BDM Studio Spotlight: Professional Center of the Arts
Published on the Black Dance Magazine website February 2013
Celebrating 25 years of dance, the students and staff at the Professional Center of the Arts, prove that there is more to dance than just putting on costumes and performing on stage.
With over 90 percent of enrolled students attending Title 1, specialized performing arts schools, PCA prides itself on providing professional dance training while instilling the importance of etiquette, education and culture into their students.
“One of the missions behind the school is that we are committed to being professional,” said PCA Founder and Artistic Director, Melissa Vaughn. She said she felt a need for a professional center, outside of Manhattan, where students can display and enhance their talents.
Based in the heart of the Bedstuy neighborhood in Brooklyn, PCA offers affordable, formal dance training opportunities to the youth of the community inside the borough.
With classes in Ballet, Pointe, Modern, African, Tap, and Jazz, students from ages 3 to 17 are trained and nurtured as they transform into young, professional dancers. The staff at PCA prepares students for auditions to specialized arts programs at the elementary, junior, and high school levels.
PCA also has three competitive dance teams: Vision I, Vision II, and Vision III; students who participate in the dance teams travel across the country touring, competing and performing.
“It would be hard for anyone not to fit in once they got past a year at PCA,” said Lauren Anderson, a current Intermediate II and Junior Class ballet teacher. As a former student at PCA, Anderson experienced firsthand the family-oriented environment at PCA. Many of the current staff members were once PCA students.
Vaughn says that PCA is a family-friendly environment. Annual fundraisers, that include performances and family contests, bring the parents into the classroom in an upscale manner, Vaughn said.
“It’s never just a recital at PCA,” said Vaughn. Through annual productions, complete with themed dances and elaborate costumes, the students are exposed to the discipline and behavior of a professional dance theater company, Vaughn said.
By maintaining a commitment to professionalism, Vaughn says that PCA provides students with a smooth transition into the professional dance world.
In addition to promoting dance, Vaughn says that PCA’s mission places a heavy emphasis on the importance of education.
“Education and dance can walk hand in hand,” said Vaughn. Vaughn is a prime example of the benefits of attending college and pursuing an artistic dream of becoming a dancer. She is currently the principal of a performing arts middle/high school in New York City, and the artistic director of PCA.
Want More to learn more about PCA?
Be sure to check the website www.PCAcenter.org for the class schedule, 2013 summer intensive schedule, and for deals on fall registration.