Fall Classes

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1st Session Begins September 10

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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

October 6 & 7

Season Tickets Available

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Experience Excellence

Creative Arts Repertoire Ensemble (CARE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting dance in West Michigan. CARE encourages young artists by providing performance opportunities, technical staging skills and a positive dance experience while concentrating on the dancer as a whole person.

To achieve this mission we operate as two complementary companies: Creative Arts Repertoire Ensemble (CARE) and CARE Conservatory of Ballet (CCB).

CARE

Every year, CARE presents three public performances. We also participate in arts outreach through free school performances and community arts events.

CCB

The CARE Conservatory of Ballet is a training school for students interested in pursuing classical ballet. We also offer jazz, modern, tap, yoga and more.

Welcome to Creative Arts Repertoire Ensemble’s 26th Season

CARE has been delighting children and adults with family-friendly ballets for almost a quarter of a century. Our one-hour performances make classical ballets and children’s stories come alive through dance. Our dancers will soar on the state-of-the-art stage of the East Grand Rapids High School Performing Arts Center with convenient free parking. Busy families can choose a Saturday morning performance or a Saturday or Sunday matinee on our performance weekends. Plus, we always offer an opportunity for our young audience to talk with the ballet dancers at the conclusion of a performance. We want to nurture a love of ballet!

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

This magical tale takes four children through an old wardrobe and into a fantasy world where they meet a brave lion, a wicked witch, talking animals and mythical beings. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is an original ballet based on the popular children’s novel by C.S. Lewis. The show is approximately one hour long and is presented without intermission, making it perfect for young families!

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

This original ballet, based on Clement C. Moore’s familiar poem and set to traditional holiday music, has become a Thanksgiving Weekend tradition in Grand Rapids. Mischievous mice, dancing stockings, magical toys and Santa with his prancing reindeer combine to create a wonderful hour of family entertainment. Even the youngest members of your family will enjoy this show! The audience is welcome to join Santa and the cast on stage after the performance so don’t forget your camera!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Celebrate the new year with Shakespeare’s fantasy love story, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This humorous story is condensed and simply told through dance and lovely melodies composed by Felix Mendelssohn. With fairies, humans and a dancing donkey, the stage is transformed into a delightful scene of fun and confusion.

Experience the Joy of Classical Ballet

Individual Tickets

The single ticket prices are:

  • $15 for adults
  • $10 for students
Purchase Tickets Online

Season Tickets

Season tickets for the 2018–19 season are:

  • $35 for adults
  • $25 for students

Download order form below for individual and season tickets or call CARE at (616) 464-3682.

Download Order Form

CARE Ensemble

The Ensemble is comprised of 27 ballet students ranging in age from 12–19. Additional dancers are selected through an open audition process to complete the casts for each ballet. A typical ballet performance includes 40–50 dancers ranging in age from 4 to 19.

Who are the Ensemble Members?

These are our most accomplished dancers who are selected through performance experience or by open audition by the artistic director. Ensemble members must take two classes a week plus a pointe class for girls or “guy” class for boys. 

