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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Modern Dance?

Modern Dance is an art form pioneered by American dancers Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham, among others, beginning in the early 1900s. Modern dance is a relaxed, free style of concert dance that emphasizes personal expression. The best way to learn about it is to try it!

Why choose CMDE?

Whether a student is a talented young dancer seeking strong technical preparation with the goal of gaining admission to pre-professional programs, or a non-traditional student trying a class for the first time, at CMDE they are treated with the same respect and support. Our instructors are all experienced dancers with conservatory-level training, but they also subscribe to the CMDE philosophy that “dance is for every body.” We welcome people of every age, skill, and ability level, and offer you an alternative to competition-oriented studios. Because we are a non-profit, there is no “owner” and no profit motive – so tuition and performance fees are kept as low as possible, and scholarships and work-study options are available to students of all ages who cannot afford full tuition.

What class should I take? / What class is right for my child?

We would be happy to advise you individually on class choice – just call or e-mail us with your individual questions. Also, remember that you can try any class once for free, so you are welcome to “shop around” for the best fit!

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How do I apply for a scholarship/work-study?

CMDE awards several scholarships by audition every year, including scholarships for students with talent, new dancers, and students with disabilities. These scholarships typically cover one year of tuition for one class. The scholarship auditions happen in September of every year. Check our Scholarships/Workstudy section for further details and our Upcoming Events section for audition dates/times. People needing partial tuition remission/work-study arrangements due to their financial situation should call the office at any time of year to apply. For the work/study program, there is a simple application where we ask basic income, special circumstances why you need assistance, and what you might be able to do in exchange for free or reduced tuition. The idea is to try and barter some kind of service, cleaning, event help, office work etc. CMDE is flexible and will work with you. It is extremely rare for anyone seeking assistance to be denied. We believe everyone deserves a chance to dance!

What should students wear to dance class?

Students should wear comfortable clothing that they can move in. Clothing that fits properly and enables the teacher to see the students’ body lines is better than clothing that is overly large and baggy. Dressing in layers will enable you to adjust your temperature and and remain comfortable during the class.

Modern Dance classes are done barefoot, and Hip-Hop classes are done in sneakers. CMDE’s Middle Eastern, Latin and African Dance classes are also done barefoot. Jazz can be done barefoot, or you may wear soft jazz shoes if you wish. Ballet slippers are recommended for ballet classes, but we advise students try the class in socks first before purchasing slippers. (Also, ask around before buying footwear for children – someone may have an outgrown pair they can pass on.)