The Cairo Contemporary Dance Center (CCDC) is an independent space
for Contemporary Dance in Egypt that opened the first full-time
Contemporary Dance school in Africa and the Arab world. In addition to this
3-year, full-time professional program with a duration of 30 months, CCDC
also offers artistic residencies, classes, and workshops open to the public
in various dance and movement disciplines. The center also organizes and
participates in public performances and festivals.
CCDC was founded and is under the artistic direction of Egyptian dancer,
choreographer, and educator Karima Mansour. Both CCDC and Karima Mansour
are registered members of the UNESCO International Dance Council.
How was CCDC born
With the help, support, and endorsement of the dance scene in Egypt
and all those working in the field, through meetings and discussions,
Cairo Contemporary Dance Center was founded in 2012 by Karima Mansour,
under the patronage of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, at the Creativity
Center on the ground of Cairo Opera House.
It moved to its current location in January 2014, and has since been
operating as an independent project under the umbrella of MAAT for
The 3-year, full-time professional training program in Contemporary Dance
provides a holistic approach to the art form. Through daily classes
(5 hours per day, 5 days a week, for a duration of 30 months), the program
provides advanced professional training in Contemporary Dance but also in
traditional techniques from different regions (Martial Arts, Vernacular dances, etc.),
as well as theoretical classes.
The curriculum is composed of one third Contemporary Dance classes and workshops.
The other two parts are divided into practical training in various dance forms
(Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, African, Dervish, etc.) as well as Martial Arts
(Aikido, Shaolin Gong Fu, Taiji…), Yoga, Pilates and theory classes such
as Anatomy, Performance Studies and Biomechanics.
Guest instructors at CCDC come from the Middle East, Africa, Europe
and beyond, to give our students maximum exposure to the latest trends
in regard to Contemporary Dance techniques, methodologies, and backgrounds
from all over the world, thus also paving the way for those eventually
interested in a career in choreography and / or teaching, while recognizing
the needs for each path.
Open classes and workshops:
In addition to its professional training, CCDC also offers to the general
public open classes, courses, and workshops for adults and children in
several disciplines. All classes are animated by recognized artists and
teachers, certified and experienced.
Adults open classes include: Contemporary Dance, Ballet, Vernacular Dances
(Hip Hop, Breaking), Fitness classes (Yoga, Pilates, Oriental Workout, Stretching, Barre),
and other performing arts (Poi Spinning, Acting, Puppet)
Children classes include: Contemporary Dance, Creative Movement, Ballet, Hip Hop, Breaking.
Different formats (courses, workshops, walk-in classes), durations and frequencies
are offered for the different disciplines, so people can sign up for what
fits them the most.
The residency program:
CCDC also opens provides space for professional or emerging dancers and
artists, local or international, to rehearse, research, train or work on
their creative process.
Who dances at CCDC
The 3-year, full-time program is a program open to people aged 17 to 27,
from all backgrounds, nationalities and experiences, who want to become
professional contemporary dancers, choreographers or teachers - making
sure to clarify the different needs for each path and accompanying the
students after they graduate. Currently, we have Egyptian, Venezuelan
and Jordanian students as well as occasional exchange students.
The open classes, courses, and workshops, are open to anyone, whatever
their background, experience, age, or physical conditions. Most of our classes
are for beginners, but we also have semi-beginner, intermediate or open level,
so people with already some experience in dance can go further into their training.
This program also allows practitioners from the Egyptian dance scene to practice
their art form.
In the residency program, CCDC also opens its door for professional dancers
and artists, local or international, to rehearse, train or work on their
creative process. Last year, 14 artists,
from Egypt, Africa or Europe benefited from this program.
Who teaches at CCDC
CCDC brings high quality artists, dancers, choreographers, all recognized,
certified and experienced teachers and based on very specific criteria,
to provide the best possible training to its students. Our faculty of
teachers include both Egyptian and foreign teachers, in addition to guest
artists from the Middle East, Africa, Europe and beyond.
Mission, values, vision
CCDC’s Mission is to become a hub for Contemporary Dance in the region;
to provide vocational training, open classes, a repertoire, and employment
opportunities to the steadily growing community of performers, choreographers,
teachers, learners, and audience; and to broadly reach out to less exposed communities.
Values that CCDC embodies are as follows:
• Professionalism & high quality: All CCDC teachers and trainers are
certified and experienced. Artistic and social quality is of highest
importance. All staff work and communicate professionally with CCDC’s
community and beyond.
• Fair treatment: All CCDC staff and community members are treated with
respect, fairness and diversity is valued.
• Trust & community-building: CCDC actively seeks to build a trusting
community that gathers around contemporary dance.
• Personal growth: CCDC encourages all staff and
community members’ personal development.
Currently, a second generation of students is following the 3-year,
full-time professional program in Contemporary Dance, they will graduate
in June 2019. Our open classes, courses, and workshops are expanding,
with always new additions to our program. In the past years, CCDC has
also been busy organizing or co-organizing different cultural events or festivals.
CCDC is affecting the dance community in Egypt and the Arab world
by providing the only full-time professional training program in
Contemporary Dance in the region; by welcoming professional dancers
or choreographers in residencies to give them the opportunity to
work on their pieces; by providing work to dance teachers and CCDC
own graduates – currently, 5 of our teachers are graduates from our
full-time program; by providing space and artistic support for emerging
artists and alumni (14 artists benefited from our residencies program
last year); as well as by occasionally giving artists the opportunity
to show their work, meet other artists or exchange with the local
audience, by attending festivals or other events. CCDC is also always
on the lookout for possible projects to involve our students - whether
current or graduates; in the recent years, CCDC has sent over 10 students
for Summer intensive courses or residencies abroad, and several alumni
are currently involved in different artistic projects.
What dancers say
“The people are extremely nice there, and so is the teacher.
I'm having so much fun there at practice, and I recommend this center
100%. Thank you for making this experience joyful for me, I truly
won't forget it when I leave.”
“Yay! keep it coming! ... cuz we need to remember that there
are good things happening in Egypt and that people are fighting
against unbelievable odds .... to create beautiful things”
“I, Maha Hafez, will stay forever supporting that positively
radiant place Cairo Contemporary Dance Center”
“After 2 or 3 months of joining my first dance class I found myself
in a Contemporary Dance School, committed to a full time study for 3
years!!! I didn't make a plan for all of this, it just happened..
I don't believe that all of this happened in just a few months,
but I'm really happy and I hope dance will love me as I love it...
Mostafa Abdel Aty
“It was an honor to teach in this program this past year and
I'd be doing it again if I wasn't teaching full time at AIS
this coming year :) If you're passionate about Dance, this program
is the only one like it in Egypt and will train you in many different
capacities as a Dancer.”