Kiana

Kiana

Full Ensemble

India

India

Full Ensemble

Eliza

Eliza

Full Ensemble

Claire

Claire

Full Ensemble

Rachel

Rachel

Full Ensemble

Marin

Marin

Apprentice

Elizabeth

Elizabeth

Junior Ensemble

Elizabeth

Elizabeth

Adjunct Member

Harrison

Harrison

Full Ensemble

Bill

Bill

Full Ensemble

Rose

Rose

Full Ensemble

Lily

Lily

Full Ensemble

Sawyer

Sawyer

Full Ensemble

Belle

Belle

Apprentice

Savanah

Savanah

Junior Ensemble

John

John

Adjunct Member

Maia

Maia

Full Ensemble

Lydia

Lydia

Full Ensemble

Gabrielle

Gabrielle

Full Ensemble

Colleen

Colleen

Full Ensemble

Katiri

Katiri

Apprentice

Paige

Paige

Junior Ensemble

Madie

Madie

Junior Ensemble

Ylenia

Ylenia

Adjunct Member

Emily

Emily

Full Ensemble

Sophie

Sophie

Full Ensemble

Claire

Claire

Full Ensemble

Eric

Eric

Full Ensemble

Ellie

Ellie

Apprentice

Olivia

Olivia

Junior Ensemble

Christian

Christian

Adjunct Member

CARE Directors

Heather Liskiewitz

Artistic Director

Miss Heather debuted as CARE Ballet’s Artistic Director during the 2017-18 season with Cinderella. Previously Ballet Mistress and Costume Seamstress, Heather received her early training with Judy Genson and performed with the Creative Arts Repertoire Ensemble. Graduating Magna Cum Laude, she received a BFA in dance from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Heather has performed professionally with the Minnesota Ballet, Ballet San Antonio, Continental Ballet and the Illinois Ballet. She is also a freelance dancer and choreographer. Her choreography credits include works for Wright State University, Gem City Ballet, Young People’s Ballet Theatre, and the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre.

Judith VandenBosch

Stage Manager, Ballet Mistress, Head Costume Seamstress

Judith began stage managing during the 2017-17 performance of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. She brings an organized and direct element backstage while also emphasizing safety. During rehearsals, she assists the Artistic Director as Ballet Mistress. Additionally, she is Head Seamstress in charge of the beautiful costumes seen on stage.

Judy Genson-Wadsworth

Founder, Artistic Director Emeritus

After 25 years of inspiring young dancers on stage, Mrs. Genson-Wadsworth retired as Artistic Director of CARE during the 2017-18 season. She began her training locally with Florence Cassell, Zita Harris, and Sally Seven. She continued her studies in New York City with Vincenzo Celli, himself a student of Enrico Cecchetti. She also took instruction in the Russian technique from Richard Thomas and Barbara Fallis. Genson toured New York and New Jersey with the Young Ballet, an ensemble group which performed lecture demonstrations and classical variations from most of the white ballets. After her return to Grand Rapids, Judy joined Grand Rapids Civic Ballet in 1972 where she was principal dancer performing virtually all of the works in the Company’s repertoire. She was named the director of Grand Rapids Civic Ballet Junior Company at its inception in 1981 and assistant to the director of the main Company in 1982. After hanging up her toes shoes in 1987, Genson was the Acting Artistic Director until she became the Company’s Business Manager.

Trent Wadsworth

Technical Director

In addition to being Technical Director/Production Manager for CARE, Trent Wadsworth is the Manager and Technical Director for the East Grand Rapids Performing Arts Center and manages Pioneer Auditorium in East Grand Rapids. Trent works with Creative Mercenaries and has worked with Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, Circle Theatre, Grand Rapids Jewish Theatre, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Ballet, Cornerstone College, West Michigan Jazz, and is a member of the United States Institute of Theatre Technology.

Anne King

Educational Outreach Coordinator

Anne has spent the last 44 years working with children and adults as a teacher, counselor, Principal and trainer. She has retired from the Grand Rapids Public Schools as their education and prevention specialist. She has presented to hundreds of classrooms on topics as varied as healthy highs, substance use and abuse, nutrition and wellness, harassment, bullying, self-esteem and more. She is a frequent speaker for parent nights and has conducted dozens of training for teachers and support staff. Anne is committed to the education of all children, particularly those living in poverty.

CARE Board of Directors

President Kate Cragwall

Vice-President Beth Kromer

Secretary Yolanda Gonzalez

Treasurer Justin Foster

Jim Chervenka

Judy Genson-Wadsworth

Dawn Hodgkinson

Anne King

Penny Notter

Paul Rozeboom

Ryan Trierweiler

Trent Wadsworth

Joy Walczak

Jennifer Yoder

School Performance Program

CARE has a long tradition of introducing classical ballet to underserved students in the Greater Grand Rapids area. Before each show opens, our education specialist and one or two CARE cast members visit schools to summarize the story, explain the choreography, identify character traits, and introduce the music. Students also learn what to expect during the ballet and how to respond appropriately as members of the audience. As the grand finale, 1200 enthusiastic students fill the East Grand Rapids Performing Arts Center, where they are treated to a dress rehearsal and come away with a new excitement and appreciation for the arts.

