West Alabama’s Not-for-Profit Dance Company Since 1971
Mission: “To stimulate, promote and develop interest in the art of dance.”
Tuscaloosa Community Dancers Profile June 8, 1971, Phoebe Barr, Inge McClenny, Martha Jamison and Lou Wall formed The Tuscaloosa Community Dancers, Inc. The Articles of Incorporation were amended on July 8, 1988 and recognized as being a non profit organization, tax exempt according to the Internal Revenue Code section 501 (c) (3), also as a public charity under section 509 (a)(2) and that contributions to the organization are deductible under section 170 of the Code and that TCD is qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under section 2055, 2106 or 2522 of the Internal Revenue Code. TCD’s mission is “To stimulate, promote and develop interest in the art of dance.” TCD strives to carry out our mission through performance, education, master classes, and outreach. For over 40 years, TCD has established a history of excellent performances; most notably it’s annual production of the holiday favorite, The Nutcracker. TCD’s The Nutcracker has grown from a condensed version in the early 70’s to the complete full length version since 1978, a holiday favorite West Alabama has come to know and love.
Cultural Partnerships Over the years, Tuscaloosa Community Dancers has partnered with Tuscaloosa’s major arts organizations, Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, Theatre Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa Community Singers, as well as the Arts Council to produce many favorites such as Amahl and the Night Visitors, Peter and The Wolf, The Music Man, The King and I, and the full-length ballet Giselle. Tuscaloosa Community Dancers premiered original choreography by Jose Traba in their repertory show in 1996 featuring Paquita, Metaphors, Spartacus Pas de Deux and Acts II & IV of the classic Swan Lake. TCD’s rich history has proven and continues to be a wonderful training ground for dancers pursuing a college dance program or a career in a professional dance company. TCD continues to provide exceptional instruction through Master Classes and workshops taught by experienced professionals.
Grant History TCD has been the recipient of several grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, which is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. Tuscaloosa Community Dancers was awarded a three year Program Development grant in 2006. These monies were used to take TCD from a mostly volunteer organization to key positions receiving some compensation. The organization did indeed grow! It was during that time that TCD changed from producing Nutcracker bi-annually to the production of Nutcracker plus a Spring Repertory Performance in addition to TCD’s participation in the Arts Council’s SPECTRA program. TCD also received Project grants from the State Arts Council to aid in the cost of its Spring Performances over the past six years. In the past TCD received Presentation grants from the State Arts Council to assist in bringing The Alabama Ballet to Tuscaloosa. Since 2009, the City of Tuscaloosa has included Tuscaloosa Community Dancers in it's agency funding. The continued support of the community is crucial to TCD’s ability to continue to provide performance opportunities to the dancers of West Alabama, providing our audience with quality dance education and performances, and to TCD’s outreach to underserved students of Tuscaloosa.
Growth of TCD & Association with Nationally Recognized Professional Artists Since 1971, TCD has depended on volunteers to direct its affairs both administratively and artistically. In 2001, in addition to its Artistic Director, a part-time Administrative Director was hired by Tuscaloosa Community Dancers to oversee the productions of TCD as well as the financial and administrative areas of the organization. In January of 2004, our Board of Directors invited each area dance studio to join our Board of Directors for quarterly meetings in order to exchange information and receive input concerning the art of dance in our community. In addition to The Nutcracker, TCD added a repertory show in March of 2005, making the first ever “Season.” Since then TCD’s Seasons have included The Nutcracker in December and a Spring Repertory Ballet in March. TCD’s Spring Performances have featured Swan Lake, ACT II, Balcony Pas de Deux from Romeo & Juliet, Paquita, Black Swan Pas de Deux, Sans Vue, Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, The Little Mermaid and Sleeping Beauty. Roger Van Fleteren, Associate Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer of Alabama Ballet, Wes Chapman, Former Artistic Director American Ballet Theatre and Kyle Sequin, Columbia University Chicago, IL, and TCD’s former Artistic Director, Rebecca Tingle, staged these works. Thomas Helms, nationally famed composer composed original musical scores for both Snow White and The Little Mermaid. Professional guest artists perform at all main stage performances and have included dancers from the Alabama Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Ballet Magnificat, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Dance Alive!, Carolina Ballet, Columbia University and American Ballet Theatre. This past spring TCD presented The Alabama Ballet performing Christopher Bruce’s “Rooster” the only ballet set to the music of .The Rolling Stones and the University of Alabama, Department of Theatre and Dance in “Mist Memories.” Along with the University of Alabama and the Alabama Ballet, TCD’s own dancers presented Alice in Wonderland. In the spring of 2010, the Board of Directors determined that TCD should take a more active role in outreach regarding the underserved students in Tuscaloosa. The Board was restructured and formed committees to ensure that TCD could meet this goal. For the first time in TCD’s history, seven city schools were provided bus transportation and very discounted tickets to school performances of The Nutcracker. TCD worked with the City Schools to ensure that no child would be turned away due to inability to pay for admission and roughly 1,000 students who had never attended a ballet enjoyed the full production of The Nutcracker. The 2011-2012 Season marks the first collaboration with TCD and The University of Alabama Department of Theatre & Dance, Bill Teague, Department Chair, Cornelius Carter, Director of Dance Program and Rita Snyder, Associate Professor & UA co-ordinator of TCD programs. In December of 2011, following The Nutcracker, Rebecca Tingle, Artistic Director of Tuscaloosa Community Dancers retired. For more than 30 years her vision guided TCD's artistic growth. TCD is happy to have the guidance of Alden Phillips, alumni of Tuscaloosa Community Dancers, graduate of Suny Purchase College with a BFA in Dance, to provide outstanding leadership for our program.