Week 4 – Super Stars

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Wow, what can we say? This last week was absolutely unbelievable. Our campers were super stars! Not only did they perform an incredible production of ANNIE JR. but they also brought the spirit and battled it out “true camper” style for our Battle of the Stars 2015 color war. There is so much to say that I am including several videos that captured special moments and performances that my words can’t portray. We, at Camp StarQuest, have been honored to have had the opportunity to experience your kids and watch their creativity soar and their minds grow.

Acting: Throughout the past four weeks the focus of our acting specialty was to motivate our budding performers by giving them the tools to think on their feet, respond to their peers in the moment, and become aware of their surroundings and use it toward their acting abilities. Improv skills were worked on most. Campers explored how to find joy within nervous moments, silliness to express unchartered feelings and a strong overall presence to make a statement through their lines.

acting acting

Dance: These campers have danced up a storm during the past four weeks. Even through Battle of the Stars, all of our campers have improved their dance stances, technique and body vocabulary. What’s really cool? Every camper should now know the basics of how to go into an audition that includes a dance component with confidence and grace!

Voice: What a whirlwind of excitement the past four weeks have included. We’ve learned new songs, worked on our projection of our voices, vocal ranges and much more. This summer we focused on “the song”. We learned how to think about lyrics, express the emotion through our voices to convey specific meaning and the importance of how we present ourselves on a stage. In addition, we wrote original lyrics to songs and created own personal videos (you will be receiving your own personal copies on a DVD soon). We hope that our campers continue to sing from the heart throughout the rest of the year!

ANNIE JR.: Was that an incredible production or what? Our campers were “stars” on that stage. All of their hard work paid off in a big way. Not only did we sell out but everyone commented on how great the production was. We hope that they relish in their success! We will be posting the photos and will have video copies available shortly.

Battle of the Stars: 2015 Color War was a hit! We laughed, we ran, we cried, we screamed, we smiled, we hugged – it was a raging battle between Hollywood Red and Broadway Blue. Here’s what it included:

  • Battle of the Stars Break Out – Hollywood Red vs. Broadway Blue
    Arriving dressed in true battle of the stars spirit.
  • Field Day – Egg toss, watermelon eat, potato sack race, potato on a spoon relay, tug a war to name a few…
  • Room Decorating contest
  • A Dance Off: to test what we learned during the summer
  • A Silent Lunch
  • A Banner Competition
  • Song Fest – each team collaborated to write and performing 2 songs: an almamater and a cheer

  • Dance Competition

  • Awards – Everyone received an award and our all-around camper awards were given out

We are all so sad Camp StarQuest has come to an end. The last four weeks have been amazing! Our closing circle today solidified all we had wished this summer to be for our amazing campers. We can’t wait for them to walk into the school year with a truer sense of self, more confidence and a deeper compassion for others. Their love of the arts certainly grew stronger, skill set improved greatly for sure but perhaps most importantly they learned a wealth of life lessons they can carry with them wherever they go and made friendships that will last forever doing what they love. Hats off to our amazing staff for changing lives and to our awesome, fantastic, super campers who gave 100% everyday. We will miss you but look forward to seeing next year. We accomplished all we set out to do and then some. Miss everyone already and can’t wait till next year!

Sign up NOW for our Fall Classes. We have tons of NEW classes plus some of your campers’ favorite instructors will be teaching!

Mr. Michael’s “So You Want To Dance Class” is not officially up on the website but will be held on Sundays, Sept 20 – Oct 11 from 1 – 2:30 pm.


Week 3 – Star Power at Its Best

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This week was all about the Power – the power of the spirit, power of intent, and power of the mind. As our tech rehearsals were in full effect our kids were hard at work within their specialty sessions!

In Dance we twirled and learned how to move “together”. This week we tried new turn positions, worked on creative movement, group dynamic movements, and contact improve skills. Ask your child how challenging it was to work as a group versus just on their own.


Each group created their own music video in Voice this week. The music videos were made of each group’s original song that they all wrote and recorded from scratch! (very cool) Look for your camper’s CD at the end of camp.


Acting was about action and reaction. This week we focused on building new relationships within a scene as well as dialects, improve with several others, and with props and developing our ability to be present in the moment. Ask your child about the dialects they learned and which ones they liked the most.


Our favorite camp activity was CAMPER COUNSELOR DAY. Many laughs were shared, campers taught our specialty classes, and all together it was one of the best StarQuest days ever!

camp group
camper counselor

ANNIE JR: It’s crunch time! Fittings took place, costumes were created, sets were designed, and the show began tech rehearsals. What does this mean? It means we are only one tech rehearsal away from our premiere! We are so proud of our campers, in general, but are so impressed by their dedication, excitement, and constant positive attitude to listen, act, react, and achieve their personal accomplishments.