I truly spent over a month trying to learn about this story in class and in one hour it all made sense to me.

High School Student

My favorite part was the “black-outs” on the stage because I had to use my imagination to think what all might be going on that I could not see.

4th Grade

Aberdeen Elementary

I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the great show you put on for me. It was almost like a lifetime experience.

Student

My favorite part was when the little girl could not quite keep up..she was trying so hard. I like that part because she did not give up when she messed up..she kept going and acted like nothing had happened.

Student

How many dollars does it take to bring students to the ballet?

Seat One Child

Provide a Bus for 50 Students

Classroom to Attend

Fill an Auditorium with 650 Students

Make a Donation

This program is funded by generous donations to the CARE School Performance Program. Please consider helping us “level the playing field.” Any and all donations are gratefully accepted. All contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

Donate now with PayPal

Ballet Auditions for 2019–20 Season

April 12 &13

CARE Ballet will hold open auditions at the CARE Conservatory of Ballet.

Audition format

Dancers participate in age-specific ballet class. Boys and girls ages 5 through high school are welcome.

Free

There is no charge for the audition.

Performance Fee

A performance fee of $30 per production will be assessed for all non-ensemble members. This fee will be due at the time a student is cast in a production.

Registration Required

Please call (616) 464-3682 to register for an audition time.

2019-20 Season to be announced

History of Creative Arts Repertoire Ensemble (CARE Ballet)

In early 1992, the word CARE created an organization. The word came first as the founders wanted the dance company to be an environment that fostered support and encouragement to all who wanted to dance. Thus Creative Arts Repertoire Ensemble (CARE) was conceived with an idea to create one-hour classical ballets that would introduce young audiences to a world that might be foreign to them, presented in a time frame that fit young attention spans. For Company members, the goal was to create a positive dance experience with an emphasis on building self-esteem as they mastered the skills and knowledge of classical ballet. The opportunity to then tell stories through dance in performance was the culmination of all their practice in studio classes and rehearsals.

After recruiting six dancers (4 females and two males) CARE was off and running. That first season saw productions of Beauty of the Earth, Western USA and Life’s Journey all with original choreography by the Artistic Director. Over 1200 students from Greater Grand Rapids area schools attended the performances that first year. From 1993 to 1999 the repertoire grew to nine ballets, including what became a CARE signature holiday favorite, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Outside auditions for casting in productions soon became a hallmark of CARE and helped to grow the ballet Company and its reputation.

In 1999, in an effort to establish greater financial stability, a group of parents stepped forward and helped the fledgling organization become incorporated as a Michigan non-profit. A volunteer Board was recruited, a strategic plan was drawn up, bylaws written, policies created and a logo designed. The mission of community outreach to underserved students became woven into the fabric of CARE.

In 2006 the CARE Conservatory of Ballet was established with a permanent home with studios for students age 3 to adult to offer classes and provide rehearsal space. The Conservatory now offers all forms of dance training from classical ballet, yoga, pilates, musical theater, tap and many more. Approximately 175 students now study at the Conservatory. The performance repertoire has grown to 25 ballets all with original choreography. The Company Ensemble has grown to 32 members and CARE casts for public performances now put 60 to 70 students onto the stage in full costume, with professional sets, lighting and music. Over the last 26 years CARE has not lost sight of its core mission of creating a learning environment that fosters support and encouragement for its students while introducing young audiences to the joy of a classical ballet performance.

 

 

 

 

CARE Financials

We believe in being fiscally transparent and strive to put our donors’ dollars to good use.

990 Forms

CARE 990 2016

Why dance with CARE Ballet?

Performance Opportunities

We offer the opportunity to learn all aspects of performance through participation in three unique ballet productions a year.

