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In the words of Cleo Parker Robinson:
Education takes place in the studio, on the stage, and in the spirit. We want to see our children develop strategies to make this world a better place. Dance is much more than just entertainment. It is a means to self-discovery. And whether it’s hip-hop, ballet, or modern dance, it isn’t the form, it’s the essence of the spirit that I’m after.
– Cleo Parker Robinson
The program’s partnership with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance gives students many opportunities for experiential learning, creative and scholarly research, community engagement, entrepreneurship, collaborative exchange, and diverse artistic experiences. Through this partnership, students have invaluable access to a world-class dance organization, which sets the program apart from other dance majors.
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (CPRD) is a cultural ambassador, infusing vitality, innovation and education into every community we touch — around the corner and around the globe.
Every action we perform is done with the intent to transform ourselves and others; to give a voice to the voiceless; to leave a lasting legacy of excellence and understanding.
CPRD was founded in 1970 and became a 501(c)(3) Not-for-Profit organization in 1974, continuing to build upon its dance school and ensemble origins. For five decades, we have developed into an internationally esteemed organization that operates beyond the traditional performing arts model.
There are four pillars of the organization, namely, the CPRD Ensemble, Academy, Theatre, and Education programs. Working in concert, CPRD programs have created an oasis where a varied population — by gender, race, age and ethnicity — gather to study and appreciate a modern, cross-cultural approach to creative community development. Housed in the historic A.M.E Shorter Church in Five Points, CPRD serves as a convener of community, art and dance.