As we have mentioned before, please help your children get the rest they need. Next week is a BIG week!

REMINDERS: ANNIE JR. Tickets are on sale for Tuesday, July 7 at 6 pm. Please spread the word and pass on this link (ANNIE JR. TIX) to friends and family members so they can experience this awesome show!

Join us this fall: Incredible J Performing Arts Classes led by some of your favorite Instructors! Click on the link and register now!

Tennis Camp

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Wimbledon White Day was a success! We had almost 100% participation. The camp looked great as we celebrated the most prestigious tournament in tennis.

All of the campers have been working hard getting ready for the tournament this Friday, July 10th. Matches will start at 9:30 am. We will have a party that day at 12 pm. The campers can bring a Kosher snack to share.

To wrap up the Friday festivities, there will also be an awards ceremony at 3 pm. I will send out more information next week.

Thank you for sending your kids to Tennis Camp at the JCC!

“We don’t expect perfection on the courts. We expect perfect effort!”

Catch some doubles matches in action below


Kids in training

On the Road To California!

Wednesday – Day 1: We arrived at quiet water paddle store and base. We watched the video of how to ride the canoes, kayaks and paddle boards. I chose the canoe because they’re requiring 2 or more people so that made me comfortable. Once we started my group did not do good, then we worked together and got down the Rio Grande. The second half we got to switch boats so I tried out the kayak because I wanted to ride independent. I ended up being the first one to finish on the kayak but the adventure through New Mexico was priceless.

– Jacob Rosenfeld

Albuquerque, New Mexico: We woke up at the New Mexico JCC very early to get a head start on hiking. We had slept at the Albuquerque JCC the day before so we had to load all of our luggage back onto the bus. We then arrived and the Sandia Peak and took the tram up to the top of the mountain. It was super fun hiking up to the to and the view was priceless. It felt like you were the king (or queen) of the world. We hiked down the mountain to have a homemade lunch and then started waiting for the tram to come. It broke, but that just gave us a chance to spend more time on the beautiful mountain. After we arrived on the mountain, we had a great dinner at Golden Corral. Overall, it was an amazing day that I’ll never forget.

– Grace London

Friday – Day 4: After a long night of driving, we stopped at the Grand Canyon bright and early (literally like 5 am) to see the beautiful sunrise. We stayed for an hour to watch the sunrise and then had since breakfast. Then we loaded the bus or drive to another part of the canyon so we could buy souvenirs, and hiked down into the canyon. We got back on the bus after a couple hours at the canyon to drive to Vegas. We wanted to make a stop at the Hoover Dam, but we had too much luggage so we couldn’t go in. Then we got to our hotel and had to get ready for a nice relaxing Shabbat. We had a nice dinner followed by a great service lead by Ben. We sang songs,and read some prays. After a long day it’s was a great way to start of are day a rest.

grand canyon

– Jami Jacobs

Las Vegas: Today we got to sleep in and then we were treated to brunch by the counselors. After spending a relaxing day at the hotel we headed out to the MGM Grand buffet for an early dinner. After dinner we went out and explored the strip. Two of the stores I enjoyed the most were the Coca-Cola and M&M stores. After ending our walk down the strip at Caesars Palace we headed to the Circus Circus Adventuredome to ride rides and play games.

– Victoria Arsova

santa monica pier

Week 2 – Star Gazing

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This week has been intense and fun! Our budding performers have been hard at work exploring their inner creative spirits, learning their blocking and songs for ANNIE Jr. and bonding amongst their peers.

Acting classes took a personal approach this week. The kids learned about monologues and began developing their emotional skills that are reflective within their speech so that “their words” can emote as well as their bodies and facial gestures.

Our Dancing specialty was all about focus. The kids had an entire class that was silent. (Ask your kids about why taking a class in silence was so different than the normal instruction). They all learned about watching Michael (the instructor) and themselves more intently. They also worked on their choreography for several ANNIE Jr. numbers. Tumbling 101 was also taught later in the week.

This week in Voice the kids learned how to create a song. They all participated in creating lyrics for their group’s StarQuest song. This exercise sparked the writing flame in many of our campers in which they got to see how their end product was received at the Talent Show.

Special Workshops: It was Music time and Set Design this week. Our Music expert worked with this kids on their rhythm and musicality. (Ask your kids what they learned about beats and how to make songs more diverse.) In Set Design they learned about the history of where theater all began. This was followed up with a hands on ocean theme prop design exercise.