Ensemble Perks

Our Adjunct, Apprentice and Full Ensemble dancers receive shoe stipends. There are no audition fees for non-ensemble members.

Dance for the Community

CARE Ballet is committed to community outreach. In our twenty-six history, we have introduced over 50,000 at-risk elementary school students to classical ballet through our performances. Come be a part of something wonderful!

CARE Conservatory of Ballet

The CARE Conservatory of Ballet is a training school for students interested in pursuing classical ballet. Classes are based on the Italian Cecchetti syllabus and are augmented with strengthening classes, pilates, yoga, jazz, tap and even musical theater. Classes emphasize technique, musicality and creativity. Students receive individual attention and discover that the joy of studying classical ballet is learning to accept challenges, take risks, achieve personal goals and improve day to day.

2018–2019 Class Offerings and Tuition

CARE Conservatory of Ballet offers three 10-week sessions during the school year. Call us at (616) 464-3682 to register.

1st 10-Week Session

September 10, 2018 – November 16, 2018
(Off Thanksgiving week)

2nd 10-Week Session

November 26, 2018 – February 15, 2019
(No classes December 21, 2018 – January 3, classes resume Monday, January 7, 2019)

3rd 10-Week Session

February 25, 2018 – May 9, 2019
(No classes March 30, 2019 – April 7, 2019)

CARE Ballet is now partnering with Hamilton School District and Niles Extended School Community to offer classes to their virtual and homeschool students. Enrolled students can check with their partnered school for more information and class options.

Student Classes

1 Hour Class Tuition

$145/10-Week Session
  • Call (616) 464-3682 to reserve a spot
  • All class placement is determined by the director
  • Class size is limited
Class Schedule

1½ Hour Class Tuition

$175/10-Week Session
  • Call (616) 464-3682 to reserve a spot
  • All class placement is determined by the director
  • Class size is limited
Class Schedule

Pre-School Boys & Girls

Wee Can Dance

A 45-minute group class for ages 3 & 4
$100/10-Week Session
  • Wee Can Dance is a fun introduction to dance for boys and girls. Wee Dancers will explore dance and movement with music, fun props like scarves and hoops, and of course imagination. This class will help build flexibility, memory and motor skills, and encourage following directions, sharing, and cooperating with others. Children will jump, twirl, and discover how much fun it is to express themselves through dance.
Class Schedule

Mommy & Me

A 45-minute group class for both child ages 3 & 4 and parent
$150/10-Week Session
  • Tiny movers have an opportunity to attend class and bond with Mom (or Dad!) in a shared introduction to dance. This special 45-minute class encourages creativity, flexibility, coordination, listening and memory skills, musicality, and dancing. Scarves, hoops, balls and other fun props will be used throughout the class. Parents can be a part of this special experience to help tiny movers build self-esteem and improve fine and gross motor skills.
Class Schedule

Adults

Adult 12 Punch Card

1 Hour Classes
$120
  • Good for any 1 hour adult class

  • 12 Punches

  • One punch per class

Class Schedule

Adult 12 Punch Card

1½ Hour Classes
$140
  • Good for any 1½ hour adult class
  • 12 Punches

  • One punch per class

Class Schedule

Class Attire

Girls
For ballet classes, please wear pink tights, leotard (no neon please) and pink ballet shoes. Comfortable clothing and dance shoes for all other classes. No street shoes.

Boys
For ballet classes, please wear white t-shirt, black shorts or athletic pants and black ballet or jazz shoes. Comfortable clothing and dance shoes for all other classes. No street shoes.

Adults
Workout clothes with ballet or dance shoes. Please no street shoes.

Call (616) 464-3682 to reserve a spot

Class size is limited

2018–19 School Year Class Schedule

Why take classes at CCB?

Dance at your own pace

We offer 3 ten-week sessions a year, allowing dancers to progress at their own pace, rather than be locked into one class for a year.

Performance Opportunities

We offer the opportunity to learn all aspects of performance through participation in three unique ballet productions a year.

Caring Teachers

Our teaching staff meets regularly to consult on the total development of a dancer.

