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DANCE Lansing community dance project starts Tuesday


DANCE Lansing

Wednesday, July 24, 7 p.m.

LCC’s Dart Auditorium

500 N. Capitol Ave.


(517) 333-3528

See the breadth of the Lansing’s dancing community loosen up and bust a move for free.

In a string of performances, Lansing will come alive with a smorgasbord of local dancers at venues across the city.

“Dance lansing is a really unique collaboration of community and nonprofits,” said Lisa Whiting Dobson, DANCE Lansing’s artistic director. “Our goal is to increase performance and choreography opportunities for area dancers.”

Collaboration between dancers often don’t get to work together makes this event an important resource, said Whiting Dobson. “You’re working with people you don't tend to work with. You can utilize the strength of differences in groups.”

Organizing and choreographing the many dance routines is challenging, said Whiting Dobson.

“We have 42 pieces of new choreography created since the middle of June,” said Whiting Dobson.

In its 13th year of operation, Whiting Dobson said today’s event is quite the change. “It was started by Matt Bebermeyer. They had eight dancers, four choreographers and performed in a gym. Now we have 80 different dancers performing this summer and 35 choreographers,” Whiting Dobson said.

Featured dancer Nick Garreiss will bring his percussive dance with a backstory to this year’s event. Paying tribute to the 1935 Irish Public Dance Halls Act that banned dancing in Ireland’s homes for fear of inappropriate behavior, Garreiss will do an hourlong solo show. He’ll perform Irish and other dances that are inspired from dance bans in Elmore City, Oklahoma, and Pound, Virginia.

Whiting Dobson said the Irish house dancing ban inspired the venue choice for Garreiss, “That is why we are doing it in the Turner Dodge home now.”

Happendance’s executive member Missy Lilje said, “DANCE Lansing is a great model for enhancing the understanding and accessibility of modern and contemporary dance.

It encourages new choreographers to practice the creation of dance with mentorship from seasoned professionals.

Putting on this event is personal, Dobson said.

“When I was a young person, I always thought would grow up to be a dancer. I danced at LCC in its heyday. For me, I want to create that same kind of community environment that I experienced for young dancers today. It is important to have those experiences for all of the arts.”


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