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CAAC Dance Welcomes New Director Brandie Ford

Dance classes have been held at the Opera House since 1877. The Cheboygan Area Arts Council has been conducting dance classes at the Opera House since 1986. Stay tuned or some exciting updates as we start 2021 with the new director of our Dance Department, Brandie Ford.

Brandie Ford is planning some fun dance camps for this summer. At the age of 6 years old, Brandie took her first dance class in ballet, tap, and jazz. She was hooked from the very beginning. Brandie danced competitively from 1992-2005 at conventions such as Tremaine Dance, Showstoppers, and Dance Teachers United. In 2001, Brandie also added student teaching to her dance resume. Immediately after graduating from high school, Brandie became an instructor at Harrelson Dance Studio in Grenada, Mississippi. She then became the Artistic Director at Dakmon Talent Agency in Grenada where she taught students aged 2-18 in the disciplines of ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, and hip hop.


Normal registration fee is $25 per student, not per class. Maximum registration fee per family is $100 (4 students). Special sessions such as summer dance camps may have a lower or nonapplicable registration fee. Registration fee will be listed in the class description when registering for special sessions.

Regular tuition will be charged for the entire session (not by the hour). The cost will be broken down into 10 equal monthly payments from September – June. Tuition will cover your weekly class, rehearsal days, and special community event days if applicable. CAAC will offer both a discount for dancer’s enrolled in multiple classes as well as family discounts. These discounts can both be used. Please see below:

Multi-class Discount:
Tuition for 1st class:  $500 (10 monthly payments of $50) – no discount
Tuition for 2nd class:  $450 (10 monthly payments of $45) – $50 discount
Tuition for additional classes:  $400 (10 monthly payments of $40) – $100 discount

Multi-Student Discount:
First student:  $500 (10 monthly payments of $50) – no discount
Second student:  $450 (10 monthly payments of $45) – $50 discount
Each additional:  $400 (10 monthly payments of $40) – $100 discount

Costumes are not included in the price of tuition. Costume deposits will be added to accounts in November and are due no later than January 10 to avoid late fees. Balances will be billed by April and are due before May 15. Dancers ages 3-5 will receive 2 costumes for their combination class. All other classes will receive 1 costume per class. Tights will be included with costumes.

Recital fees will also be applied per student. The price will vary from year to year depending upon the items to be received with the fee. Possible items could include recital T shirt, tickets, programs, trophies, etc

Payment Policy

Summer – Once you begin a summer program, you are committed to paying for the entire program, even if you decide to discontinue coming to classes. Summer tuition is due upon registration.

Fall – Yearly tuition is billed in 10-monthly installments (see pricing). Tuition is not set to autopay unless you request this feature. Monthly payments not received by the 10th of each month, will incur a $10 late fee and the payment method on file will be charged.

Chargeback/Check Returns – Any chargeback from a credit/debit card will be billed an additional $30 processing fee per occurrence. This is different than a declined card transaction. Any check returned to CAAC will be billed an additional $15 return check fee.

Class Information

Parents are not permitted to remain in the dance studio during classes. This is to allow full attention on the instructors. Special days will be scheduled for you to view your child’s class when available. We may be unable to plan this activity this year due to Covid concerns. You will be informed ahead of time if a Parent’s Day is planned.

Masks are not required in the Opera House at this time. 

Pickup/Drop Off:
We will keep you updated on any changes regarding this policy. Please do not bring your student into the studio space more than 5 minutes prior to class and pickup promptly at the end of class. When arriving, you may walk your child in if needed, but parents will not be permitted to stay during class. 

Class Supplies/Attire:
Please come ready for each class. Each dancer should have a bag with their needed items: shoes, water bottle, face covering, extra ponytail holders are a good idea as well. Apparel is not uniform currently. I enjoy letting the dancers express themselves through their clothing selections. Clothing should be fitted so instructors are able to see body placement. Oversized clothing is only allowed during hip hop classes. Students may wear the traditional leotard and tights, or they may opt for other items such as workout clothing, gymnastics leotards, full dance costumes, etc. Hair should be worn out of the face but is not required to be in a bun.


