CCDC Recital Information

06.02.2008: Unsolicited Testimonial From Another Satisfied Customer!

From another mother:
"...We're so thankful for being part of CCDC this year. It's been a wonderful experience for (my daughter), and by comparison to the studio we attended last year, (she) has learned so much more about the art, culture and technique of ballet. We're thrilled, and I wanted you to know that I tell anyone who is looking for a quality dance studio and ballet experience for their child, I always tell them about CCDC. Thanks for all of your efforts! We look forward to continuing our dance experiences with you for years to come!"

Power of Performance:

Dance is not aerobics. Though both usually involve movement and music.

Ballet is not just exercise. Though repetition, exertion and, yes, sweat are a common denominator.

Dance is different from most other physical activities or sport. At its best, it allows full expression of the mind, spirit and emotions and combines it with music or silence that resonates within the soul. We're not just "pumpin' iron" here. The greatest dancers are great actors, skilled at creating a character or communicating an emotion or idea through a gesture, by sailing through space or by sudden stillness.

Here at Capital City Dance Center, we believe dance should be full expression of the "passionate pursuit of perfection", emotion in motion.

So, if ballet is an art form that should transcend sport, then, as a performing art, it demands performance. And, that's why we offer the annual CCDC Recital as an expanded performance opportunity.

As a recital, we offer friends and family a chance to observe the growth in ability of their dancers in addition to the CCDC Family Observation week.

For the Ballet Division, however, it's also an opportunity to learn about and present excerpts from the rich tradition of classical dance. This past year, for example, CCDC performed Acts 1+2 from Swan Lake. We've also performed portions of Giselle.  The year before that it was The Sleeping Beauty. And, early on, a lot of the kids were very surprised to learn that Walt Disney Productions did not originate the plot nor the music!

Dancing in a Corps de Ballet is very different from dancing in a ballet class. And, dancing on stage is a quantum leap from dancing in a studio. Both demand commitment of time and energy in rehearsals outside regular class times. Dancers have to learn at an early age that nothing really worthwhile in life comes easy. At CCDC, regular classes are time to focus on the technique and tools to becoming a dancer. We refuse to sacrifice all that time just to prepare for recital. So, the upper division Ballet students rehearse outside of regular class time to practice and perfect performance skills.

Also learned are lessons in ballet make-up, stage directions, care of costumes, theater customs and traditions. Nothing will make you prouder as a parent or a teacher than when your students put on that golden tutu or princely tunic and respond to the pressure of the spotlight and the adulation of an audience.

But, CCDC is also committed to keeping the costs of participating in the ballet and recital affordable. We've purchased imported professional tutus and will rent them to dancers in future productions. We're building a wardrobe of classical costumes that will help us keep future participation costs to a minimum. CCDC doesn't want our families to end up with closets or attics stuffed with years and years worth of expensive old recital costumes just gathering dust!

The Annual CCDC Ballet and Spring Showcase. Just another reason "From Pre-Professional...consider Capital City Dance Center"!

06.24.2009: View From A Bove

More ballet bootleg video from the 2009 Capital City Dance Center production of Don Quixote:

06.24.2009: More eFeedback

The ma-ccolades keep comin'!
"...The recital ballet was lovely; a beautiful way to showcase the students learning, and a wonderful thing to watch!"

06.16.2009: More Feedback

As usual, I'm late to the party posting reaction to the 2009 CCDC Spring Showcase:
"...We just loved recital. I gave out a lot of tickets and they all loved it and asked if they could certainly be on the short list every time. (With the reception that I received from them, you may need another performance night or bigger venue in the not so near future--especially with my hidden PR abilities :) ) One of my family members from Spain was excited all week to see the show--she had read Don Quixote as a student and loves ballet....she was not disappointed and cannot wait until the next ballet.

Thank you for all you put into these students. As a parent, I am so grateful to have someone I can trust teach them exactly what they need to know to have success..."

...And, here's a first year-student's parent's note to his teacher...
"...Thanks again for all you have done for (my son)! You have sparked a fire in him and he has not stopped dancing all week! He made so much growth this year, in confidence, ability and attitude. Thank you!"
...And here's a brief note reacting to the first week of the 2009 CCDC Summer Intensive:
"...(My daughter) is having a wonderful time at the intensive…..she is coming home exhausted, but loving it!"
...Got any comments? Get the last word here.

06.16.2009: View From A Bove

More bootleg ballet video from the 2009 Capital City Dance Center Spring Showcase:

06.15.2009: View From A Bove

Slowly adding bootleg video from Capital City Dance Center's Don Quixote. Check back often 4 more!

06.14.2009: Reviews 'r' Still Us!

Here's a late entry in the e-mailed review contributions to CCDC's Don Quixote: (Actually, I'm the one who's late posting it!o)
"...Congratulations once again for a wonderful and inspiring recital. Don Quixote was exciting and colorful, the costumes were beautiful, and choreography and dancing were at an even higher level than past years.

