The Dance Institute of Washington’s open house on Saturday (Aug. 22) was one of the best events I’ve been to all year! Beautiful facility and really warm, friendly staff who all just seemed joyful to be there. It’s a sad odd fact of big city culture that we get used to the grand shows and forget that there is incredible talent level in the neighborhoods and studios. It is a different experience, but no less satisfying. Washington Ballet theater at the Kennedy Center is great, but to see these “pre-professional” students dance ten feet in front of you with no lights, staging etc. is pure unadorned pleasure. This was not your groaning dutiful ballet school recital ordeal – the average dancers were very good, and the best of them were actually exciting.
Besides the performances, they had classes open to all. How incredibly cool to watch Miss Paula take 15 random little girls and turn them into jazz dancers with a whole routine in 20 minutes. I am so not hip hop, but the three young performers/teachers in this class captivated everyone and opened a whole new perspective on the dance style.”
Meant to post this from Aug. 24th but it got away from me. Thought it was worth sharing. The Dance Institute is located at 3400 14th Street, NW across from the Tivoli.