CORE Contemporary Dance

CORE Contemporary Dance is a professional contemporary dance company based in the Sacramento region. The artistic vision of CORE is to express ideas, emotions, and responses to our audience in a manner that will both enrich and entertain. The purpose of CORE is to engage, entertain, educate, and promote the expression of our human experiences through movement.

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Address: 1809 S St. Suite 101-123
Sacramento, CA 95811
County or Parish: Sacramento
Primary NTEE: Arts,Culture & Humanities 
Sub NTEE: Performing Arts 
Executive Director: Marguerite Knipe
Contact Email:
Primary Phone: 530-618-2673
Artistic Director Kelli Leighton founded CORE in 2007 with a small group of dancers tired of "going through the steps" of choreography who wanted to create dance works in which both dancers and audience members are emotionally invested. Ms. Leighton's dance training never encouraged finding her own individual artistry and expression in dance. The feeling of being a "robotic" but technically excellent dancer was unfulfilling, and Ms. Leighton's goal as a director, choreographer, and dance educator is to develop and inspire the passion in each individual dancer, in addition to developing technique. This commitment and passion comes across very clearly to the audience, who always feels something at a CORE performance: joy, pain, triumph, desperation, or inspired by new possibilities. CORE is strongly committed to inspiring the passion of expression in the Sacramento youth through workshop participation and exposure to live performances. CORE encourages students to take the chance to express their own unique creativity and artistic voice in a non-judgmental environment. It is powerful how emotional some students get when given permission to release expectations and limitations and they can just express themselves in their own movement.
1. CORE's most pressing need is to be able to provide regular salaries to the dancers and artistic director. In order to attract and retain talented dancers, CORE needs to be able to compensate artists for their time.
2. As we work to pay our artistic staff regularly, we need to either develop funding to permit us to hire part-time administrative staff, or develop a network of specialized volunteers to help us with fundraising planning, program management and evaluation, marketing plans, performance bookings, and other management aspects of the company. CORE is becoming large enough to likely need an executive director to facilitate the management of the company.
3. Board development - At this point, most administrative/organizational tasks are completed by board members, and although important and much appreciated (!), takes board members' time away from
Our top needs:
  1. Funding: Program - Funding for Artistic Director and Dancer compensation
  2. Funding: Other - Funding for administrative staff
  3. Board Members - Board development/recruitment and expansion
  4. Funding: Program - Production Support/Funding
  5. Funding: Program - Funding for workshop and outreach instructors
CORE Contemporary Dance has unique place in our regional dance community. The passionate choreography and dancing inspires everyone who sees it, which is our goal! We often use the words 'feel something' in our promotional material, and this applies to not just the audience, but the dancers - inspired to share themselves and their emotions on stage - and students in workshops and CORE's classes - feeling free and supported to express themselves through dance. CORE frequently receives emails and anecdotes from people who have never seen a dance performance before saying how moved or delighted they were by CORE's shows. Our common human experiences inspire the choreography, making dance approachable and enjoyable for the audience instead of esoteric and superior. Audience members can enjoy the performances on many different levels - from pure visual entertainment to reaching inside themselves to explore aspects of their own lives that are touched by what they see. CORE is humbled by the responses to our shows: children who dream of dancing in the company and adults who share with us how much our creative work means to them. We have a very loyal following in Sacramento, and we look forward to seeing our 'regular' audience members, students, and apprentices or guest performers year after year. We always strive to respect and deserve their loyalty by providing the highest quality performances and instruction. If you haven't seen a CORE show yet, come and feel something with us!
Kelli Leighton
Artistic Director/Founder
CORE Contemporary Dance