Now in its 20th year, Bay Area Dance Week (BADW) has collaborated with a bevy of sponsors and organizations of all types that bring the community together in celebration of its vibrant culture and rich dance-arts scene.
Running through the last week of April this year, BADW once aligned with its larger nation wide celebration, National Dance Week; which until just this year, had been held annually during the last week of April. National Dance Week was moved to the last week of February to better accommodate a greater amount of participants.
With one of the largest, most vibrant dance communities in the country, the Bay Area boasts a thriving, colorful arts scene that is home to a treasure trove of talent. The BADW event offers over 400 free dance classes, performances, lectures, open rehearsals and more, encompassing over 100 dance styles ranging from hula to latin, belly dance, ballroom, fire dance and a variety of traditional and ethnic dances.
While National Dance Week was founded in 1981 to increase awareness of dance and its contributions to the national culture, the Bay Area version was born 17 years later out of a public dialogue seeking to better showcase the local scene during National DanceWeek. This gathering of artists, administrators and organizers infused the national initiative with San Francisco Bay Area flavor and inclusivity, creating a rich, multi-cultural festival hosting more than 2,500 artists and 20,000 attendees annually. Considered to be the largest per capita dance center in the country, it should come as no surprise that the Bay Area’s dance week has grown into one of the most attended and extensive celebrations of its kind in the country.
The annual event is presented by Dancers’ Group, which has been promoting the visibility and viability of dance since 1982. Its mission statement is as follows: “Dancers’ Group envisions that dance is situated at the center of civic life and the ecosystem of the San Francisco Bay Area dance community is diverse, resilient, and artistically vibrant.” Since 2012 BADW has collaborated with Rhythm and Motion Dance Workout Program to kick off the festivities with a flashmob of more than 1,000 participants.
This year the highly anticipated dance extravaganza kicks off on April 21st at San Francisco’s City Hall Rotunda