Mar 12, 2010

NEWSFLASH: Columbus is a DANCE city!!

I've been thinking about this a lot lately - Columbus knows it's a football town, a university town, and even a town that appreciates the arts. But I don't think the average Columbusite realizes- we're a dance town, too?

This past winter I attended several touring shows presented by the Wexner Center and was surprised at how many people in the audience were clearly dancers (you can just tell), not to mention just how big the total audiences were.

I don't know why it took me so long to realize this, but other people have been thinking about it too- the front cover feature in the latest CityScene Columbus spells out how mature the Columbus dance scene has become:

Full Of Grace
Alicia Kelso

From tap to tango and ballet to ballroom, Columbus is a city full of happy feet.

Whether you buy tickets to a worldpremiere production by BalletMet or you enroll your kids in an Irish step class, the art of dance is very much a part of our community’s culture.

“There is such a strong arts hub in general here; there are strong educational roots at local colleges and universities, which attracts artists to the area,” says Jennifer Sciantarelli, communications manager at BalletMet.

The Ohio State University’s Department of Dance has been ranked as the top graduate program in the country by industry publication Dance Teacher. This reputation has benefited Columbus as a whole because many of these students stick around after they graduate.

“Dancers are beginning to be recognized as important contributors to the arts scene and they are staying,” says Karen Bell, dean of the College of the Arts and professor with the Department of Dance at OSU.
See the rest of the article text only or even better and with upcoming shows on Page 16, read the article inside the latest issue (click the front cover to go straight to the article).

The article focuses on a few of the bigger players in town:

There are TONS of upcoming dance shows listed on Columbus Dance Calendar so take a look and be amazed.

Now the fact that we have lots of opportunities to attend dance concerts is GREAT, but there's a lot more to be done:
  1. Columbus doesn't yet have a reputation for dance, outside of the dance world. I'm not sure how we get there, but maybe we need an Ohio Dance for Central Ohio. More PR people pitching articles to the media, more press, more outreach programs...
  2. Dance needs to become part of the arts awareness taught in schools.
  3. Lastly, and for somewhat selfish reasons, I want Columbusites to get out there as adults and participate in dance - take a class, go out dancing!
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