My career as international ballet dancer, choreographer and teacher was born 30 years ago when I lived in a family homeless shelter where New York Theater Ballet’s LIFT program operated, says Steven Melendez. The new documentary film, “LIFT,” chronicles his journey mentoring children now enrolled, and underscores the importance of such arts outreach programs in the fight against homelessness. Ballet training provides young people, especially those tackling life from deficit, an equal opportunity to achieve. When taught well, they are the underpinning of cognitive growth and self-esteem. In an era where stories of adversity are many, the “LIFT” documentary, filmed over 10 years, shines a spotlight on hope, and the resilience of children for the future.

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