Maryland Classical Dance Academy (MCDA)


Maryland Classical Dance Academy is a nonprofit corporation organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes, specifically to support the educational programs of a classical dance division where the Nutcracker is the focus of the Academy, along with advanced international ballet competitions offered to an exclusive group of select, chosen, advanced classical track students.

MCDA invites students to participate in an advanced training program under the direction of the director. Students are invited based on their natural inclination towards ballet and must show potential to develop into an accomplished ballet dancer. Students who participate in the training program are on a track that will allow them to be considered for participating in international ballet competitions, such as Youth America Grand Prix. Participants in the YAGP have the opportunity to be recognized for scholarships with professional ballet companies and their affiliated schools along with the recognition that will carry forward into their future as a dancer in the professional dance world.

It is the goal of MCDA to establish a scholarship component, where money raised can be utilized to help deserving dancers offset the costs involved in pursuing an advanced course of study in dance.


Nutcracker – “Tea with Clara”

Nutcracker participation is open to dancers 7 years and older studying at Centre Pointe Performing Arts. CPPA presents a unique version of the Nutcracker, Tea with Clara. Tea with Clara is a magical performance for the young audience member aged 2.5 and up, but just as entertaining and captivating for adults. Featuring dances from both acts, the performance focuses on the 2nd act of The Nutcracker, where all the dolls come to life and bring magic and wonder to the stage. Clara watches her whimsical dolls dance for her, and she dances with her favorite doll, the spectacular Nutcracker. Clara then journeys to the Kingdom of the Sweets.

Casting occurs in July and rehearsals begin in August and continue throughout fall, with a performance in December.

Youth America Grand Prix

Participation in the Youth America Grand Prix is by invitation only. Upon invitation by Ms. Deborah Engerman, a dancer is scheduled to participate in extra classes and rehearsals, times to be arranged by Ms. Deborah. Letters go out to students whom Ms. Deborah believes are capable and possess the ability and talent to participate and rehearsals begin in late summer and/or early fall.

Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) is the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition that awards over $250,000 annually in scholarships to leading dance schools worldwide. The competition is held annually around the world and in New York City, and is open to dance students of all nationalities 9-19 years old.

Launched in 1999 by two former dancers of the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet,Larissa and Gennadi Saveliev, YAGP is also a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization created with a mission to provide extraordinary educational and professional opportunities to young dancers, acting as a stepping stone to a professional dance career. It aims to fulfill its mission by offering:

  • Educational opportunities for dance students around the world
  • Opportunity to receive contracts to dance companies worldwide
  • Scholarships to leading dance schools in the U.S. and abroad
  • Invaluable professional exposure to world-renowned dance professionals
  • Performance opportunities on some of the world’s most prestigious stages and
    at dance festivals around the world
  • Workshops with the renowned master teachers and judges of the competition

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