The Joy of Dance!

CARE Ballet & CCB is committed to
delivering a total dancer experience!

Fairy Tales Story Time Video

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

Audition Open Call

We are seeking dancers for our 2021-22 performance season!

Dance this Spring & Summer

Check out our latest camps and 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.

NEW FOR 2020-21 PERFORMANCE SEASON

LEARN TO DANCE TO THE CAMERA!

CARE launches video production as a safe performance venue for all students. 

A unique experience is unfolding for CARE Conservatory students. Both auditions and performing will be conducted via video which now affords students the chance to learn specific skills to dance to the camera! A brand new skill set added to their dance training. 

Short ballets, in full makeup and costumes, will include educational modules regarding the stories told through ballet and miming. Opportunities for CARE Conservatory students to take part in on-camera spots will also be provided.

Come be a part of this new adventure! Register for classes today to ensure an audition spot for “CARE VIDEO BALLET”

Class size is limited. Students can start anytime.

(616) 464-3682

registration@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

Jaci Hartman

Dan Hielkema

Dawn Hodgkinson

Anne King

Penny Notter

Trent Wadsworth

Jenelle Wakefield

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. 

Ballet Auditions for 2021–22 Season

May 21 & 22, 2021

CARE Ballet is offering open auditions at CARE Conservatory of Ballet. As always we seek dedicated dancers of all levels. 

 

CARE Ballet’s 2021-22 performance season to be announced shortly.

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.

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.

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.

Students can start anytime during the season.

2nd 10-Week Session

January 11, 2021 – March 19, 2021

3rd 10-Week Session

March 22, 2021 – June 4, 2021
(No classes April 2, 2021 – April 9, 2021)

2020-21 School Year Class Schedule

Our Spring schedule is now available. Download PDF below. Masks are required for all in-person classes.

2021-2022 Fall 1st 10-week Session begins Monday, September 13

Full schedule to come soon

Download Current Spring 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

2021 Spring and Summer Programs

Fairy Tale Preschool Camp

Saturday, May 15

9am-12pm

Ages 3-6

Call (616) 464-3682 to reserve a spot

Class size is limited

Under the Sea Camp

June 22–24, 2021

9:30AM – 11:45AM

Princess & Knight Camp

July 20–22, 2021

9:30AM – 11:45AM

Call (616) 464-3682 to reserve a spot

Class size is limited

Summer 7 Wednesdays of Dance at CARE Ballet

2021 Schedule

June 16, 23, 30; July 14, 21 & 28; August 4. Ages 6 and up.

9:00-10:30am Ballet 3/Ballet 4/Teen Ballet

9:45-10:45am Beginning Ballet

10:30-11:15am  Beginning Pointe

11:00-12:00pm Young Jazz

11:30-12:30pm Yoga

1:00-2:30pm Intermediate/Advance Ballet

2:30-3:30pm Advanced Pointe

CARE Camp 2021

Summer Intensive August 9–13

CARE Camp is a 5-day dance intensive of diversified classes including ballet, jazz, musical theatre, acting, lyrical, Aqua Zumba, drumming & more! Don’t miss this fantastic week! Classes will be divided up by age group: 6-8 years, 9-12 years, and 13 and up.

Call (616) 464-3682 to reserve a spot

Class size is limited

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.