The Wiz was amazing! The cast, the crew, the producing, the choreography, the vocals, the staging, the costumes, everything was over the top! Thank you so much for all of your hard work in putting such a fabulous show together. Thank you for making even my little perfomer feel so important and so proud to be part of something so grand. We had an amazing journey.-Lauren and David, Springfield Parents
My daughter Catherine has been to 3 different studios since beginning her dance/performing "career", and F&C is truly her niche! She looks forward to classes every week and wants more and more! I can't say enough great things about how caring and nurturing all of the staff are! We are so glad we have landed here! It is where Catherine is meant to be- she truly shines because of all the greatness that goes on here!-Christine, Union Mom
Renee Palermo is CAP21's September 2011 Featured Alumi!
What have you been up to since you finished training at CAP21?
After I graduated from CAP, I did the NYC actor/auditioning thing for about seven years. I was very fortunate to work on national tours and at many wonderful regional theatres right out of school. During that time I also taught dance (my minor was in Dance Education). I even taught in CAP 21's summer program. Right after I got married, I began commuting to NJ to teach at the studio that I now own and run as the Artistic Director. Over the past 9 years, with great collaborators, I have built up a very solid program that teaches all forms of dance, as well as acting and voice to children ages 2-18. We have amazingly talented teachers, most of who commute from the city, to work with our students. We train not only recreational kids, but also kids who are looking to pursue Musical Theatre as a career. My "Company Kids" as we refer to them are on a set curriculum that I designed based on the core classes I was given as a freshman at CAP 21. I aim to help children become "actors who sing and dance" as I was taught to be at CAP 21. I have also written a young children's Musical Theatre Curriculum called Leap 'N Learn© for Musical Theatre. As of last summer, that book is being sold to studio owners and those who teach higher education all over the world. Read Full Article
-CAP21, September 2011
As Front & Center is celebrating their 10th year, I'm very happy to say that we've been a part of the family for each of those years. My daughter started with one class a week and is now fully immersed in the complete curriculum - Dance company and Performing Arts company. F & C is truly her home away from home! As it became clear that my daughter loved every minute of the classes and rehearsals, I realized how lucky she was to be studying at such a special place. The Directors, Renee and Page, consistently put the students and what is best for them, at the top of their priorities - not just as performers, but as people. The faculty is top notch - gifted and knowledgeable teachers who truly want to TEACH and who care about the development of their students. Many of the faculty are NYC professionals that WANT to be with the F & C students. Whether your child wants to have fun once a week or have fun every day, working hard on their craft, this is the place to be. I know that my daughter is the person she is today, partly because of all of the incredible lessons she has learned at Front & Center...as a dancer/singer/actress and as a person. Thank you!!-Leah Brandon, Director New York City Dance Alliance and OnStage NY and South Orange Mom! (www.nycdance.com)
Our son has been attending Front & Center since he was 4 years old. Six year end shows, 2 mid year productions, and countless studio hours honing his "triple threat" craft -- What a long way he's come with the help of F&C's talented and dedicated instructors and staff. We're as proud to be a part of the F&C family as we are that they are a part of ours!-Jodi & Scott, Springfield Parents
Our 2 boys attend Front & Center and we've been amazed at how quickly they've grown and developed as performers, particularly as dancers. The studio and staff are warm and welcoming but also provide professional training geared to each child's abilities. There are so many class options that every child and family can find something that suits them -- whether that's one class or a whole spectrum of them. HIGHLY recommended!-Jessica A, Summit Mom
My daughter has learned more than how to dance, sing and act. She has gained self-confidence and self-assurance. My daughter spends at least 16 hours a week at Front & Center and would sleep there if she could. One of the thing that struck me as being someplace outstanding compared to others is the way the kids treat the other kids. The older kids mentor the younger ones and the younger ones mentor the little ones. Its a family. Pure and simple.-Cindy B, Maplewood Mom
Renee and Page have created a positive environment of encouragement and acceptance. By hiring some of the most amazingly talented teachers, the students are given the opportunities to excel, whether it be in dance, acting and/or singing. From the introductory classes for the younger students, to the leveled classes for the more serious student to the teen classes for those older students who love to dance and perform but may not have the time to commit to Front & Center's performing arts companies and/or dance companies, there is truly a perfect class for everyone. But most importantly, the friendships that are formed among the students and the caring staff make Front & Center a home away from home for my kids, a safe place for them to practice what they love. Whether your child takes one class or 10 classes, they are sure to make some wonderful friends and find a second home at Front & Center.-Valerie, New Providence Mom
I have been at the studio for 4 years, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I only wish I had started earlier. Originally, I was just a singer and I came to get a little dance training because I wanted to do musical theater. I thought it would be good to have a bit of dance ability. I never expected how much I would love it or how much I would progress in my dancing, as well as my acting and vocal abilities All the teachers are phenomenal. They really know how to make someone the best they can be, but they do it in a caring way. Most importantly, its FUN! I always look forward to my time at the studio.