Talent Show: I’m sure many of you saw your kids practicing for our Talent Show. It was so great seeing all of our performers sing and dance for their peers. Some of the J Staff even came to watch and they were amazed of our campers’ talents. A shout out to Kenzie for being our reviewer and Jada being our photographer. The kids really enjoyed this outlet and we, as staff, love seeing them express themselves in any way they can!

ANNIE JR: And if that all wasn’t enough, we have had a great week of rehearsals for the show. As we get closer to the premiere the show is getting “tighter” by the moment. It’s amazing to see, how in just two weeks, the entire show has been blocked, songs are coming together and the cast, overall, are working together to make this one of the best shows ever! (Today we are going to do a crawl through of the show so ask your kids how that felt to have the show slowly but surely come together).
annie jr

REMINDER: We begin TECH next week. It is imperative that we have all campers be present so that our lights and sound can be set appropriately for the show. The show is on Tuesday, July 7th at 6 pm. Each family will receive four complimentary tickets. Additional tickets are for sale online at jccdallas.org so spread the word to your friends so we can have a HUGE house for the performance!

One more thing…our campers are working REALLY hard every day, all day. We talked about self-care. Please remind your kids the importance of taking care of themselves through getting enough sleep, relaxation and eating well.

Have a great weekend!

Shine Bright,
Alise Robinson

Sports Camp – Week 2 Highlights

Sports Camp has kept the ball rolling into week two, where we change sports from basketball to soccer. With the change, REC Camp gets to come inside this week! This week we also have our 1st FIELD TRIP!! Details below..

REC Camp this week has been utilizing the gym space to play a variety of games such as Whiffle Ball, Floor Hockey, and Ultimate ball. So far, each day this week the counselors have prevailed in the daily camper v. staff matchup, but I have a feeling the campers will bounce back strong on Wednesday. The kids have had a blast indoors and we look forward to a great rest of the week.

SKILLS Camp is outdoors on the “pitch” this week with their focus on soccer. The Dallas Cosmos have their coaches in full gear help train and mold our campers into star soccer players. Each camper will go through multiple drill and skill activities culminating each day by some scrimmages.

Each day at lunch campers have been watching the Little Rascals, a classic. After finishing the Little Rascals, we will begin to “prepare” for the field trip by watching the movie Miracle, about the USA Hockey Team!  As always, we finish each lunch with trivia questions and prizes.Miracle

This Friday, Sports Camp will embark on our first field trip of the summer. We will be travelling to the Frisco StarCenter, home of the Dallas Stars practice facility. We will spend a little over two hours (11am-1pm) on the ice playing broomball, and doing some ice skating. The kids are sure to have a blast on the trip. We will get back to the JCC in time to swim in the afternoon before camper pick-up. Each camper should wear his/her Green camp shirt on Friday!


– Thursdays are “Jersey Thursdays.” Campers should wear their favorite jersey to camp!

– Fridays campers should wear their camp t-shirts.

Camp StarQuest News – Week 1

Shooting For The Stars

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The past few days have been off the charts fun!
Singing, dancing, rehearsing… you name it…. we’ve done it!

Telling the story was one of the themes of the week.

In Dance we learned everything from what it means to “spot” to learning how to do a true pirouette.

Voice concentrated on exploring our hippie sides while working our vocal muscles by singing Starshine from Hair. In addition, every group chose their song of choice to work on in weeks to come.

actingActing was fun and intense as we were taught stage direction and improv. Knowing how to move on stage and at the same time being ready to help a fellow actor out, at the drop of a line, takes skill and practice! (Ask your children about the mirror game we played and how they learned to make their emotions bigger on stage)

annieANNIE: Afternoons were filled with first a read through of Annie followed by scene study with our counselors. Our Specialty Staff have been hard at work coordinating and preparing for show. Linda has all the kids working hard as they learn their blocking and Byron has them belting out songs like pros. Our counselors have been working with smaller groups on specific scenes with a focus on characterization, dialects and more! Also, the role of Sandy (the dog) has been cast by Hallie Sternblitz’s dog!
scene study

Workshop of the Week: Costume Design

costume designOnce again, Ryan, our Costume Design Expert gave the kids a great exercise in how costumes really portray time, place and action. Each group had to pick their own accessories, create a character that they then had to illustrate and then create a story for their character. After creating their stories they were partnered up and were encouraged to collaborate on a shared story using both characters and then had to present their stories to the rest of the group.

We start every morning with a bonding exercise but on Fridays we start with an Appreciation Circle. (Ask your children about some of the kind words that were said about their peers)

appreciation circle


ANNIE | July 7 @ 6 pm – Zale Auditorium

Every child will be given 4 complimentary tickets for their family and friends. We want the house to be packed for our campers therefore we will be putting tickets on sale this upcoming Wednesday. We will send an email out with more details. Tickets will be $10 for adults and $5 for children. Tell your friends to come and support Camp StarQuest!

** Please remember how critical it is for your children to be here for all rehearsals. Since our time is limited to get this show up on its feet strive being present for all of it. At every rehearsal campers will be learning new numbers.

Your children are shining real bright each and every day! Can’t wait for the adventure of Week 2!

Sports Camp 2015 Begins!

Sports camp has kicked off the summer with a great two days of fun and games!

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Sports Camp Friends!
Sports Camp Friends!

Many of the kids are hard at work developing their basketball skills inside, while the others race outside with REC camp competing in a variety of games!

At Skills Camp, campers are led by coaches Brandon McKay and Matt Behrman. The kids are learning important fundamentals and improving their game while having an amazing time. Competitions range from relay races to dribble knockout, and are capped off by competitive and engaging 3 on 3 tournaments!

At the REC camp, campers enjoy the great outdoors while participating in a multitude of sports such as soccer, football, and baseball. They learn how to use different skill sets depending on what the sport demands, and work as a team to try to win!

During lunch break everyday, campers watch classic sports movies including, The Mighty Ducks, who they “quacked” on to victory! They will also start a new movie, Space Jam featuring Michael Jordan and the Looney Toons tomorrow.They finish up by answering a range of sports trivia questions like: What NBA player has won the most “Most Valuable Player” awards? What MLB player has the most stolen bases throughout his career? What female soccer player has the most career international goals?

Following lunch, skills camp and REC camp join together to compete in challenges with their designated team of the week, while making new friends along the way. The four teams, with camper-created names like “Green Goblins” and “Arsenola” (a combination of Arsenal and Barcelona) learn team-building skills during various activities including the famous human knot! After a long day of running and jumping up and down the field and court, campers concluded their day with a refreshing dip in the pool under the hot summer sun!

(If you found yourself attempting to answer the trivia questions above, the answers are: 1.Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 2.Rickey Henderson 3. Abby Wambach)

We look forward to seeing all of our boys and girls bright and early tomorrow morning!

Camp Swim Note

Hello Parents!

Camp starts TODAY and along with all the fun activities your children will be experiencing the pool will be a big part of their day! To ensure that your kiddos have a fun and safe time at the pool here are a couple of reminders.

  • The outdoor pool deck is HOT and it is a good idea to purchase inexpensive water shoes for your children to wear while they are walking down to the pool.
  • Make sure your kiddos have sunscreen in their camp bags
  • Speak to your children about being safe at the pool and following pool rules:
    • Walking only, not running around the deck
    • No Flips or unsafe jumps and no dives in the shallow end
    • Staying in designated areas and with their groups
    • No dunking or horseplay

For Camp Chai & Simchah

Lesson evaluations started yesterday for those camps and will continue through today with lessons beginning on Wednesday. Camp Lessons are instructed through the Lenny Krayzelburg Swim Academy and the Swim Right™ curriculum. This curriculum focuses on swim safety, beginning with the back float being the primary skill for all children. Our curriculum is more in depth than most and requires a mastery of each skill before moving forward.

At the end of the session you will get a record of their level, the skills attempted or mastered as well as whether they have graduated to the next level. If you have any questions in the meantime please contact me at 214-239-7141 or dtaylor@jccdallas.org

Thank you,
Daniel Taylor
Aquatics Director

Swim Safe, Swim Strong, Swim Right™

First Day – Positive Stars!

Today was the first day of Camp StarQuest. The entire day was action-packed filled with tons of smiles and new friendships.

The day began with every group creating their own group signs. Then we went outside and played several getting to know you games. Ask your child about their fun with toilet paper and their character story lines. 🙂 We then came inside and proceeded to create our own galaxy of stars where our campers wrote down their wishes.

We then went to both Dance and Voice to prep for our auditions. Ask me to show you our dance moves from It’s a Hard Knock Life! Auditions for our musical took place after lunch. But before then, Alise lead us through a very cool guided visual meditation. We set our intentions to support each other to bring in all the positive energy and release any nerves or fear we might have been anticipating before we began the audition process. We have a great group of enthusiastic and talented campers this year! Here is a view of our music warm-up.

Tomorrow we will begin the morning with our specialty class rotations (music, voice and acting). The cast will be announced tomorrow afternoon and a script read through will follow. Please remember EVERY ROLE is important! Everyone will have time to shine on stage. That you can be sure of.

Stay tuned for more shining details of Camp StarQuest!

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