Drinking and Dancing In DC

Dancing is one of my interests, but I’m also a fan of a good beer or a fancy cocktail. I did, after all, go to Syracuse University which ranked #5 among the nation’s top party schools. That being said, I’d like to share some upcoming opportunities where you can drink to your heart’s content and also feel like you’re a cultured citizen who supports the performing arts. Feel free to share additional happy hour fundraisers and events with a comment!

Photo Credit: Jeff Watts

Photo Credit: Jeff Watts

Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company Fundraising Happy Hour
Tuesday, September 24th, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Black Whiskey, 1410 14th Street NE

Join dancers and supporters of DTSBDC September 24th for a Tuesday Happy Hour where we will have the 1st floor of Black Whiskey! A percentage of each sale will go to support our non-profit dance company! Try the signature cocktail!



Joy of Motion Dance CenterPlatinum Event: A Fashion Show & Cocktail Event to Benefit JOMDC
Thursday, September 26th, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie, 5300 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Purchase $50 tickets at joyofmotion.org by September 24th

Attend an exclusive runway-style fashion show of Neiman Marcus’ largest selection of designer gowns while enjoying complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Guest performance by Joy of Motion Dance Center’s Youth Dance Ensemble Company.

MOVEius Contemporary BalletMOVEIUS Contemporary Ballet Happy Hour
Thursday, October 3rd, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Mad Hatter, 1319 Connecticut Avenue NW
Tickets: $5 in advance, $8 at the door

Join MOVEIUS Contemporary Ballet for their first Happy Hour of the 2013-14 Season!
Your ticket is good for food and drink specials at Mad Hatter, plus the chance to bid in MOVEIUS’ silent auction!

Teal Tides Celebrates Life Through Dance for Ovarian Cancer National Alliance

Local DC-based dance companies collaborate to present the dance performance fundraiser Teal Tides: With Dignity and Dance. This event, taking place on Saturday, June 29th at the Atlas Performing Arts Center’s Lang Theater, will benefit the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance and raise awareness about ovarian cancer.

June 29th - Teal Tides Image

Dancer: Alissa Wilson, Photo Credit: Anna Mecagni (courtesy of Sarah Guy)

Featuring Taurus Broadhurst Dance, Hollow Dance Project, and LillyVonn Dance, the event will support the Alliance’s national level advocacy efforts to increase research funding for the development of an early detection test, improved health care practices and life-saving treatment protocols. In addition, it empowers survivors through innovative programming, such as Survivors Teaching Students®.

Teal Tides is led by a young woman who is an ovarian cancer patient. “When I was diagnosed at 30 years old with stage III ovarian cancer, neither myself, my family, nor those in my community knew very much about the disease or its symptoms. I want to make sure that no other woman ever experiences that situation. When you know the symptoms and the risk factors, you can advocate for your health,” stated organizer Sarah Guy. Guy credits the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, the DC dance community, family, and friends for helping her cope with the diagnosis.

“Cancer can make you feel very isolated and alone, so it is really important to build a community around this cause. Community has enabled me to remain myself through this diagnosis and to keep a great quality of life. I want to honor, grow, and strengthen those communities through this event,” she said.

For Guy, who has taken dance classes at Joy of Motion Dance Center since 2007, dance classes have been a means of physical and emotional recovery for her. “With this disease, you feel like you are living in opposition; you are going against something. With dance, when you are connected and moving to the rhythm, you are going with the flow of life. I have found so much comfort in that process.”

The above information is adapted from a press release received Tuesday, June 11th.

The Deets

Doonya: The Bollywood Workout DVD Launch Party

Doonya DVDThe co-founders of the hottest dance fitness program are returning to Washington, D.C. March 16-17 to celebrate the launch of their first-ever DVD, Doonya: The Bollywood Workout.

A program that started in Washington, D.C. in 2005 has garnered significant national attention, with appearances on The Today Show, the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, Oprah Winfrey, the CBS Early Show, Dr. Oz. The Washington Post, Reuters, WTOP, and Voice of America, recently have written special features on Doonya.

Doonya co-founders Kajal Desai and Priya Pandya are returning from Los Angeles and New York, respectively, to the Washington area March 16-17 for the official Doonya DVD launch party and to hold a special master class.

