'ODC' in San Francisco fosters diversity and inclusion through dance

ByJanel Andronico Localish logo
Friday, March 17, 2023
Calling all dancers to an inclusive performance environment
ODC is a dance company that creates an environment where art, community, creativity, and performance are the natural way of life.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Founded in 1971 by Artistic Director Brenda Way, ODC Dance Commons aims to inspire audiences, engage community, and foster diversity and inclusion through dance.

"I will say it's a happy place. And people say that when they come and say, 'Oh, this is a happy place.' And I'm thinking, yeah, well, that's the idea," said Way.

"It's an organization that is centered in dance that seeks to create an environment where art, community, creativity, and performance are the natural way of life."

The San Francisco-based contemporary arts institution has many training classes to nurture your creativity. At the ODC Dance Commons and online via Zoom, participate in a variety of dance classes, including Hip Hop, Contemporary, Rhythm & Motion, Ballet, Hula, Afro-Haitian, Essentrics, Pilates, Belly Dance, and more.

"It's also about giving everybody access to movement," said Way. "Everybody should dance, and so we set up a world in which everybody could do that."

Way continued, "I think dance is one of the few art forms that really does address the body, the mind and the spirit. Obviously, it's about your body, it's about trying to feel comfortable in your body in not feeling intimidated by body image or competitive feelings that I'm not good enough."

ODC fosters a non-competitive environment, so that dancers fully express and enjoy themselves.

"Creativity is in the bones of the building," explained Theater Creative Director Chloe Zimberg.

"We have just such a thriving Center for Dance here," said School Director and Associate Choreographer, Kimi Okada. "We have many component parts that offer different portals for people to come through no matter what they're interested in."

For more information, visit here.