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How CCD has helped me flourish during my first year of college

 In Dance Training

Submitted by Gillian Beauchamp, freshman BFA Dance major at the University of Arizona

I started dancing at CCD when I was 3 years old. From a young age, I was provided with guidance to learn proper studio etiquette and dance technique. I was taught to always raise my hand before I spoke, to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ when appropriate, to never sit down in class, to not be too loud in the hallways, and to come to class in the proper attire with my hair slicked back into a bun, absolutely ready to work. I was taught to elongate my spine, to stabilize my pelvis by feeling lifted in the front of the hips and rotating using my deep six external rotators, to hold my arms from my back, and to roll through every part of my foot when coming down off of pointe. I took these things for granted, really. I didn’t understand their deep importance in my training until I got to college, and I quickly realized how what I consider to be ‘CCD Basic Training’ could be my greatest asset.

Through my years at CCD, the things I was taught from such a young age became second nature to me. And I didn’t know it then, but looking back, that’s what has allowed me to flourish in my dance career beyond CCD. I am currently a freshman BFA Dance major at the University of Arizona, and I can say with absolute certainty, without the training and experiences CCD provided, I would not be where I am today.

Not only has CCD taught me important etiquette, but the dance training and classes they provided over the last 16 years was exquisite. The large variety of classes CCD offered allowed me to become such a versatile dancer, while maintaining a strong emphasis on ballet technique. The dance world has become incredibly diverse over the last couple of decades, so having such well-rounded training helps me feel confident that I will have many options in the future when starting my professional career.

I believe the most important thing CCD has taught me, that has helped me grow and thrive in my dance career, is the emphasis on correct body placement and technique in not just ballet, but also jazz and modern. Not only has this helped me feel confident as a dancer, but it has also allowed me to take more advanced classes, where I have the opportunity to dance with upperclassmen and be pushed outside of my comfort zone. By already having such an amazing foundation of technique, I have become more confident in my dancing, and my college professors notice the difference in my training!

I have always had big hopes and dreams for my dance career, some of which I may not be able to attain for a few years, but I know that because of my past and future guidance from my teachers and peers at CCD, I will be able to achieve anything I dream of. And having the confidence to say that, just says how incredible CCD really is.

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