On March 16, the Doonya DVD official launch party will take place from 7-10 pm at LOOK lounge, 1909 K St., NW, Washington, D.C. There will be an interactive session and special performances.

On March 17, Desai and Pandya will hold a special joint master Doonya class, at the YMCA in Arlington, 3422 N. 13th St from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. The cost is $35 and includes an autographed DVD as well as a meet and greet with Doonya founders and the instruction team following class.

“We are excited to celebrate, dance, and teach right where Doonya began almost eight years ago,” Pandya said.

Desai added, “Priya and I have taught together countless times in New York, on the West Coast and at Sundance, but the March 17 class is the first time we’re teaching a joint class in D.C! It feels like a homecoming, and I can’t wait!”

Events: Jam for Sandy at Seize the Dance Gym

The east coast’s best battle dancers will rally together to raise funds and collect clothing for victims of the devastating Hurricane Sandy. On Saturday December 15th, 2012, at 4:00 pm, The Jam for Sandy will take place at the newly opened Seize The Dance Gym in Capitol Heights, Maryland. Proceeds will be donated directly to New York Cares. The jam promises to be an exciting event consisting of many activities.

While the battles will be sure to get competitive, rival dancers will come together for a good cause. The jam will consist of a 2v2 bboy battle and a 1v1 all styles battle with the fee to battle being $5. Amazing dancers from all over the east coast to the Midwest have already signed up and registration is open until the day of the event. Those planning on just watching the event will only have to pay $7 – which will be donated directly to New York Cares. There will also be a clothing donation drive at the event.

In addition to the registered battles, there will be 5 different DJ’s spinning all night as well as an exhibition contest. The exhibition battle will be between Fleg (Lionz of Zion/MD) Vs Man of God(Rhythm Attack/Motion Disorders/Chicago). Special guest chef Bounme Phetdevone will be vending food. The Jam for Sandy promises an amazing evening with guest judges that include, Bboy Domkey, winner of Red Bull BC one North America, and Prince Lavince of the International House of Waackers – NYC.

Jam organizer Bboy Dynamike Chau, who also represents Culture Shock D.C. says, “This jam is not only to help those in need in the North East, but to show the power of the Hip Hop Culture. Many dancers know that the birth place of Hip Hop is the Bronx, New York. When the birth place of our culture that we live in is in need, the least we can do is try our best to help restore it. Hip Hop does not owe us anything, but we definitely owe it a lot.”

The above information is adapted from a press release received Thursday, November 29th.

The Deets

Events: DC DanceSport Inferno Ballroom Competition

Photo Credit: David Cunningham – EnMotion Photography

DC DanceSport Inferno, one of the largest amateur ballroom competitions on the east coast, dances into its seventeenth year November 2nd through 4th. The event will be held in the Grand Ballroom of the Adele H. Stamp Student Union at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Hosted annually by Ballroom at Maryland, DC DanceSport Inferno (DCDI) is one of the largest amateur/collegiate DanceSport competitions on the eastern seaboard.

More than 800 competitors and 30 competition teams from all over the country will dance in two days of competition, consisting of International Standard, International Latin, American Smooth and American Rhythm styles. Past officials for DCDI include former US Professional Champions, North American champions, UK Open 10-Dance Champions, Asian-Pacific Professional 10-Dance Grant Finalists, and former US Representatives to the World Championships.

Regular spectator tickets are $10 each for the Saturday and Sunday competitive sessions, $20 for the Saturday evening show, or $30 for the entire weekend. The event will also be streamed live free of charge. For more information, please visit dcdancesportinferno.com.

The above information is adapted from a press release received Wednesday, September 20th.

The Deets

Events: Dance DC Festival 2012

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is hosting its Ninth Annual Dance DC Festival, August 2012. This festival highlights rich traditions from cultures across the globe! The Dance DC Festival 2012 will present an array of folk and traditional music and dance performance groups from Washington, D.C.!

Schedule of events:

Friday, August 24, 2012
6:00 p.m. – The Drum
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002

This performance salutes the staple that connects every culture around the world; The Drum. Enjoy an evening of rhythmic percussive foot performances from countries across the globe! Also featuring a multicultural marketplace. Featured performers include Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company, Grufolpawa, Fiddle Puppet Dancers, Flamenco Aparicio, Lesole’s Dance Project, Just Tap, and Nana Malaya.

Saturday, August 25, 2012
Let’s Get Physical! A series of interactive workshops.
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
1:00 p.m. – Bharatanatyam, Dr. Janaki Rangarajan
2:00 p.m. – Pontitango, Argentine Tango
3:00 p.m. – International Capoeira, Angola Foundation Capoeira

6:00 p.m. – Dance Asia 2012: Asia in Maskquerade
John F. Kennedy Center, 2700 F Street, NW, Washington, DC 20566

Revel in the mystery and enchantment of Asian Maskquerade. The jovial, the forbidden, the divine, the sanguine, mask are significant elements in many folk and traditional ceremonies, rituals & traditions and are often of an ancient origin. Witness the vivacity of movement and partake in the dance.

7:00 p.m. – Move N’ Groove: An all out Hand Dance Party!
Twelve Lounge, 1123 H Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002

Join us as we close out the festival with DC’s own native dance, led by The National Hand Dance Association.

For more information contact Ebony C. Blanks, Program Coordinator ebony.blanks@dc.gov or (202) 724-5613.

The above information is from an e-mail received Wednesday, July 18th.

Not Dancing With the Stars… Dancing for a Cause!

The DC Dance Marathon is a party with a purpose. The 13.1 hour dance event raises money for Metro Area Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. While the event has been workin’ it on college campuses for years, it’s only in its second year in DC, but after raising $37K in 2011, it is back with boogie fever! Taking place on Saturday, November 17th at the FHI 360 Conference Center, the DC Dance Marathon is open to anyone with a passion for dance, no skill required! The event will feature a variety of dance styles, performances, games and activities, as well as stories from the lives impacted by this charitable dance marathon.

I had a chance to speak with Brandon Weathers, head of public relations for the DC Dance Marathon. Brandon chasséd into this role last year and said that while he doesn’t have a professional dance background per se, “If I have to go out there for a good cause and look like I’m having a dry heave, bring it on!”

How do you complete a marathon with dance?

It all comes down to a combination of dance, entertainment and games. We have an opening ceremony and start off letting everyone gather and socialize. Certain hours of the event are dedicated to dance styles. In rave hour, everyone [wears] glow sticks, then we turn the lights off and everybody acts like rave kids. The most important thing is that everyone is dancing however they want, whenever they want, to any kind of music that they want.

Do patients from Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals participate?

We bring in patients and patient families, and they come and tell their story. If this is your first time experiencing the dance marathon, you don’t really know what that means until a kid comes up and tells you that Children’s Hospital saved their life from cancer. It adds a sense of personalization to what we’re doing. I’m partying with a purpose here and it really does make a difference in someone’s life.

What do you tell someone who says, “I don’t dance.”?

I tell them that it doesn’t matter if you can’t dance; you’re there for a good cause. We have a variety of things that you can do. If you don’t want to dance but still want to give back, find a team to sponsor, join a committee or pass our information along.

We always tell people, if you have a bad knee, do what you feel most comfortable doing. You’re not here to audition for “Dancing with the Stars.” You’re here to have a good time and help out with the community. It’s something you can be a part of no matter what.

Why is DCDM important to you personally?

When I first started, I didn’t really realize the people I was going to be impacting. It turns out my nephew’s cousin was in their hospital. I didn’t know that what I was doing had a direct impact on somebody I knew.

The Deets


Dance Exchange Goes Into the Wild – A Search for the Origins of Energy

The stage is set with a mountainous display of card castles and a toddler’s wooden chair; one rogue breath of wind could blow the whole set away. With that air of vulnerability, three dancers begin an excerpt from Dance Exchange’s “How to Lose a Mountain,” to be completed in the Spring of 2013 based on the experience of hiking 500 miles to find the origins of domestic energy. As the dancers toss the playing cards across the stage, a path is laid before them. Dancers Sarah Levitt and Shula Strassfeld embrace on the precipice of a toddler chair. One foul move and the whole card castle could tumble down, but if they hold together, they can balance on the edge of the cliff.

Photo Credit: John Borstel, Courtesy of Dance Exchange

Dance Exchange and Artistic Director Cassie Meador are on the brink of a transcendental journey to bridge the 500 mile distance from Meador’s home in Takoma, Maryland to a strip-mining site in West Virginia where several mountains once stood, and where the origins of the electric energy that powers Meador’s house begins. In their Tuesday, April 3 concert at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center entitled “First Steps in the Development of How to Lose a Mountain,” Dance Exchange is laying the groundwork for this trek.

