‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

November 26, 27 & 28

Story Time Interactive Videos

Teachers, learn how to bring a CARE Ballet experience to your school!

2021-22 Performance Season

Three upcoming ballets to delight the whole family!

Dance this Fall & Winter

Check out our latest class offerings for all ages!

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 our mission we have both a performing company, Creative Arts Repertoire Ensemble (CARE), and a school,  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.

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 58,000 at-risk elementary school students to classical ballet through our performances. Come be a part of something wonderful!

CCB

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

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.

Welcome to Creative Arts Repertoire Ensemble’s 2021-22 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. 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!

Tales of Hans Christian Anderson

CARE will present four familiar Tales from the collection of Hans Christian Andersen, including The Princess and the Pea, The Ugly Duckling, Little Ida’s Flowers and What the Old Man Does is Always Right. The one hour performance is a delightful way to introduce your young family to live performance! 

 

‘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!

Tickets are available online, by calling (616) 464-3682 or purchasing at the door one hour prior to each performance. Ticket prices are $10 for students and $15 for adults.

boxoffice@careballet.org

Sleeping Beauty

CARE Ballet brings the condensed version of Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet of Princess Aurora to life on stage. The one-hour version retells the story of the evil spell that puts the entire kingdom to sleep when the princess pricks her finger on a spinning wheel. With a kiss, the handsome Prince breaks the spell and awakens Sleeping Beauty. A wedding celebration follows, and several of Aurora’s favorite childhood characters arrive and perform for the Prince and Princess. Puss and Boots, Little Bo-Peep, Little Red Riding Hood, and Bluebird and Princess Florine all make an appearance.

 

Experience the Joy of Classical Ballet

Individual Tickets

The single ticket prices are:

  • $15 for adults
  • $10 for students

 

boxoffice@careballet.org

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 Paul Rozeboom

Vice-President Gerri Rhein

Secretary Nicole Burdick

Treasurer Justin Foster

Karen Bezemek 

Judy Genson-Wadsworth

Dan Hielkema

Dawn Hodgkinson

Anne King

 

Penny Notter

Jaci Tyler

Trent Wadsworth

Jenelle Wakefield

Stay in touch with Upcoming CARE Ballet Activities by providing your Email today


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Major Granting Organizations Recognize Care Ballet’s Excellence

In the fiscal year, 2020-21 CARE received its third operational grant from the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition, the Wege Foundation and the Meijer Family Foundation supported CARE’s community outreach efforts to underserved populations. 

“It’s wonderful knowing the training of dancers and CARE productions are recognized at national, state, and local levels,” says Heather Liskewitz, artistic director. 

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 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement

At CARE Ballet, a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace is one where all employees, students, subcontractors and volunteers, whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education or disability, feels valued and respected. We are committed to a nondiscriminatory approach and provide equal opportunity for employment and advancement in all of our departments and programs. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are valued and heard.

We’re committed to modeling diversity and inclusion for the entire arts industry of the nonprofit sector, and to maintaining an inclusive environment with equitable treatment for all.

To provide informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity, CARE Ballet strives to:

  • See diversity, inclusion, and equity as connected to our mission and critical to ensure the well-being of our staff and the arts communities we serve.
  • Acknowledge and dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and continually update and report organization progress.
  • Explore potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.
  • Advocate for and support board-level thinking about how systemic inequities impact our organization’s work, and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission.
  • Help to challenge assumptions about what it takes to be a strong leader at our organization, and who is well-positioned to provide leadership.
  • Practice and encourage transparent communication in all interactions.
  • Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our board, staff, committee, and advisory bodies.
  • Lead with respect and tolerance. We expect all employees to embrace this notion and to express it in workplace interactions and through every day practices.

CARE Ballet abides by the following action items to help promote diversity and inclusion in our workplace:

  • Pursue cultural competency throughout our organization by creating substantive learning opportunities and formal, transparent policies.
  • Generate and aggregate quantitative and qualitative research related to equity to make incremental, measurable progress toward the visibility of our diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts.
  • Improve our cultural leadership pipeline by creating and supporting programs and policies that foster leadership that reflects the diversity of American society.
  • Pool resources and expand offerings for underrepresented constituents by connecting with other arts organizations committed to diversity and inclusion efforts.
  • Include a salary range with all public job descriptions.
  • Advocate for public and private-sector policy that promotes diversity, inclusion, and equity. Challenge systems and policies that create inequity, oppression and disparity.

CARE Statement of Non-Discrimination Policy

CARE BALLET, INC. does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any and all its activities and operations.  These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors and vendors.

CARE BALLET, INC. is an equal opportunity employer.  We will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, promotions and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

CARE Conservatory of Ballet is a participating venue of AccessGR. AccessGR is a community program of Artists Creating Together, to help make the rich arts and cultural experiences of our community accessible to all.

All performances are held at the East Grand Rapids Performing Arts Center, which is fully compliant with the American with Disabilities Act.

CARE Non-Profit Information

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

990 Form

CARE 990 2019

CARE Strategic Plan

CARE Strategic Plan 2020-2021

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.

2021 Class Offerings, Online Enrollment and Tuition

CARE Conservatory of Ballet offers three 10-week sessions during the school year. To register, contact us at registration@careballet.org or (616) 464-3682.

2021-2022 Fall 1st 10-week Session begins Monday, September 13. Students can start anytime during the season.

1st 10-Week Session

September 13, 2021 – November 18, 2021
(Thanksgiving break November 19-28)

2nd 10-Week Session

November 29, 2021 – February 17, 2022
(Holiday break December 19-Jan 2)

3rd 10-Week Session

February 28, 2022 – May 12, 2022
(Spring break April 1-10)

2021-22 School Year Class Schedule

Our Fall schedule is now available. Download PDF below.

Download Current Fall 2021 Schedule

Student Classes

Pre-School Boys & Girls

Adults

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.

Reserve a spot today

Class size is limited. Students can start anytime.

(616) 464-3682

registration@careballet.org

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.

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.

Mikey Winslow

Mikey Winslow grew up dancing with CARE. He graduated from East Grand Rapids High School and went on to receive a BFA from Western Michigan University. He has been performing on Broadway for over a decade. His credits include West Side Story, American Idiot, Wicked, On The Town, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Hamilton! He is so very excited to work with the young artists of West Michigan!!!

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.

Studio

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

registration@careballet.org

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

boxoffice@careballet.org

Performance venue is barrier-free.