The event, which took place Friday and Saturday, showcases the talents of the dancers by allowing them choreograph their own routines with the help of the teachings of the dance class, which is modeled after a college-level class.
"This class develops the whole dancer artistically, physically and enhances critical thinking," said Special Dance instructor and artistic director, Kandice Point-Du-Jour. "Students learn the elements of choreography and learn how to manipulate movement. In class we discuss, critique and reflect. It’s similar to writing a paper and revising it over time."
Performers have gone on to become dance instructors, perform on cruise lines and former student Daisy Hobbs is currently performing in "Aladdin" on Broadway.
The Company's biggest performance is its annual show in May, but students perform year-round at places such as NJ Performing Arts Center, Two River Theater, Essex County Metro West Dance Festival, Teen Arts Festival, National High School Dance Festival and NJ High School Dance Festival. The class also participates in field trips and master classes.
Participants in the class said that the class serves as a place for bonding and grants them skills that can be used for a lifetime.
"Out of all the activities my parents had me try it was the only one that truly stuck and
resonated with me. At first, it was definitely intimidating. The
dancers in the company are all so extraordinarily talented," Captain Brett Ascher said. "However, Special
Dance has given me experiences and opportunities that no other company ever
possibly could. We are such a tight-knit group, so in addition to technique and
choreography skills, I have gained a second family."