Learn to dance for free!

April 23, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Salsa, tango, even the hula. This is your chance to dance -- for free!

Bay Area National Dance Week is an annual 10-day celebration (April 25 - May 4) of free public dance events in the Bay Area.

About Bay Area National Dance Week

The East Bay dance events comprise almost a third of the epic dance festival, which features over 300 free dance events throughout San Francisco, the North Bay, South Bay and East Bay from April 25-May 4, 2008.

This year's East Bay events illustrate the great diversity and range of the region and its dance scene. For those who want to learn tango, there's the Same Sex Beginning Ballroom Tango Classat Lake Merritt Dance Center. For those who want to travel back in time, there's the Jane Austen Dance Experienceat Grace North Church. TheIntroduction to Tahitian Danceclasses at Mahea Uchiyama Center for International Dance features live drumming and music. Kathak classes with the esteemed Chitresh Das Dance Company and Chhandam School of Kathak will intrigue those eager to try out North Indian classical dance.

Middle Eastern dance, salsa, hula, jazz, Scottish country, and more, this year's East Bay events offer something for everyone. Book lovers can even Boogie Around the Booksduring a free merengue dance lesson at the Berkeley Public Library. Dance companies and artists will also open up their doors and offer free performances, open studios, panel discussions and workshops.

For more information, visit: www.bayareandw.org

Download the Event Guide here.

About Denise Pate, BANDW Steering Committee Member

Denise Pate has spent over 20 years working in the arts community as a dancer, choreographer, teacher, and arts administrator. Much her experience has included designing and directing artist residency programs for schools in Oakland, San Francisco, and in Marin and Sonoma counties. She is the former Associate Director, Operations for California College of the Arts' Center for Art and Public Life (2005-2007). She has performed with Dimensions Dance Theater (1982-86), and directed Oakland Parks and Recreation's City-Wide Dance program 1988-93. Her past affiliations include Young Audiences of the Bay Area, Wolftrap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts, Youth In Arts, and World Arts West. As former Executive Director of CitiCentre Dance Theatre, she led a multi-cultural arts center that offered over 50 dance and music classes each week. She received her B.A. from Dominican University, where she studied modern dance with Bay Area luminaries June Watanabe and former Martha Graham Company member Lar Roberson. She also holds an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix. Some of her current and past board and advisory committee memberships include Dancers' Group, Luna Kids Dance, City of Oakland Funding Advisory Committee, Isadora Duncan Awards Committe

About Alseny Soumah, dancer

Alseny Soumah was born in Boke, Guinea and is highly respected in both of his continental homelands of Africa and the United States. His international acclaim as a performance artist includes work as a solo artist with the renowned companies of Guinea, West Africa Les Mervilles D'Afrique and Le Ballet du Guinea, including travel throughout Europe, the United States and Canada.


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