You may order dance shoes through CAAC at any point in time. Normally shoes arrive within 2 weeks of orders placed. However, due to global supply shortages some items are currently taking longer than usual to arrive. Dancers are welcome to acquire dance shoes through other vendors but are asked to have the selected shoes by recital for uniformity. Current shoe pricing is listed below:

3-year-olds and K4/K5:
Ballet – Advanced Split-Sole Ballet Shoe in Classic Pink ($27.90 – $31.90)
Tap – U-Shell Tap Shoe in Black ($31.90)

All other ages:
Ballet – Advanced Split-Sole Ballet Shoe in Classic Pink ($27.90 – $31.90)
Lyrical – Sole Shield in Nude ($15.90)
Tap – Jazz Tap Shoe in Black ($31.90 – $35.90)
Jazz (Females) – Grecian Sandals in Standard ($35.90 – $39.90)
Jazz (Males) – Pull on Jazz Boot in Black ($31.90 – $35.90)
Hip Hop – Hip Hop shoes will not be “uniform” at this point due to high pricing. Each dancer will need a clean pair of tennis shoes to wear for Hip Hop classes.


Release of Liability:
In consideration of my child’s enrollment in any instruction program, I understand and agree on behalf of myself and my child, to release, hold harmless and discharge Cheboygan Area Arts Council “CAAC” from all claims, costs, liabilities, expenses for judgments, including attorneys’ fees and court costs for any occurrences in connection with any dance/tumble instruction. I assume all risks to my child in connecting with any instruction and further release CAAC and its owners or employees from liability for any injury sustained by my child while he or she is enrolled in any dance instruction program, including all risks reasonable connected with such activity whether foreseen or unforeseen.

I further acknowledge that CAAC is not responsible for my child or other children who are left unsupervised in the common areas and areas that surround the dance studio and that CAAC will only be supervising my child when he or she is participating in scheduled dance activities, programs, and instructions.

I understand that CAAC is not responsible for personal property that is lost, damaged or stolen while I or my child is at or on CAAC property.

Assumption of Risk:
I understand that there are risks of physical injury associated with, arising out of, and inherent to dancing. These risks include the potential for slips and falls, sprains, strains, dislocations, soft tissue injuries, musculoskeletal injuries, podiatric conditions, and other risks not specified here.

Understanding these risks and the potential for others not listed, I agree to personally accept and assume all of the risks present in my participation at CAAC. My participation at CAAC is entirely voluntary, and I choose to participate in spite of the risks.

Dance education sometimes requires hands-on instruction as well as verbal instruction. Instructors may correct dancers by touching their arms, legs, feet, hips, back and head to move them in the correct position. I acknowledge that this is a common standard in dance instruction and understand that it is my responsibility to communicate clearly with my teacher and/or the director if any form of touch is unacceptable to me.

Media Release:
I authorize and agree that CAAC may take and use photographs, videos or likeness of myself or my child as needed for its record-keeping, advertising and/or public relations projects and that I have no rights to the same and will not be compensated for the same.

If I do NOT consent to being photographed or video recorded, I will make sure the director is aware of my concerns and the reasons for them, I will be proactive about avoiding being photographed or recorded, and I will hold CAAC harmless if a photo or video recording of me is released despite all precautions. I understand that this choice may limit my participation in performances that are routinely photographed and/or videotaped.

Medical Emergencies:
I authorize CAAC to obtain necessary medical or dental treatment, including first aid, ambulance transport, hospitalization, or such other care necessary for my health and welfare in an emergency. If my insurance does not cover emergency treatment that is deemed necessary and sought for me by CAAC, I agree to be responsible for and pay all costs incurred on my behalf.

I release and discharge CAAC from any claim which may arise on account of any first aid, treatment, or service rendered in connection with my participation in CAAC activities or with the decision by any representative or agent of CAAC to consent to medical or dental treatment on my behalf in an emergency.

I understand that CAAC does not carry or maintain health, medical, dental, or disability insurance coverage for any participant. I agree to take responsibility for full payment of any emergency medical or dental costs related to my CAAC participation regardless of whether I have insurance coverage.