Celebrating National Dance Week

National Dance Week kicks off today all around the country and this year, for the first time ever Eugene is in the mix of cities and towns officially celebrating this wonderful movement of movement! 

National Dance Week was formed in 1981 when a group of dance-related organizations began a strong grassroots movement to bring greater recognition to dance in the United States. The National Dance Foundation was established as a non-profit foundation in 2011 with the mission to expose and introduce as many people as possible to the enjoyment and benefits of dance through promoting dance in schools, expanding community awareness, and increasing professional development. The National Dance Foundations 3 pillars are inclusion, kindness, and community in dance.

This year the City of Eugene’s Cultural Services has partnered with many movers and shakers in the dance community to open dances classes, demonstrations, and performances to the public free of charge! For example, you can join Vanessa Fuller, one of West African Cultural Arts Institute’s performance group’s dancers for a fantastic Teen/Adult Hip-hop on Tuesday, April 23rd from 7:30-8:30 pm at Xcape Dance Academy, 1645 Oak Street or attend a panel discussion, entitled “Dancing with Respect-Honoring Culture” from 5:15-6:15 pm at Spectrum at 150 W Broadway.

On Saturday, April 27th from 11 am-3 pm, many great dance acts will be taking the outdoor stage for the Eugene Dance Celebration at Kesey Square. Formerly known as Broadway Plaza, Kesey Square is on the southeast corner of Broadway and Willamette Street in downtown Eugene.

West African Cultural Arts Institute’s performance group will be doing a 15-minute set from 11:45 am-12 pm accompanied by live drumming provided by Alseny Yansane, WACAI’s Artistic Director and fourteen year performing artist with Ballets Africains of Guinea and his amazing son, Papa Yansane. Come a little earlier to catch Flamenco Chico from 11:20-11:35 and stay afterwards to watch Bonnie Simoa, lead dance faculty at LCC’s Dance Department from 12-12:15 pm.

As a finale for the City of Eugene’s first National Dance Week and in celebration of International Dance Day, there will be a first annual International Dance Gala on Sunday, April 28  from 6-7:30 pm in Ragozzino Hall in the Performing Arts Building 6 at Lane Community College.

For more information, including a full schedule of events visit: