Valley Performance Playground - winter-spring classes!

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Story Play
A weekend class for young children exploring theater, movement, singing, and storytelling.
Sundays, 10-10:45am, Jan 27-March 17
$100 for 6-week session

Teen Performance Workshops

Three weekend workshops for teens interested in refining their acting skills and creating their own original work

Saturdays, 1-4pm, April 27-May 11

$90 for 3 workshops


Please visit the website to register and learn more!

Youth Theater by Carissa Dagenais


Youth Theater starts May 1, and runs for 10 weeks on Wednesdays from 6:30-7:30 PM.
Ages 8-12

Help your child build confidence, embrace spontaneity, practice teamwork, rehearse emotional regulation, make new friendships, and laugh! This ten-week theater class will cover the basics of improvisation, storytelling, and ensemble work. 

Carissa Dagenais has been working with children as a teacher, director, drama therapist, and actor for almost ten years. She has been teaching theater to elementary school kiddos with Hampshire Shakespeare's Educational Workshops for the last five summers at the Williston Northampton school. Carissa holds her BA in theater from Smith and MA in drama therapy from New York University. 

Cost: $175. Deposit required to hold child's spot - more info at the bottom of registration form. 

Please register here:

ArtPlay Summer Arts Program

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ArtPlay returns to the Center for the Arts in 2019! Register early for this exciting summer program for youth ages 6 to 12 years.

ArtPlay encourages kids to think of themselves as fundamentally creative beings with a fun, interactive, interdisciplinary approach. The program connects youth to local teaching artists through classes and workshops, as well as providing space and structure for youth-initiated performances and exhibitions. Kids will have the chance to experiment with dance, music, drama, visual arts, collaborative play, and more! It's all happening in the Arts Trust Building at 33 Hawley Street in downtown Northampton.

Fee: $275-$350 sliding scale. Payments on the upper end of the scale help support our new scholarship program (information available soon), as well as our low teacher/participant ratio. In order to offer individual attention, each week is limited to 15 participants.

There are four one-week sessions: July 1-5, July 8-12, July 15-19, and July 22-26, 2019

For registration details, email us at or call the Center at (413) 584-7327. Please include your name, address, and telephone contact plus the name and age of the participant. You will be contacted directly by return email or phone according to preference.

ArtPlay participants have access to indoor, air-conditioned spaces as well as outdoor play areas. 33 Hawley offers abundant free parking for easy drop-off and pick-up, and is conveniently located for local, walkable field trips.

ArtPlay is directed by Jayme Winell, an organizer, educator, dancer and musician. A graduate of Hampshire College, Jayme is a collaborator with the tinydance project, a local dance educator, and a physical education teacher at the Commons School. Jayme has also performed with Theatre Truck and the band Flame’n’Peach. Jayme was the founding co-director of ArtPlay in 2018 and is thrilled to be back again this year!

More images from ArtPlay 2018 can be found here!

Youth Dance Classes winter-spring 2019



Classes begin January 29th and run through May 31st. All youth classes run in two 8-week sessions except Youth Hip Hop, which runs in two 6-week sessions. Adult classes are ongoing.

Creative Dance, Youth Modern Jazz: $110 per session
Youth Hip Hop: $85 per session
Adult Classes: $15/class or $110 for an 8-class card (must be used by May 31)

The Center for the Arts dance program is organized by age and taught with an individualized approach to accommodate all students' experience levels.

To register, email us or call the Center at (413) 584-7327. Please include your name, address, and telephone contact. Course fees are payable by cash or check to "NCFA." They can be paid in person on class day or mailed to the Northampton Center for the Arts, PO Box 366, Northampton MA 01061. We do not accept credit cards.

Creative Dance
Ages 3-5, Tuesdays 4 - 4:45pm
Ages 5-7, Tuesdays 4:45 - 5:30pm
Taught by Jayme Winell
No class February 19th or April 16th

Students will learn basic ballet technique in a healthy, creative environment with plenty of time for dance games, creative movement, and improvisation!

Youth Modern Jazz
Ages 7-12, Wednesdays 4:30-5:30
Taught by Kelly Silliman
No class February 20th or April 17th

Learn upbeat, exciting moves to a variety of music including but not limited to jazz and pop. Emphasis is placed on strength and alignment in a fun and energetic environment.

Youth Hip Hop
Ages 7-12, Fridays 4:00-5:00pm
Taught by Danielle Smith
No class February 1st, 22nd, March 1st, April 5th, 19th, or May 3rd

"Hip" means knowledge and "Hop" means movement. In this course students will explore the history and movement dynamics of a variety of Hip Hop styles, including House dance, 90's Hip Hop and more!

Adult/Teen Ballet
Ages 14+, Wednesdays 6:00-7:30
Taught by Kelly Silliman
No class February 20th or April 17th

This is a mixed-level ballet class that offers students a physical and mental workout while focusing on alignment and strength building in a healthy, welcoming environment. No leotards necessary here, comfortable exercise-wear is just fine! Geared towards adults but mature teens are very welcome!

Adult/Teen Hip Hop
Ages 14+, Wednesdays 4:30-5:30
Taught by Danielle Smith
No class February 20th or April 17th

This hip hop class offers students a physical and mental workout as students explore the history and movement dynamics of a variety of Hip Hop styles, including House dance, 90's Hip Hop and more! Geared towards adults but mature teens are very welcome!

Kelly Silliman is the Center’s Program Director, and an experienced dance educator who emphasizes healthy alignment, integrated warm-ups, individualized attention, and having fun while exploring movement and music material. Students are encouraged to develop movement patterns intended to serve their bodies long term, and to think about why we move the way we do and how the lessons of dance class can apply to life outside the studio. Kelly has over 20 years of experience as a teacher, performer, director, choreographer and scholar. She holds a BA in Theatre Arts, an MFA in dance from Smith College, and is the founder/director of the tinydance project.

Danielle Smith is an artist activist with a passion for integrating movement with community development and education. With a BA in Performing Arts  and Social Justice from the University of San Francisco, Danielle encourages students to find their own unique movement style by meeting students where they are, while challenging them to grow beyond that point during class. Dance movement concepts that will be explored during class are rhythm  comprehension, “freestylin”, and isolation—to name a few. By the end of class, students should expect smiling faces, a good workout, and the confidence to take what’s learned in class and apply it to other movement goals beyond the classroom.

Jayme Winell is a local dance artist, educator, and musician, and the co-director of the Center’s summer ArtPlay! program. She majored in dance at the San Francisco School of the Arts and holds a BA from Hampshire College in dance and theatre for community building.  Jayme is a collaborator with the tinydance project, teaches physical education at the Common School and plays music with a local band. She is thrilled to be teaching at the Center again in 2019!