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State Street Ballet and The James Irvine Foundation Present ‘Everybody Dance Day’

As part of The James Irvine Foundation’s Exploring Engagement Grant, State Street Ballet is hosting a series of events in eight California cities during June and July 2016.

The events will be held in accessible community spaces and will be free to the public. Starting at noon, professional dancers and teachers will offer classes in all different styles of dance for the participants to try. There will also be free food and activities for the kids.

The day will culminate in a free performance by State Street Ballet dancers — and in some cases by dance groups from the community — and will include a facilitated bilingual talk about the performance and the day.

The company’s goal is to engage community members of all ages in the arts, specifically in dance, both to promote healthy self-expression and positive self-esteem and to help community members connect in new ways. The event is open to people of all ages.

State Street Ballet’s team of fantastic teachers includes award-winning choreographer Edgar Zendejas (originally from Mexico) and master teacher Royce Zackery (New York City), as well as company dancers Deise Mendonça (Brazil), Mauricio Vera (Chile), Thomas Fant (Virginia) and Cecily Stewart (Santa Barbara).

The styles of classes offered will range from hip-hop to contemporary to yoga to Latin dance and even a choreography class.

Dance Day partners include The Alley Project, NCA Dance and The Breadbox Recreation Center, United Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County, The Garcia Center for the Arts and Hardcore Fitness, The Mission Gables Bowl House, The Edwards Center, West Fresno Family Resource Center and Deborah McCoy Hip Hop, Got Rhythm Dance and Westpark Community Center, World Dance for Humanity, Derrick Curtis Dance, Ashley Koehler Reynolds and Donovan Tunay.  

State Street Ballet describes the mission of this outreach program in an open invitation to the community:

“We want to offer community members of all ages and backgrounds the chance to experience the universal language of movement. We believe that dance heals, that the arts are equalizing, and that every person should have the opportunity to express themselves creatively.

“Join us as we teach the tools of movement and self-expression, and as we encourage bilingual conversations about the artist within each of us. Everybody Dance Day is a day to celebrate the characteristics that make us unique, and to discover the points of connection that draw people together on a personal and global scale.”

The touring event will stop in Santa Barbara from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 18 at the United Boys and Girls Club located at 602 W. Anapamu St.; in Santa Maria from 12-6 p.m. June 19 at the Edwards Community Center, 809 Panther Drive; in Lompoc from 12-6 p.m. July 2 at the United Boys and Girls Club located at 1025 W. Ocean Ave.; and in Ventura from 12-6 p.m. July 3 at the Westpark Community Center, located at 450 W. Harrison Ave.

For more information and schedules or to RSVP, visit the event’s Facebook page.

— Cecily Stewart represents State Street Ballet.


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