Emily started the program with an exciting flourish and danced with abandon as the Gypsy Queen. Catherine was rock-solid as Kitri and also displayed a fun flirty personality. Maggie was a playful tease as Cupid. Sarah was all gorgeous lines and extension and has a luminous and eye-catching stage presence. Sean has matured in technique and will fit right into a professional company. Don Q was pleased to hear that some audience members thought s/he was a man wearing a mask!

Your younger dancers are stepping up to the challenge and are ready to fill in for the graduating seniors....all the other variations (Natalie, KK, Katie, and others) looked polished and poised. Young Adrian has made remarkable gains in technique and already has a nice bravura presentation and smile on stage.

The corps was precise and showed more personality even when standing as background--they seemed engaged with the story on stage.

There were so many other wonderful things in the second half of the program, it's hard to list them all. Alyssa's choreography and music for modern C was outstanding--exciting and truly professional. Jazz C also was a nice change in music and fun/funky choreography. The tap numbers are always fun to watch.

Jill's Allelulia ballet with the dads was very touching. It was also nice to see that your program provides dance and movement opportunities for special needs children.

Keep up the great work!

(anonymous , but u-no-who)..."

6.1.2007: The Difference Is CCDClear

So, there I was hard at work the other day. (That's for the boss. The rest of you can read that as "hardly at work") That's when two workers near by started discussing their kids' dance school experience. One dad was complaining about his daughter's competition studio costing him an "arm and a leg". And, how he bought her dance school "the equivalent of a Cadillac every year". And, how all he had to show for it every year were more closets full of sequined little costumes gathering more dust after every recital and competition. And, how, the worst thing was, she didn't even LIKE most of the other kids in her classes. Full of "cliques and clowns" was how he described it. The other Mom was sympathetic. Her son and daughter had taken classes at another school in the area. She couldn't believe the investment in time and money either. But, the bright spot according to her was when her kids made "show choir" and "dance team" at her local high school. "Doesn't cost them a thing!" she declared triumphantly!

This was when I decided to stick my two cents worth in and throw some fuel on the fire. They knew I was associated with a dance school and I knew they thought they were all the same. So, I joked, "Just sign your kids over to us! ...and while you're at it, just sign your paycheck over to us as well!" They just laughed in frustration.

You know why this was so funny? Speaking as a former stand-up comic, it's because it's SO NOT TRUE HERE AT Capital City Dance Center. What we do is much, MUCH WORSE! We teach proper technique and an appreciation for an art form. It's not just socializing, gossiping and showing off a cute new leotard, leg warmer, skirt or shrug. (In fact, NOTHING but leotard, tights and ballet slippers or pointe shoes allowed in ballet class!) What we do is much more insidious and can actually become a lifelong involvement with classical and contemporary dance forms...both as a performer and participant, and, as an observer and audience. It can become a positive addiction. And, "show choir" and "dance team" are NOT the solution to dance studios bent on separating you from your hard-earned income. "Performing" and "competing" are NOT the same as learning technique, building a repertory of classical steps and using them as "a means to greatest artistic self-expression". If you're looking at the economics, realize that a properly trained dancer can actually win scholarships, grants and tuition waivers to post-secondary education. And, the best dancers can even qualify to draw what are often known as "paychecks". You can actually get paid to do what you love. And, the most fortunate can even make a living performing or teaching.

Now, I think it may be too late for the kids of my two co-workers. (Fortunately, a third is taking classes at CCDC) Which is why I just joked with the two of them. Because once a child's been seduced by exposure to competition, fashion and socializing, it's often too late to supplant it with proper placement, technique and aesthetics. (That's not always true. We keep getting students from other schools who realize that something's missing in their so-called "training".) So, I can just shake my head in disbelief at my two co-workers complaints. Complaints like theirs are exactly why we do what we do every day at CCDC!

4.11.2007: Costume Crusader

Had an interesting conversation with a mother and daughter looking to switch from another studio last week. The daughter told me she was looking for something more challenging. She was tired of "just waving her arms around" in class all the time. And, the mom was looking for a studio that didn't charge "an arm and a leg" for recital costumes. When I told her the prices we charged for costumes this year, she exclaimed "They're not over a hundred dollars each?!" Good time to point out that CCDC doesn't inflate the prices we get for costumes. We don't view it as an opportunity to make a profit for us. We charge pretty much our cost to our dancers and their families. (By comparison, most studios have a standard hundred percent mark-up rate.) And, we've slowly been building a wardrobe of professional level costumes and tutus over the years that we can rent to students allowing us to hold down total costs even more. We don't want to do away with costumed recitals altogether because we consider the annual Spring Ballet and Showcase as another learning and performing opportunity for our aspiring dancers. Not as an opportunity to make more money. Talk to parents from other studios about their costume costs as a comparison.