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February 11, 2010

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February 11, 2010

Just connecting with dance after many years, I was attending another dance studio for adult hip-hop and a friend of mine came in and said that he had just finished his tap class. My ears perked up and I had to know where he was taking! (good tap classes are hard to find). He said it was just down the street at the Center for Contemporary Dance. I looked it up online, printed the class schedule and called the center immediately. I talked to Craig, my new buddy, and he was so friendly and welcoming that I knew I had found the right place to continue what I love the most, TAP! Over the past year, I have explored many other genres of dance at the Center including ballet, contemporary, modern, a ballet workout class, a stretch and flex class and I LOVE their hip-hop. So I just go there for everything now! It has been the one thing that I find myself thinking about all day and anticipating for myself. Going to the Center allows me to clear my mind and doesn't allow me to think of anything else. I physically feel leaner, stronger and more graceful in every way. I feel supported and loved there and never judged; always encouraged. Thank you, Craig and Dario and all of the fabulous teachers at the Center for helping me find the fun and reward in dancing; for pushing me to always be my best and excepting me when I'm not! :)

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More feedback...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Spread the joy that I've received to thousands more deserving dancers!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 10, 2010

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February 10, 2010

I am the Fine Arts chair at a Trinity Prep School in Winter Park, Florida. We are located right down the road from The Center for Contemporary Dance. Over the years of knowing and working with Craig and Dario, I have been both impressed by their artistic vision and blown away by the outreach that they do in the community. I also work with a group called the Jeremiah Project; it is an arts based program that targets at risk youth. While working with a local Boys and Girls club I met a young man who demonstrated talent and desire to learn to dance. I contacted Dario immediately, knowing that he would be someone who would find the means to scholarship this young man so that he could fulfill his dream of becoming a choreographer.

More feedback...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Create more of an outreach for kids not exposed to the arts.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 10, 2010

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February 10, 2010

My family has been going to The Center for Contemporary Dance for nine months. We take the following classes every week: Creative Movement on Thursdays and Hip-Hop on Saturdays. TCFCD has become a part of our family life and we enjoy so many positive benefits from our association with them. The primary benefit has come from the absolute genius of Dario Moore in his work with children. He is a gifted communicator and takes what could be simple dance class to a whole new level. My children have learned a great deal about themselves and their impact on others through interacting with Dario. My daughter takes the Creative Movement class on Thursdays, and is one of about 10 little girls ages 5-9 who have grown each week as Mr. Moore leads them through group sharing activities and individual discipline exercises, all while teaching them the language and techniques of dance. He corrects the children as needed and praises them when the deserve it. It does not seem like one hour a week is much, but after nine months, the cummulative impact this has had on my daughter's social awareness is enormous. My son and I take Hip-Hop class together on Saturdays with Miss Nicki. I am not very graceful, and at first, I hated going (because I can't dance). But, Nicki has made a completely comfortable environment where I have never felt judged or ridiculous. At the age of 37, I have learned how to better control my body through movement and my son has seen his mother enjoy exercise. I love going now, and the time with my son is priceless. I don't know of any other place where a mom and young son can dance Hip-Hop together and actually learn without feeling patronized. It is a wonderful atmosphere. Every time we walk through the door, we see Craig Johnson, the Center's Executive Director. Craig has always been incredibly patient as we worked through deciding which classes were right for us. He also acts as a great source of information, letting us know about area and Center events that may interest our family. We have attended several of these events and have never been disappointed. He makes it very easy to communicate with the Center whenever we have a question. When he is not out in the community on behalf of the Center, he is at the Center. The same can be said for Dario. I don't know when they sleep or how they sustain the passion they have for bringing the arts to Central Florida, but thank God they do. We have tried so many outlets for our children, only to be disappointed time and time again. With TCFCD, I am thrilled to see them become the best people they are capable of being. In short, TCFCD is welcoming and genuine. Not only has my family felt welcome, but I have seen each and every person who has walked through their door embraced and encouraged to express who they are in an environment that honestly cares about the arts. Craig and Dario's dedication to the community is visible in the numerous times they are working outside of the Center (Apopka, Osceola). Because of our involvement with the Center, my family has a found interest in the performing arts which will last through my children's adult lives.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my family's and my participation in dance classes every week. Through our blood, sweat and tears, we have grown physically, mentally and emotionally.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

clone them all and add more rooms for more classes.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the people. In the performing arts community, some people come across pretentious and haughty, making us feel like we are less than because we are not as skilled. At TCFCD, I have met the very best people who are committed to the arts, not their egos.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

of the utmost character. There is nothing that the Center offers that is less than quality, including the staff and volunteers.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the world one child at a time. I honestly believe that the philosophy of the Center could benefit every youth who could be exposed to it. Children could feel accepted and appreciated for who they are.

