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.
The athletic style of CORE pushes the limits of the human body, and uses the beauty and power of dance to convey to the audience aspects of our shared human qualities.
CORE's audience and reach has grown annually since its inception. We have fostered relationships with other arts organizations, notably the Crocker Art Museum, and enjoy performing at different museum functions. We have cultivated a strong fan-base, particularly among the youth in the region, and annual shows like 'The Doorway' are performances that everyone looks forward to seeing. Audience members frequently express how CORE shows have specifically affected their lives, inspiring joy, reflection, and sometimes sorrow or loss.
We have an extensive master class and workshop program, with participation of high schools and dance studios throughout the greater Sacramento region (Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, Butte, El Dorado counties). The workshops are taught after school or on the weekends by the Artistic Director and/or CORE dancers at the location of the participating studio or school.
The workshop program furthers our exempt purpose by emphasizing dance education in a variety of techniques as well as encouraging the individual creativity and expression of the participants. By holding workshops in high schools that don't have structured dance programs, CORE can expose youth to dance as a creative outlet and can show them that everyone can dance. CORE believes that everyone has an artistic voice and should be able to explore and develop his or her creativity in a supportive, non-judgmental environment. To see students who have never danced before almost explode with emotion when they are given permission and freedom to express themselves is so rewarding to the CORE dancers that teach these workshops.
Recognizing how transformative and powerful dance can be to students, Adaptive Dance provides an opportunity to special needs students who may not otherwise be able to participate in traditional dance classes to feel the joy of dance. By offering a free dance class one-hour a week to special needs students and their siblings (who often are typically-functioning), we can provide the families an activity where the children can succeed together in their own ways. By using creative movement, sensory stimulation, and movement mimicry, the class can build upon in-home therapies to increase coordination and physical abilities in a supportive, fun, and social environment.
Parents and caretakers of the children attending the adaptive dance class frequently tell us how much their children look forward to the class, and what a nice opportunity it is for them to be able to participate in activities with their siblings. One student who has been coming to the adaptive dance class for almost a year had never spoken to anyone. Just a few months ago, she finally said a few words to the company dancer who had been working with her in class on a weekly basis. This meant so much to the dancer/teacher that the student felt comfortable and confident enough to reach out to her!
CORE auditions regional youth dancers for apprentices and guest performers for the October performance of 'The Doorway'. These dancers train, learn choreography, and perform with CORE.
1. From the father of one of CORE's 2013 apprentices to Director Kelli Leighton: "Two years ago, I did not see a path that Hannah was going to be able to follow. It made my heart ache, looking ahead and not seeing a way for her to keep after her dreams on the same level she had. Then we met you and CORE, and overnight everything changed. Things had just been so negative around her, that my sweet hard working little girl with boundless energy and a smile on her face was not easy to find. This time with you and CORE, I have my Hannah back! You have no idea what you and CORE have meant to Hannah."
2. We provide free training in ballet and contemporary to all apprentices for the 4 months leading up to the performance, in addition to the exceptional performance opportunity to dance with the company. This gives young dancers professional training that they may not otherwise be able to obtain, advancing their skills for whatever future in dance they wish to pursue.
3. Since 'The Doorway' is a Sacramento favorite, being an apprentice or guest in the show is something that young dancers can strive for, and many audition and perform several years in a row.
In 2016, CORE initiated Dance Club in collaboration with Mitchell Middle School in Rancho Cordova - an elective dance class included in the school day that cumulates in a performance for their peers at the end of each semester. The class is taught by two CORE company dancers each week, and supporting Dance Club is Mitchell Middle School's insightful effort to increase arts access for their students.
The program has been continued by the school administration, at the request of the participating students, and in Fall 2016, there were 52 students signed up for Dance Club.
In past years, CORE has offered discounted tickets for high school and college students. In October 2015, we were able to obtain sufficient sponsorship funding to have a student night - all 364 tickets for a single night of the performance were donated to local high schools to be able to permit students to attend a live performance free of charge. In October 2016, we were able to provide discounted tickets for over 500 students to CORE's performance at the Harris Center.
Some of CORE's most passionate audience members are the high school students, and our ability to sponsor free admission to 40-50 students from 8 local high schools was extremely well-received by both the students and their teachers. The teacher feedback was uniformly positive, and we are still in the process of collecting our student surveys. This is something we definitely want to continue to offer.