National Dance Institute 2024 Event of the Year: Earth's Song

Arts at Work NYC
Jun 18, 2024, 7:00 pm10:00 pm
  • Graduate Students
  • Undergraduate Students


Event Description

Attend a performance of the National Dance Institute (NDI) 2024 Event of the Year, Earth’s Song, featuring over 150 talented children from New York City schools in a vibrant performance of dance and live music. Enjoy an informal dinner conversation after the show with NDI's Artistic Director and Lewis Center for the Arts Advisory Council member Kay Gayner '86

This event is part of Arts At Work: NYC, a summer series of arts performances and showcases, panel discussion, and site visits that introduce students working in New York City during the summer months to creative alumni and the various arts institutions they serve.

Free and open to all Princeton students (including Class of 2024).

Please note: 

  • Tickets are very limited. You will receive an email to confirm your registration before the event. If you do not confirm by the indicated date, your spot will go to someone on the wait list. Please honor your registration.
  • Meet with other students and alumni in NYC to enjoy a free dinner and show (students are responsible for their transportation).
  • Registrants will be sent specific locations and logistics closer to the event date. 
  • Sign up for the wait list in Handshake if registration becomes full.

Kay Gayner '86, Artistic Director of National Dance Institute

Kay Gayner is the artistic director of National Dance Institute. She began teaching for National Dance Institute in 2000, after having served as assistant to Jacques d’Amboise from 1987-1990. She is responsible for the direction of NDI’s In-School Program, which currently serves approximately 6,500 children in New York City public schools. 

Ms. Gayner was named associate artistic director of NDI in 2017 and has served as co-creator and co-founder of the NDI DREAM Project since 2014 and Director of International Projects since 2011. Her work has been performed at venues including the NYU Skirball Center, LaGuardia High School for Music and Art, Symphony Space, NJPAC, the New York Historical Society, the American Airlines Theatre, Ontological at St. Mark’s, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and the Shanghai Grand Theatre. Ms. Gayner won a gold medal for choreography at the Shanghai International Children’s Festival in 2013.

For the past ten years, she has served as artistic director for the NDI/China Project, and three years ago, helmed the launch of a new international initiative for NDI in Beirut, Lebanon. Before COVID-19, she traveled regularly to Shanghai and Beirut, training Chinese and Lebanese teachers in the NDI pedagogy, and overseeing the development of NDI partner programs, Dancing into the Future—I Can Too! (Shanghai, China) and Dance by C.L.E.S. (Beirut, Lebanon).

In February 2014, Ms. Gayner collaborated with Pediatric Physical Therapist Agnes McConlogue-Ferro to create The DREAM Project (Dancers Realize Excellence through Arts and Movement), an inclusive program at NDI that provides children with disabilities the opportunity to dance and perform alongside a group of age-matched peers. During COVID-19 Kay and Agnes developed remote learning projects for DREAM and ndiLIVE! that bring inclusive dance classes to thousands of children across the country.

Kay was named the 2009 Teacher of the Year at NDI. She served as Artistic Director for North Carolina Arts in Action, an NDI associate program located in Chapel Hill, NC, from 2007–2013. For NDI, Kay has directed the 2006 Event of the Year, A Midsummer Night’s Dream; the 2011 Event of the Year, A Sense of Wonder; and the 2014 Event of the Year, Under One Sky: NDI Dances China. As a dancer, singer, and actress, she has performed at the Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, Playwrights Horizons, Circle Rep, HERE Arts Center, Westbeth, Primary Stages and in several national tours. 

She co-wrote and choreographed The Ballad of Larry the Flyer, performed at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, New York Fringe Festival and Ensemble Studio Theatre (E.S.T.). She co-wrote narration for the award-winning and Emmy-nominated documentary, “Family Name,” that aired on PBS in 1998. She graduated cum laude from Princeton University.