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NDI New Mexico Receives Grant From BCBSNM for Dance-Based Program to Help Children Learn and Sustain Positive Behaviors and Physical Health

ALBUQUERQUE — National Dance Institute (NDI) of New Mexico announced it received a $20,000 grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico’s (BCBSNM) Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® initiative. The grant will support NDI New Mexico’s Dancing to Health Outreach Program, a six-month initiative for nearly 500 children attending kindergarten and grades 3-8 in seven public schools located in the Pojoaque Valley and Española Public School District.

NDI New Mexico’s program will utilize dance to help instill healthy, positive behaviors. Students will attend weekly classes taught by Teaching Excellence®-trained NDI New Mexico instructors, accompanied by professionally trained pianists. Classes will include warm-up exercises, simple exercises that children can also do at home, high-energy lessons in movement and choreography, and healthy nutrition instruction. Classes will also emphasize positive behaviors and attitudes such as self-discipline, confidence, tenacity, focus, teamwork, and personal excellence. The program will focus on children who may lack resources and adequate tools to prevent or decrease childhood obesity, chronic illnesses and the numerous negative health impacts associated with poverty.

“Fundamental to NDI New Mexico’s mission is the understanding that the arts can engage and motivate children,” said NDI New Mexico Executive Director Russell Baker. “Our health-building, academically engaging, inspiring programs are designed to build character, confidence and a resilience that carries over into all aspects of children’s lives. We’re grateful to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico for its support and look forward to having fun with the students as we encourage them to embrace NDI New Mexico’s Core Four: Work Hard, Do Your Best, Never Give Up and Be Healthy.”

Fourth grade students from Tony E. Quintana Elementary dance with New Mexico State Sen. Leo Jaramillo.

“NDI New Mexico’s innovative program provides engaging dance-based physical activity and nutrition education to children who may not otherwise have access,” said BCBSNM President Janice Torrez. “These classes motivate children to exercise, eat nutritious foods, and strengthen social and emotional skills. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico believes that by investing in the health and wellness of our children, we are creating a better future for all New Mexicans.”

BCBSNM’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Families grant initiative is part of an ongoing commitment to invest in and partner with nonprofit organizations that offer sustainable, measurable programs in nutrition, physical activity, disease prevention and management, and supporting safe environments. NDI New Mexico’s commitment to bring arts and healthy lifestyle programs to underserved children in urban, rural and Native American communities aligns with the vision of Healthy Kids, Healthy Families to improve the health of children and their families across New Mexico.


About NDI New Mexico
NDI New Mexico was founded in 1994 with the knowledge that the arts have a unique power to engage and motivate children. The purpose of its 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.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico is one of the largest commercial health insurers in New Mexico with more than 680,000 New Mexicans carrying a Blue Cross and Blue Shield card. Since 1940, BCBSNM has been committed to promoting the health and wellness of its members and communities through accessible, cost-effective, quality health care. BCBSNM is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, the country’s largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall. Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Media Contact

Laurie Volkin

A Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association