mexico’s annual fundraising gala, which is a free-of-charge virtual event this year. The gala’s title, Brand New Day, reflects the anticipation of new opportunities in 2021 for New Mexico’s children, and a joyful albeit careful return to NDI New Mexico’s traditional in-person programs in schools around the state, as well as its Dance Barn facility in Santa Fe and The Hiland Theater in Albuquerque.

The livestreamed Brand New Day program will feature hundreds of NDI New Mexico children from around the state dancing to original choreography. Attendees will hear inspiring testimonials and insights into how the organization adapted in 2021 to deliver on its mission and serve 8,900 students. In addition, NDI New Mexico is presenting new features this year for its gala donors and sponsors.

“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,” said Erin Cave, director of social responsibility for Thornburg Investment Management. “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.”

Each day of Event Celebration Week will be themed and offer morning and evening activities, either online or in person. Activities will provide ample opportunity for NDI New Mexico’s entire community to interact with each other, learn new dance moves and other healthy activities, 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.

Event Week Celebration Calendar of Events

Monday, May 3, 2021: Get Moving Monday!

8 a.m.: “Wake and Shake!”

NDI New Mexico students and their families can dance themselves awake to high-energy moves led by NDI New Mexico Albuquerque Outreach Artistic Director Jessie Dubois and dancers from NDI New Mexico’s Super Wonderful Advanced Teams (SWAT).

10 a.m.: HIP to Be Fit® Challenge begins! Families all over New Mexico can participate in the HIP to Be Fit® Challenge, Monday through Saturday, to compete for cool prizes. Challenges include family-friendly dance activities, healthy and nutritious recipes, games and outdoor activities from NDI New Mexico’s curriculum designed to inspire healthy, and joyful family fun. To enter to win a prize, participants must share their adventures by uploading photos and videos to the HIP to Be Fit® page.

5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.: Live on Zoom! Master Class with Daniel Ulbricht, Principal Dancer, New York City Ballet.

Presented in partnership with Performance Santa Fe and hosted by NDI New Mexico’s own Dance Barns Artistic Director Rodney Rivera, the Master Class with internationally renowned ballet dancer Daniel Ulbricht will include Ulbricht teaching a 30-minute ballet barre class followed by a question-and-answer session.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021: Thank a Teacher Tuesday!

8 a.m.: “Wake and Shake!”

It is still early in the week, so it’s important to keep that energy up with more dance moves with Jessie Dubois and SWAT dancers.

All Day Long!: Let’s all say thank you to our partners in education!

Keep an eye out for a big, statewide thank you to New Mexico’s amazing educators.

5:30-6:30 p.m.: “NDI New Mexico Discusses Dance on Film”: Moderated by NDI New Mexico Executive Director Russell Baker, this fascinating panel discussion will feature NDI New Mexico Founding Artistic Director Catherine Oppenheimer, The Lensic Performing Arts Center Board Chair Nancy Zeckendorf, and New Mexico Arts Commissioner Tom Maguire discussing Merrill Brockway and his significant lifelong contributions to dance.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021: Wellness Wednesday!

8 a.m.: “Wake and Shake!”

We have made it through the first half of the week! Stay energized and keep moving with more dance moves featuring Jessie and SWAT dancers.

5:30-6:30 p.m.: Live on Zoom! Hip-Hop Dance Party featuring NDI New Mexico Residency Artistic Associate “Shuga” Shane Montoya

Whether it’s popping and locking or freestyling, hip-hop is challenging, fun and cool! Hip-hop fans young and old are welcome to join this live Zoom class and get their groove on with Shane!

Thursday, May 6, 2021: Throwback Thursday!

8 a.m.: “Wake and Shake!”

Only two more days until the weekend and NDI New Mexico’s 2021 Virtual Gala! Keep your feet moving and your limbs loose with more dance moves led by Jessie Dubois and the SWAT dancers.

5:30 p.m.: Alumni Look-Back over 26 years of NDI New Mexico.

Be prepared to see awesome dance moves and crazy hairstyles, as well as hear thoughtful commentary in this online “scrapbook” featuring NDI New Mexico alumnus going back to the 1990s. Learn how their participation in the organization has informed their lives.

Friday Fun!

8 a.m.: “Wake and Shake!”

It’s Friday! Dance your way into the weekend and NDI New Mexico’s 2021 Virtual Gala by reviewing all the week’s episodes to show what you have accomplished. 

5:30 p.m.:  Ultimate Wake and Shake Dance Finale!

Who says you can only wake and shake in the morning? Participate in the culmination of this weeklong dance fest, featuring surprise VIP guests!

Super Saturday!

All Day: HIP to Be Fit® Challenge winners announced. Everyone who submitted their photos and videos as part of the HIP to Be Fit® scavenger hunt is eligible for a prize. 

10 a.m.-11 a.m.: NDI New Mexico 2021 Virtual Gala Day Car Parades at The Hiland Theater in Albuquerque and The Dance Barns in Santa Fe

With only hours to go until NDI New Mexico’s 2021 Virtual Gala begins, students and their families are encouraged to decorate their vehicles and participate in drive-through parades at both locations. NDI New Mexico will be posting live-action photos and video on its social media accounts. Surprises, giveaways, and prizes for the best-decorated cars!

About NDI New Mexico

NDI New Mexico is founded with the knowledge that the arts have a unique power to engage and motivate children. The purpose of our distinctive programs is to help children develop discipline, a standard of excellence and a belief in themselves that will carry over into all aspects of their lives. NDI New Mexico’s programs teach the Core Four values, encouraging children to do their best, never give up, work hard and be healthy. For more information call 505-670-3002 or visit Follow NDI New Mexico on FacebookInstagram, and Youtube.