It's pleasure to serve an organization dedicated to developing the next generation of artists, showcasing emerging perspectives in dance and making dance education accessible to special populations. I've worked in the arts for over 30 years and can truly say this organization sets the standard for both excellence in the arts and humanitarian outreach. Proud to be part of such an incredible community!
The Center for Contemporary Dance (CCD) is an exceptional organization that is succeeding at expanding our community's access to outstanding dance education programs. In addition to the organization's place-based programs that reach 300+ students, CCD annually impacts more than 5,000 at risk youth through outreach programs in the public schools, child welfare agencies and youth organizations. The educators are outstanding, mature industry professionals who truly care about each student's experience and growth. Furthermore, CCD has cultivated more than 12 professional dance companies through its Residency Program, giving Central Florida a rich and diverse culture of contemporary dance.
The Center for Contemporary Dance has helped me build more confidence in myself and has introduced me to people who truly want nothing but the best for me.
The center for contemporary dance has done so much for me. When I came to them I was very unsure of what I wanted. They gave me direction and a path to follow while I still figure out where my life will lead me. They accept all ages( thank god!!) and they have a level for every dancer whether your a beginner or an advanced dancer. They will push you beyond what you can do but they will challenge you and will encourage you to do more than what you think( in your mind) you can do. It's a great place for parents to bring their kids to if their child exhibit interests in dance. In the short time I've been here not only have I grown as a dancer I've seen other dancers; both young and old , beginner and advanced; grow in strength and in professionalism.
I found The Center about 2 years ago, and my life has changed because of it. The Center is a celebration of diversity, community and the arts. Every non-profit should model themselves with the strength of mission that I've seen in this place.
For the past 8 years, I have had the privilege of being affiliated with The Center for Contemporary Dance. I have had the opportunity to work directly with both co-founders, Dario Moore (Artistic Director) and Craig Johnson (Executive Director), as well as to meet the students/parents who came through CCD's studio doors. Because CCD exists, lives are changed. Each year, CCD serves more than 6,000 people across 5 Central Florida counties. Since its inception, CCD has been involved in dozens of major projects and hundreds of smaller endeavors that engage underserved communities in the arts, and each year, CCD serves over 1,000 children from Title I public schools through performances, lectures/demonstrations and arts education workshops. Because of CCD and the tireless efforts of its Executive Director, Craig, the entire landscape of the arts in Central Florida has been changed. Kudos to Dario and Craig for what they have created and the lives that are positively impacted as a result!
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.