Ways to make it better...

we practiced more outside of class as a family. We need to work on stretching and practicing what we learn.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the lack of community awareness. Most people do not know how much the Center offers and that it is not just another dance studio.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 10, 2010

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February 10, 2010

For me, the Center has provided a warm, diverse, inclusive community where I and my family can explore and learn – about other cultures, about dance, about the creative process and about history. We regularly take their dance classes that have increased our confidence and our overall health and fitness levels. The dance program has enabled us to explore a variety of instructors – and all skill levels are welcomed and respected. We have enjoyed and treasured a range of outstanding dance performances, including performances by students and emerging artists, performances focused on an individual choreographer (e.g., Katherine Dunham), and performances celebrating stories (e.g., Makulu and Colors of Courage). The Center works tirelessly to reach out to young audiences, underrepresented populations and our public schools through their arts education programs.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

welcoming me and providing an inclusive, safe environment for me and my family

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Keep the warm, "grass roots" community feel - but increase their budget!

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their dance education programs - which range from dance/exercise classes to "seminars" where students can explore a topic in depth (e.g., Horton dance technique or the creative process)

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

WONDERFUL - kind, caring, inclusive, warm, always make me feel welcome, safe place to learn

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Focus on its core strengths - producing compelling dance works, encouraging emerging artists, and reaching out to underserved audiences - without having to focus on raising money just to stay in business!

Ways to make it better...

I've had a wonderful experience

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Funding ($)

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 9, 2010

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February 9, 2010

The Center has numerous programs and in house dance companies that help bring the arts into the community and raise awareness about a variety of issues, but the thing that stands out to me the most is the atmosphere they create. Upon deciding to return to dance after a 12 year hiatus after having danced at various schools for over 10 years, my main concern about returning was the common attitude present in most schools and companies. They tend to be harsh, elitist and unsupportive. To my relief and great surprise, the Center is none of these things. Quite the opposite, it is comprised of a group of people who exhibit an unparalleled level of care and support, both within the realm of dance and in daily life. On one particularly stressful day, I attended a class at the Center after work. As I walked out of the class feeling relaxed and encouraged, the Artistic Director, Dario Moore, asked me how I was doing. I let out a big sign of relief and told him that I felt much better and that class was just what I needed. He replied, "That's why we're here." I didn't need his words to tell me that the mission that they live every day is to be supportive and enrich people's lives; it's something you experience every time you walk through the door or attend a performance. It's undeniable- it's why they're there.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

rediscovering the joy of dancing and of working together to promote the arts.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

caring, kind, passionate, supportive and dedicated.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 9, 2010

more

February 9, 2010

I have had a wonderful experience with the Center and have watched them contribute to the communities in Volusia, Seminole and Osceola counties. I take classes five days a week and participate on a volunteer basis as needed. This association with this wonderful non-profit organization and its dynamic leaders, Dario J. Moore and Craig W. Johnson is an inspiration in my life and to so many young people participating in the programs at the Center.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Five times a week in dance and attending all of their productions in the community.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Would seek more funding for their wonderful work.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The humanitarian relationship between its dynamic leaders and the community

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Have always been so supportive and attentive to the needs of the students.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Could function at an unbelievable level and reach so many more people in the community.

Ways to make it better...

With more attendance by the arts community

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Need for grants and funding for their projects.

One thing I'd also say is that...

It is a beautiful situation to view the progress of these young dancers as they show their skills and benefit from life experiences demonstrated by Dario J. Moore and Craig W. Johnson, Co-Directors of the Center for Contemporary Dance.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 9, 2010

more

February 9, 2010

Our dance company, Yow Dance, recently began the application process for residency at The Center for Contemporary Dance. Long before this we were well aware of both Craig Johnson and Dario Moore, the two key role players at "The Center". Their reputation in our community is well known, not only in the dance community, but in the art and philanthropy communities especially, as is evidenced by the broad support they get from the well respected organization United Arts. As I have gotten to know the two gentlemen better, have seen them in action, and can now see first hand how their commitment to dance and the city of Orlando is most directly reflected by The Center for Contemporary Dance, I can see the dramatic impact on our community. Their mission to Produce, Encourage, Cultivate, and Reach is firmly in place and making a difference. Just last week I saw a performance put on by one of the companies that partner with The Center and can see with clarity that the dance organizations that call The Center home are well selected to carry forward the mission even more!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

their kindness to help our organization.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

see it expand and become more prevelant in the community than it already is greatly intergrated.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their willingness to help individuals and fellow organizations grow.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

accomodating, passionate, and supportive of The Center for Contemporary Dance's mission.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the world, not just the immediate Orlando vicinity.

Ways to make it better...

... this would be difficult to improve on. So much is being done well already.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

additional funding but not for lack of qualification or talent in applying for it through grants.

One thing I'd also say is that...

this is a very special and well respected organization.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 9, 2010

more

February 9, 2010

The Center for Contemporary Dance in Winter Park Florida is a model not-for-profit organization that brings dance instruction to our community that is accessible and of the highest quality.

More feedback...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the lives and grow the worlds of many Central Floridians!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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