Student Testimonials

After a long hiatus NextStage vocal and dance courses helped me to reconnect with my “inner performer” and rediscover the thrill of singing and dancing. My involvement in NextStage has been a thoroughly enjoyable and enriching experience. I have had the good fortune to participate in one of the Hats Off performing troupes. It is beyond satisfying to witness the sheer joy and appreciative engagement of our audiences. I am especially grateful for all the new friends I have made through my participation in the NextStage community!
— Maureen Barber Aptos, CA
By offering classes and workshops, NextStage prepares seniors who have a desire to participate in the performing arts, an opportunity to do just that ! The shows I participated in were all wonderfully gratifying. Audiences have been warm and often thrilled to see us; and I would fervently add that they were, without exception, ‘very entertained’. All of the NextStage seniors who have participated in our group shows have grown tremendously as entertainers; and, I believe that all of us feel privileged to be part of a group that brings so many smiles to so many people. NextStage was founded on the sound principle that there is added joy in senior living through self-expression. And what better way is there to express oneself than to sing, or to act, or to tell a story artfully with aplomb and confidence?
— Keith Kotka Santa Cruz, CA
Hey, check this out! I feel like a kid again. Even though I retired from being an Elementary Principal 6 years ago and worried about how I would fill my days. How does one go from a position of strength and authority to a position of “nothing”? I have always loved performing but “life” got in my way. Marriage, babies, higher education and career all got in the way well, that’s where Next Stage Santa Cruz stepped in! NextStage Santa Cruz is providing me with the opportunity to perform on a regular basis in front of small audiences. I now find such joy in performing for seniors in retirement communities, Elks Club gatherings, fund raisers and private parties. The classes that are provided through NextStage Santa Cruz have sustained me by teaching me vocal technique, how to dramatize a song and techniques for memorization! All of this is carried out in a safe and encouraging atmosphere with classes that are taught by experts in their field! If you have always dreamed of performing, whether it be in song, dance or acting, I encourage you to check out Next Stage Santa Cruz because it’s never too late to realize your dreams.
— Shari Gallegos Santa Cruz, CA