There are a variety of classes including Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, Hip Hop, Acting, Voice, and Musical Theater. No matter what class or classes you take, you are sure to have fun and learn a lot. It really is a family here. The friendships I have made in my classes and just hanging around the studio will last for the rest of my life. Also, Page and Renee are always there for someone when they need to talk about something serious or needs a laugh. Renee is an expert in the performing arts, and it is amazing to work with her and listen to what she has to say about the business. She is a brilliant director and really cares about each of us. She does everything she can to challenge everyone at the studio, and is really fun! Page is like a second mom to every single person at F&C . Her door is always open to talk and she is probably the funniest person I have met in my life.
A great program they have at F&C which adds to the family-like experience is the Assisting Program in which an older student at the studio is placed into a younger kids' class with a great teacher as an Assistant Teacher. This not only bridges the gap between the little kids and adult teachers, but it develops a bond between the older kids and younger kids at the studio. All these things, as well as many more, bring everyone at the studio together to form an accepting, loving, and nurturing family. At F&C, there are classes in voice and acting, as well as dance That is different than a lot of other studios, where the focus is almost entirely dance. This is one reason as to why there are numerous boys, like myself, at Front and Center; the idea that it is NOT just a bunch of girls prancing around in tutus, but acting, singing, and dancing, makes it a lot more appealing. You can start off with taking an acting or musical theater class, and then try some dance classes. Trust me, you're missing out if you don't try at least one.
At first I was afraid it would be too "girly," like a lot of boys do, especially Ballet, but now I absolutely LOVE IT! There are a lot of boys around the studio, which also makes it better when you're starting out because you see the other guys doing it, so you think that if they can do it, you can do it. I love everything about F&C and highly recommend it. Trust me, it'll be worth it if you try a class.
"Front & Center is such a wonderful school. The response I received when voicing my concern made me feel like you all genuinely listen to parents. What a wonderful feeling that is! It exemplifies what an outstanding place it is! Thank you again!"-Jennifer, South Orange Mom
"I just want to thank you for teaching my daughter this year. This was her first experience in a dance program and she enjoyed herself a great deal. She has always been a reluctant performer, yet by the year-end show she was quite comfortable doing the routine she was taught. My wife and I would constantly catch her practicing her moves at home. And the smile on her face during the year-end show was priceless. She clearly loved the experience. Lastly, I just want to compliment everyone at Front & Center for running such a terrific program. The organization and professionalism displayed throughout the year was top-notch. And best of all, you made it fun for my daughter. Thank you so much!"-Bob H, Union Dad
"Our daughter began dancing lessons 2 years ago when she was 2.5 years old. Broadway Babes was an excellent class that introduced her to dancing, singing and acting in a completely fun, playful, and stress free environment. Last year she participated in the dance combo class, which introduced her to some basic tap and ballet steps. The staff and teachers are not only amazingly talented in their own right but are able to connect and create such a loving and caring bond with her. She looks forward to going to her class each week and has developed an amazing love for dance due to all the fun she has. We love Front & Center"-Jenn B, South Orange Mom
"During our seven years as a Front & Center family, the studio has developed an amazing repertoire of classes and teachers. Whether your child is interested in dance, musical theater, acting, or singing, F&C offers a wide variety of top-notch classes for students of all abilities.
In an environment that manages to be both professional and fun, both of my daughters have found a home away from home at F&C. For my eldest, who is passionate about the performing arts, F&C's dance and performing arts companies have provided a fabulous training ground. With five levels of classes, and teachers who are professional performers and choreographers, F&C's program is like no other in our area when it comes to developing triple threat performers.
