A Magazine About Food, Art & Exchange In Midtown Kingston, Published By The Hudson Valley Current.

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: CENTER FOR CREATIVE EDUCATION

Come on out and dance. Or act. Or beat the drum. It’s all right here in Midtown, extremely affordable, welcoming to all, and the kids will love it too.

The Center for Creative Education is all about finding and living your possibilities—and expanding them by nurturing your mind and body until those possibilities open up wider and brighter than you ever dreamed. That’s been the idea ever since the organization was first founded in Marbletown back in 1989. Now that it’s found an ideal home in RUPCO’s Energy Square building on Cedar Street, programming has exploded—driven by community needs and wants—into a celebratory center of fun for all ages.

“We just collaborate with everyone and try to do what people are asking for,” says Meredith Robb, Director of Administration and Media Management and a dance instructor, who began as a volunteer back in 2002. Robb’s daughter, Gabriella, first got involved through a dance program run by Executive Director Bryant “Drew” Andrews at Edison Elementary, traveled internationally with the organization’s award-winning Energy Dance Company, and became an instructor herself before heading off to college.

Doing what people are asking for has led the Center to offer a diverse buffet of delectable, healthy stuff for everyone. Classes are an affordable $15 a pop, and no one is turned away for inability to pay. Dance choices include Hip Hop for kids and teens, Lyrical, Youth and Adult Tap & Jazz,  Katherine Dunham Jazz Technique, Soul Line Dance, Tippy Toes Ballet, Beginner Ballet, and more. 

There’s no big commitment—most classes are open to drop-ins—and things are kept super community-friendly in every possible way. Individuals, families and groups can also sign up for Unlimited memberships and have access to all of it—and the dancing’s just part of the picture. Programs include music, fitness, theater, spoken word, computer arts technology and the visual arts.

“We’ve been running a women’s group called Spice, where we talk about everything—nutrition, financial wellness, all kinds of life wisdom—and we have free childcare during that, so people can relax, enjoy and concentrate,” says Robb. “We’ve got members from four different continents, and I love the bonding that happens. We meet twice a week; it’s open to all, and we’re always looking for interesting presenters, too. Come tell us what you want to learn!”

Saturday morning DFX (Dance Cross Fitness) classes for adults is timed to coincide with kids’ dance classes; there’s a Lil Learners Preschool for kids aged 3-5 and an afterschool program in which kids aged 5-12 come together to explore reading, crafts, writing, tech, games and outdoor play. CCE also offers programs in Kingston’s public schools.

The Center is a Hudson Valley Current member, and Robb says they’ve successfully used our local currency for facility rentals and for its Havana Night Gala (one of a series of community celebrations that the organization hosts; these folks are just all about good times.) “We love the idea, we just wish it were more widely used,” she says. “It would be nice if we had more places to use Currents, but they’re useful in certain situations, and we support the idea whenever we get a chance.”

It’s all about building a community-wide legacy of personal strength, confidence, integrity, intelligence, community support and creative collaborations for all of us. Find out more at CCE4me.org and/or drop in for a class to get a taste of the sweet, sweet energy happening at the E2 building.

Drumming at an autumn Bomba y Plena dance class.