As a collaborative effort to better serve the community, the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA and Boston Ballet have agreed on the return of the 10,000 square feet of space currently occupied by Boston Ballet to the Y.
The Lynch/van Otterloo Y has partnered with Boston Ballet to offer ballet classes on the North Shore since the Y first opened in 2009. This partnership was supported by a capital gift from Belinda and the late Henri Termeer.
“Boston Ballet has been a trusted and valued partner for our Y for eleven years. Their programs have provided a special addition to our Y community and enriched the lives of so many families and individuals,” says Gerald MacKillop, executive director of the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA. “We greatly appreciate their consideration in providing our Y much needed space for safe distancing now and with future innovations.”
“With the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, it has become apparent that having the additional space necessary to expand when needed will be important to the Y’s ability to continue to meet the needs of the community,” says Boston Ballet executive director Meredith “Max” Hodges. “Knowing how much the community benefits from the vital programs the Y offers, our board felt the additional space would allow even greater opportunities for the residents of Marblehead and Swampscott.”
In the short term, the Y plans to use the added space in order to offer more health and wellness opportunities which have been limited due to distancing restrictions related to the pandemic. This increased square footage will allow the Y to safely offer more group fitness classes in a safe way, giving members plenty of space to social distance while still providing the experience they have come to expect from the Y.
The long term plan is to engage members and the community to better understand what new and innovative programming and services they would like to see offered in the expanded space.
“Having served on the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA Local Board for the last 9 years, I have been proud of the work our two organizations have done together for the betterment of our community,” says Brendan Nolan, the YMCA board president. “It was a great collaboration on every level. I have mixed emotions about seeing the Ballet leave the Y but respect the decision and understand the rationale.”
Boston Ballet School continues to operate in 14 studios in their Boston and Newton locations, and will continue to grow dance programming in the region through on-site, hybrid, and virtual offerings. Hodges added, “Ultimately, this is what is best right now for the Y and the Ballet. We are so grateful for the partnership and will cherish the memories of our time on the North Shore. COVID-19 has created a great deal of hard decisions. This was one of them.”