For the second time, Columbia Gorge Dance Academy will take its advanced dancers to New York City. On November 7th, 18 small-town dancers will board a red-eye flight and have the amazing opportunity to take classes from some of the most dignified dance instructors in the country!
Columbia Gorge Dance Academy is a performing arts school located on May Street in Hood River, Oregon. It began as Mid-Columbia Dance Arts in 1975, offering very few dance classes to very few dancers. In 1988 it changed to The Workout. Finally it was bought by Susan Sorenson in 1999 and became the Columbia Gorge Dance Academy that it is today. “Buying the studio was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.” says Sorenson. Ever since, teachers at CGDA have offered professional dance instruction to students of all ages and ability levels. Dancers come from all over the valley to receive strong and technical training in various classes including ballet, jazz, modern, hip-hop, contemporary, and tap.
CGDA has always encouraged its dancers to attend summer camps at other studios to broaden their knowledge and experience with dance. In 2011, CGDA took 7 of its advanced dancers to New York City to expose them to new styles of dance and prestigious, professional training. Ansley Bricker reminisced about her trip by saying “Going to New York City with my studio was eye-opening. It was really amazing to see how intense dance is in an incredible city like New York. After the trip, I was really motivated to work harder in dance.”
The 2011 trip was so successful that Sorenson along with other CGDA teachers including Theresa Mason, Nancy Clement, and Heather Wright have decided to go again this fall. Originally, the trip was only open to the CGDA company dancers (Anneke Virk, Megumi Hosaka, Taylor Simonds, Hannah Simons, Emmalyse Brownlee, Alexa Lindley, Ruby Geunther, Madi Wofford, and Maddie Wood) but the CGDA staff later decided to open the opportunity to all advanced dancers. CGDA dancers and teachers will attend dance classes at the Broadway Dance Center as well as Steps on Broadway. They will also tour the Radio City Music Hall and watch three Broadway shows. “I’m so excited for our New York trip!” Says Megumi Hosaka, CGDA company member, “I can’t wait to take classes from, and dance alongside some of the dancers I have admired my whole life.”
In order to go on this trip, Company dancers, as well as others, have been fundraising since last spring. Company dancers have performed for donations, hosted a silent and live auction, and had birthday parties for young dancers to raise money for the trip. Dancers will continue to fundraise and get excited until the plane takes off on November 7th!