The holiday season began in November for the Concert Dance Ensemble, which performed for the first time at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair on Saturday, November 20. They were introduced by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and actor John Ratzenberger, known for his roles in the Pixar films and as Cliff in Cheers. Following the show, Miss Illinois, Mrs. Illinois, and Miss Teen Illinois joined the dancers for a photo.
The performance at the Toy and Game Show is an example of the artistic challenges that the Ensemble’s Artistic Director Melissa Sallée believes are integral to the dancers’ learning and growth as artists. “Howard Gardner, a developmental psychologist, references youth as the golden age of creativity, and if explored, would lead to lifelong benefits,” said Sallée. “In my 15 years of teaching I have been blessed to see my former students live creative, successful lives. They often attribute their confidence and ability to adapt to what life offers to their time spent in the arts.”
Following the Toy and Game Fair, the Concert Dance Ensemble performed at the Fox Valley Showcase, which took place at Metea Valley High School on Sunday, November 21. The Ensemble will perform again locally at their annual Spring Showcase in March.
Enrollment in the Ensemble has increased in 2010, prompting Sallée to create an Apprentice Company within the Ensemble, along with the existing Senior and Junior Companies, allowing greater opportunities for artistic growth and learning for the participants.
The Concert Dance Ensemble is a program of the Naperville Park District Dance Academy, which offers dance training for ages 1 ½ through adult in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, poms, and musical theatre.
Concert Dance Ensemble poses with Illinois celebrities at the Toy & Game Fair
Mayor Daley with CDE Director Melissa Sallée and Instructor Stacey Cohen
Actor John Ratzenberger with CDE Director Melissa Sallée
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