CCB Faculty

Judy Genson-Wadsworth

Founder, Business Manager, Instructor

Mrs. Genson-Wadsworth has been involved in the dance world for most of her life. She is a former ballerina with Grand Rapids Civic Ballet and The Young Ballet Company in New York City. A longtime teacher, she also is known for her choreography in many local productions. Mrs. Genson-Wadsworth co-founded Creative Arts Repertoire Ensemble in 1992 and served as Artistic Director until 2017.

Heather Liskiewitz

Artistic Director and Instructor

Heather received her early training with Judy Genson and performed with the Creative Arts Repertoire Ensemble. Graduating Magna Cum Laude, she received a BFA in dance from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Heather has performed professionally with the Minnesota Ballet, Ballet San Antonio, Continental Ballet and the Illinois Ballet. She is also a freelance dancer and choreographer. Her choreography credits include works for Wright State University, Gem City Ballet, Young People’s Ballet Theatre, and the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre.

Judith VandenBosch

Judith has been teaching for 24 years. In 2014, she started to educate herself in injury prevention through Perfect Form Physiotherapy, online training courses based in Australia. She is knowledgeable in fascia release techniques and proper training to help prevent injuries. She took Teacher Training Level 1 Workshop with Lisa Howell, B.Phty to perfect all her knowledge. To help dancers progress faster, Judith teaches major key aspects of improving technique and perspective. Judith is trained in the Progressive Ballet Technique, a program developed by Marie Walton-Mahon in Australia. Teaching this conditioning class for ballet dancers helps students understand the depth of training muscle memory in achieving their personal best in classical ballet. She is also licensed to teach Zumba, Yoga, balance body barre and group fitness classes.

Andrew Amos

Andrew began dancing at age 17 in Monterey, California. Within a year he had received a full scholarship to the dance program at Stephens College in Colombia, Missouri, where he earned his BFA in Dance. After college, Andrew worked with companies including Mordine + Company Dance Theater, Indiana Ballet Theater, NW, Ballet Fantasque, Antares Danza Contemporanea, Children’s Ballet Theater, San Angelo Civic Ballet, and others. He performed with and directed Happendance-to-go, an outreach group infusing dance into early educational curriculums, and is currently the Assistant Artistic Director of West Michigan Youth Ballet. Besides having performed leading roles in many classical ballets including Swan Lake, Cinderella, The Nutcracker, and Sleeping Beauty, Andrew has taught master classes in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Pas de Deux, and Musical Theater from the Midwest to the West Coast and Mexico. As a  choreographer, his work has been performed by students, amateurs, and professionals across the nation on stages big and small. Andrew currently resides in Grand Rapids with his wife, Heidi, and daughter Sophia, and teaches, dances, and choreographs throughout the area.

Annie Vandenberg

Annie is a lover of dance and movement with a passion for sharing that love with others. She has studied dance at Lansing Community College and Western Michigan University. For the last 16 years, Annie has taught dance and youth movement classes in the East Grand Rapids area. In 2012, she added Zumba to her repertoire and received certification to teach Zumba. Since then, she has taught Zumba to both children and adults throughout the region. She has participated in numerous Zumba events and benefits. Annie’s philosophy is that dance should be fun for everyone, and her students agree that Zumba is a way to incorporate dance into life!

Sue Wilson

Sue danced professionally with the Grand Rapids Civic Ballet under Sally Sevens. She graduated from University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. Additionally, Sue has been an American Council of Exercise certified group fitness Instructor for 26 years. She continues to share her love of dance being a Liturgical Dance Director at Fifth Reformed Church and teaching ballet and pilates at CARE Ballet.

CARE Conservatory of Ballet

East Grand Rapids Performing Arts Center

Studio

CARE Conservatory of Ballet
2661 29th St. SE, Suite I
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49512
(616) 464-3682

Our barrier-free studio is located behind Schuler Books & Music.

Performance Venue

East Grand Rapids Performing Arts Center
2211 Lake Dr. SE
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506

Performance venue is barrier-free.