After “living off the land” in 2009 for two weeks in a rainforest in South America, Meador had an epiphany – the essentials she needed to survive there only traveled from the source to her fingertips. Upon returning home, she couldn’t shake the thought that she was “surrounded by all this stuff, and I have no idea where it came from,” said Meador.

The program notes read, “Behind every product we use is a distance that has been traveled and a story that can be shared.”

“I have a need to cover that distance, to trace the source,” said Meador. Throughout the eight week journey, Meador, along with several of the Dance Exchange dancers and collaborators, will create opportunities for community members, environmentalists, artists and documentarians to come together at various events, share their stories and even join the walk for a portion of the trip.

The cards that the dancers picked through in the opening piece represent stories to be collected along their path. In each community they hit, Dance Exchange will offer prompts written on a playing card, such as, “Describe an object that means a great deal to you,” or “What is the most valuable part of your inheritance?” The responses will be collected and compiled on www.500miles500stories.com, the interactive website map.

While the journey requires Meador and her companions to strip down to survival essentials, the promotion of such a cause demands extensive technological resources and media outreach. The transcendental expedition is built upon a social media platform, or as Levitt puts it, “taking the experience through technology.”

Dance Exchange will kick off their journey on Tuesday, April 10th, making their first stop at the Kennedy Center at Dance Exchange in Takoma Park at 8:00 a.m. for a “Sunrise Send-off.” In the evening, Dance Exchange will have a free performance at 6:00 p.m. at the Kennedy Center.

To share thoughts and donations, visit www.500miles500stories.com or download the app (TBA) to help Dance Exchange reach their goal of $5,000 $10,000 by June 22nd to help fund the 2013 completed dance work of “How to Lose a Mountain.”

Dancer Notes: Dances That Move Us

Dancer Notes are exchanges for dance artists in the DC metro area to pool resources in order to achieve a greater impact. The next event of the Dancer Notes series is Dances That Move Us. What performances have stood out to you lately? What work induced more questions or sparked conversation?

Join Dancer Notes for a dialogue about dance performance in DC from the completely produced, to the dance on film, to the informal showing of a work in progress. Gather over yogurt and lattés and continue the conversation. Colleagues, dancers, friends, volunteers and board members are welcome to this free event. For more information and to RSVP, visit the Facebook event or e-mail Ilana.Silverstein@gmail.com.

The Deets

26th Annual Jazz & Tap Festival

With 25 annual productions down, the Dancin’ Unlimited Jazz Dance Company (DUJDC) launches the next quarter century with the 26th Annual Jazz & Tap Dance Festival on Saturday, March 3rd at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 4th at 4:00 p.m. at the Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale Campus theatre. The Festival showcases jazz dance, a true American art form, in its variety of 20th century styles evolving with 21st century music.

“A characteristic of jazz dance,” says Marilyn York, Artistic Director of DUJDC, “is that it changes as jazz music changes and as popular entertainment preferences change.” York frames the Festival as a vaudevillian sequence of jazz, tap, hip hop, and musical theatre dance numbers. The “Chambermaid Swing” premiers in this years show. It reaches back to ragtime and swing in a fun piece about maids on a holiday. Another piece takes us forward to the latest contemporary interpretation of concert jazz dance.

Five more dance companies expand the Festival’s syncopated patterns of movements and pauses: Encore Performers, Center Stage Dance, Capitol Movement, Impulse, and MYTE. Center Stage’s Michael Hibbs, recent winner of the Fairfax County Dance Coalition’s scholarship for a high school senior pursuing advanced dance education, demonstrates his Bill “Bojangles” Robinson tap dance expertise. The Encore Performers “rockette” us with large-scale musical theatre pieces and Capital Movement hip hops us into street crowd frenzy.

The above information is adapted from a press release received Friday, February 24th.

The Deets

  • 26th Annual Jazz and Tap Festival
  • Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale Campus Theatre –  8333 Little River Turnpike; Annandale, VA 22003
  • Saturday, March 3rd, 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 4th, 4:00 p.m.
  • $20 in advance, $22 at the door; Click here to buy tickets
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