CCBC Dance Company Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Gina Owenby

Images: Amy Jones

Fifty years. Five decades. Half a century. Originally known as Dimensional Dance Media, the CCBC Dance Company has had a remarkable journey. In 2024 they will celebrate their “golden anniversary” highlighting fifty years of art, expression, teamwork, accomplishments, and Dance!

One woman, Carole Drake Cascio, started it all back in 1974. To honor her inspiration and dedication, the Carole Drake Cascio Dance Scholarship was established to award an active member of the CCBC Dance Company. Her legacy is apparent when you hear from the students, staff, and alumni of the company. Throughout half a century they have developed a tight-knit community of dancers, all who have been greatly impacted by the sense of acceptance and discipline that far exceeds dance itself.

“My first day at CCBC was a revelation. Stepping into the studio, I immediately felt at home,” Anastasia McKenzie, a former Student Dancer  said. “The welcoming atmosphere, challenging dance classes, and abundant performance opportunities surpassed my expectations, even as a freshman. Working with guest artists and performing multiple times energized me. The sense of community at CCBC was unparalleled…I discovered the true meaning of community—a supportive, nurturing space where success, kindness, and positivity thrive…In recent months, I've had the opportunity to join the Carol Drake Cascio Foundation, serve as a rehearsal director for Peter Pucci, and mentor students. These experiences reaffirm the invaluable impact of CCBC on my life and career.”

The CCBC Dance Company will celebrate its 50th anniversary season with a Spring Dance Concert, May 2-4 featuring new works by guest artists Alvin Mayes and Peter Pucci and new work from the dance faculty. The concert will also feature the restaging of “A Slip of the Tongue” by former Artistic Director of Dimensional Dance Media, Leslie Tinios.

“The company exists for the student experience,” said Artistic Director Melinda Blomquist. Choreographers are able to come up with their own ideas as it is very open in style. Though dance styles are mostly modern or contemporary based, they have also had pieces that have included styles such as ballet, jazz, tap, and hip hop, giving students a variety of experiences. Auditions are held each semester on the first Friday of class.

The CCBC Dance Company has a guest artist residency each semester. You can see any of their mainstage performances in the Fall and Spring. They are also involved in community outreach, providing performances, masterclasses, and demonstrations to local schools. The company also participates in the American College Dance Association Conferences, giving students the chance to take masterclasses with various dance artists and perform in concerts.

“One of the highlights for me has been the chance to participate in the American College Dance Association (ACDA) events,” said Student Dancer Sarah Harris. “I've had the privilege of traveling there twice and performing in their adjudication concerts, which was a remarkable experience.”

In addition to founding the CCBC Dance Company, Cascio also founded the dance program at CCBC. The CCBC Dance Program was officially recognized and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) in 2018, allowing the program to offer nationally accredited degrees in dance. The CCBC Dance Program is the only one in Maryland to offer an Associate of Fine Arts degree, and only one of three community college programs in the country to be nationally accredited by NASD.

“I believe that my impact has come primarily from the dance company. Being a part of this group means you must meet high standards, but also have support from nurturing and passionate choreographers,” said Student Dancer Naomi Muthama. “You will thrive in an environment with other dancers and collaborate with one another when necessary.”

When asked if she had anything she would like to say about the CCBC Dance Company, Artistic Director Melinda Blomquist said it best, “We’re amazing!”

Here’s to the next fifty years plus as the CCBC Dance Company plans to keep thriving, creating, and celebrating the beauty, love, and art of dance.

For more information on the CCBC Dance Company visit:

CCBC Dance Company Website.

1 comment

  1. Kyle Goehner 19 March, 2024 at 08:15 Reply

    What a great article going through the history of the CCBC Dance Company – thanks for highlighting and sharing this important part of CCBC. I’ve worked here for fifteen years and learned so much reading your reporting! Thanks.

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