Fall Classes

Classes Begin September 9

New Season this Fall

2019-20 Season tickets now available

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).


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


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 27th Season

CARE has been delighting children and adults with family-friendly ballets for over 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 ballet tells the story of an old inventor, named Dr. Coppelius, and Coppelia, the life-size doll he created to sit in the window of his workshop. The doll is so lifelike that a young villager named Frantz instantly falls in love with her and breaks his engagement to the young Swanilda. Eventually, Frantz realizes the doll is not real and he and Swanilda are reunited and the entire village celebrates at their wedding.


‘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!

Peter and the Wolf

The classic story of “Peter and the Wolf” is told through music, narration and dance. Fearless young Peter disobeys his Grandfather and ventures outside the gate into the meadow to see his friends, the Bird, the Duck and the Cat. The situation takes a dramatic turn when a Wolf appears. Join Peter and the Hunters as they try to capture the Wolf and save the Bird, the Duck and the Cat.

The show will include Glazunov’s “The Seasons”, a new whimsical ballet choreographed by artistic director Heather Liskiewitz. The ballet will be a symbolic journey through the four seasons, with a unique presence of how the seasons are often represented in Michigan. The program will also include Judy Genson-Wadsworth’s light-hearted “Little Bit of Country” which will make everyone want to dance in their seats.


Experience the Joy of Classical Ballet

Individual Tickets

The single ticket prices are:

  • $15 for adults
  • $10 for students



Season Tickets

Season tickets for the 2019–20 season are:

  • $35 for adults
  • $25 for students

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

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. 

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 Paul Rozeboom

Secretary Beth Kromer

Treasurer Justin Foster

Nicole Burdick 

Jim Chervenka

Judy Genson-Wadsworth

Dawn Hodgkinson

Anne King

Penny Notter

Ryan Trierweiler

Trent Wadsworth

Jenelle Wakefield

Joy Walczak

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

2019–2020 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 9, 2019 – November 15, 2020
(Off Thanksgiving week Nov. 25-29)

2nd 10-Week Session

November 18, 2019 – February 14, 2020
(No classes December 20, 2019 – January 5, classes resume Monday, January 6, 2020)

3rd 10-Week Session

February 24, 2020 – May 8, 2020
(No classes April 3, 2020 – April 12, 2020)

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

Pre-School Boys & Girls


Class Attire

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.

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.

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

Call (616) 464-3682 to reserve a spot

Class size is limited

2019–20 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.

2019 Summer Programs

CARE Ballet offers two mini camps specially designed for young aspiring dancers. Join our magical land of dance, music, stories, craft making, games and imaginative fun! For 3-6 year old boys and girls.

Animal Camp

June 25, 26 & 27, 2019

9:30AM – 11:45AM

Princess & Knight Camp

July 23, 24 & 25, 2019

9:30AM – 11:45AM

Call (616) 464-3682 to reserve a spot

Class size is limited

7 Wednesdays of Dance

Summer 2019 Schedule

June 12, 19 & 26;  July 10, 17, 24 & 31;  All ages

This summer we are offering dance classes all day Wednesday for seven weeks. Easy punch card allows you to pick and choose.

Dance Schedule

9:00-10:30am Ballet 3, Ballet 4, Teen

10:00-11:00am Beginning Ballet

10:30-11:15am  Beginning/Intermediate Pointe

11:00-12:00pm Young Tap/Jazz


June Contemporary/Lyrical

July Progressive Ballet Technique

12:30-2:00pm Advance Ballet

2:00-3:00pm Advanced Pointe/Variations


Summer Intensive August 5–9, 2019 

A week-long session of diversified classes in dance, make-up, nutrition, exercise, and manners with lots of laughter thrown in. Students are grouped according to age: 6 to 8 years, 9 to 12 years & 13 years and up.  

Parents are welcome to attend the final showcase on Friday at 11:30 AM.

Call (616) 464-3682 to reserve a spot

Class size is limited

CCB Faculty

Harrison Centener

Harrison is a senior at Forest Hills Eastern and has danced at CARE Ballet for 9 years. He has studied at Joffrey Chicago Summer Intensive and at Ballet Chicago. Harrison has been teaching the Young Guys class since 2018 and since then has developed an enthusiastic and dedicated following of students!

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.

Melissa Tungl

Melissa started practicing yoga after the birth of her first child in 2006 as a means to nourish and nurture her body and spirit. As her life evolved by relocating to West Michigan and adding to her family, so has her yoga practice. Melissa is committed to a lifelong study of yoga on and off the mat. Since completing certification standards up to ERYT500 she now enjoys sharing this with others. Melissa appreciates many styles of yoga from meditation and breathing exercises to the more physical practices of posture. Her goal is for students to feel empowered in their bodies, calm in the mind, and light in the soul.

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.

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.

Nathan Young

Nathan Young began dancing at the age of thirteen under the direction of Rebecca-Miller Stalcup, Melinda Tobian, and Mark Bush in Little Rock, AR. Nathan attended summer intensives such as Long Beach Ballet, Joffrey Midwest, Joffrey Chicago, and Ballet West. In 2013, Nathan graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Fine arts in Ballet Performance. After graduation, Nathan began dancing professionally with Nashville Ballet, working there for four seasons. He currently dances with the Grand Rapids Ballet in Michigan. Nathan has danced in works by George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, Jiri Kylian, Jennifer Archibald, Trey McIntyre, Paul Vasterling, and Bronislava Nijinska.

CARE Conservatory of Ballet

East Grand Rapids Performing Arts Center


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.