For my younger daughter, who loves to dance, act, and sing but isn't interested in the level of commitment that the performing arts companies require, F&C offers a wide variety of classes that allow her to feed her appetite for the performing arts, while still leaving time for other activities.
And we all appreciate the positive environment that F&C creates as well as the strong sense of camaraderie and pride that is so evident among its students."-Cecelia C, Maplewood Mom
"Abigail had a wonderful time at Front and Center this year. She loved attending class every week. You have created something really special at Front and Center. The entire staff is incredibly helpful and encouraging. The teachers are top notch and the student teachers are wonderful role models for the younger ones. Abigail is not only learning to perform, but the classes are building her confidence, she's becoming more focused and she's having fun doing something she absolutely loves. Mia can't wait to take classes this year at a real dance studio. And I can't forget to mention how fabulous the year end show was, what an amazing production! We look forward to our girls Growing Up at Front and Center. Thank You!"-Amanda & Doug G, Mountainside Parents
"Our daughter has had a great experience going on 5 years at Front & Center. The teachers are great. The staff is great. She's made wonderful friends and has found a home away from home where she can grow as a performer for years to come."-Brad S, Maplewood Dad
"One of the things I will miss most about our time in Jersey is Front and Center. I feel like our kids have grown up there. Your willingness to work with our daughter's situation was very impactful on me. Those building blocks of being a 'normal' kid as a toddler will resonate into the future, and hopefully fill her with a sense of fabulous confidence. Again, thank you for the wonderful opportunity you have given our family to be exposed to the arts."-Sara O, former NJ parent
"F&C is amazing in nurturing talent. Not only has my 9yr old daughter loved being a part of the F&C family for over 5 years, but she is growing beautifully as a dancer and a person. Never had one complaint to get ready for class. It's a wonderful environment and the talent and staff are getting better each year."-Leslie H, Short Hills Mom
"Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication towards making dancing and performing a fun experience for our daughter. She had such a great time at FNC this year and the year end revue was amazing! Of course we were filled with pride watching her on stage but we were also completely entertained watching the entire show. Thank you for a great show and a wonderful year!"-Jennifer and Peter K., Union Parents
"Thank you for a great year at FNC. It is such a pleasure to be a part of the FNC family where everyone is always so helpful, respectful, and friendly. I always look forward to my Tuesday nights. I am looking forward to next Fall!"-Jeff, FNC Teacher
"Our 2 ½ year old daughter started this year in the Broadway Babes class with the expectation that our daughter would maybe learn a few steps a song or two. But our main goal was to have her participate in an activity that was safe, and educational. But also encouraged our child to explore creativity through acting, song and dance. Can I say that Front & Center surpassed all of our expectations! Our daughter was learning more than a few steps, she was learning ballet terminology. She would perform crazy tongue twisters that were used as vocal exercises, and new fun songs all the time. Every morning during the week she would wake up and ask if it were Saturday. We are so pleased with the growth she has achieved. The Front & Center staff is very professional and nurturing. Kids who started off shy in the beginning were shining on stage during the year end review. It was spectacular! We will continue to enroll our daughter at Front & Center and look forward to participating in her development in the arts."-Timothy & David, Weehawken Parents
"Standing Ovation for 'Thoroughly Modern Millie'"
Talented and professional youths perform from the Front & Center Performing Arts Center - A must see.
And well deserved it was. This weekend, "Thoroughly Modern Millie" is being performed by the Front & Center Performing Arts Company at Ridge Performing Arts Center. My opinion - Buy a ticket and GO!
The very capable Senior Cast put on last night's show and will perform again today at 1:30 pm. The Junior Cast will perform tonight at 7:30 pm and again tomorrow for the 1:30 matinee. Having seen the Junior Cast rehearse the other day, there is no doubt their performance will be equally as good.
Tickets can be purchased at the door for $25 (orchestra seating) or $10.
Kudos to Director Renee Palermo and her production staff. "Millie" is a BIG show with 22 musical numbers, lots of choreography and numerous set changes. Last night's show moved seamlessly from one number to the next; the actors comfortably handling the stage, set and each other. Either Ms. Palermo is an expert at casting or her students should be heading to Broadway any day now; these actors played their parts to a tee, neither overacting nor acting awkwardly.Read Full Article -Basking Ridge Patch Review of Thoroughly Modern Millie, January 2010