Dance Bridges Cultures…


Political Map of USA with blue, red and white spots to reflect regions with most arts-vibrant communities according to SMU DataArts.

SMU DataArts released its report on the top 40 arts-vibrant communities of 2022 and both Boston and Cambridge and the surrounding suburbs (Newton and Framingham) got a nod.

There is no overall ranking this year, since the researchers took into account the complicated pandemic-related changes that have affected every aspect of the arts ecology. But interestingly Boston ranked 36th in arts providers (people working in all aspects of the field), second in arts dollars (revenue data aggregated from IRS 990s, SMU DataArts’ Cultural Data Profile, and Theatre Communications Group) and 13th in government support.

Cambridge and the suburbs were 55th in arts providers, 16th in arts dollars and 60th in government support. This makes sense, as the state’s anchor organizations which receive the highest levels of funding tend to be located in Boston proper.

SMU DataArts defines vibrancy as  “pulsating with life, vigor, or activity.” And we know that dance fits that definition to perfection.

Interested in learning more? Sign up for the free zoom where arts leaders will share “their process for strengthening and sustaining arts communities during times of crisis and challenge, recovery, and reopening” Tuesday, January 31, 3-4 PM.


Barr Foundation logo, dark blue BF over a white background and with a turquoise corner.

The Barr Foundation announced its December 2022 arts and culture grants and we were delighted to learn that it is granting $2 million towards the new dance theatre at Jacob’s Pillow and $675,000 towards the arts and culture campus-in-development at Bellforge in Medfield. Congratulations!


Laura smiles and holds a small sculpture.

Join sculptor and multi-media artist Laura Baring-Gould in “Making a Plan in a Time of Uncertainty” workshop. Over two workshop sessions, artists will learn the importance of—and develop the building blocks for—a goal-oriented plan for their creative career. This course is intended for those ready to hone the direction of their practice, identify priority goals unique to them, better understand opportunities for investment, and emerge out of this crisis with an eye toward greater stability. Thursdays, January 12 & 19, 2-4 PM.


El Bonche Boston poster with Cuban flag and event information.

El Bonche is back for its first Cuban Friday Night! Join for an epic dance night with timba, old school salsa and more! Kick off the night with a beginner class starting at 6:30 PM then start the party at 7:30 PM until 10:30 PM. Friday, January 13, at Rumba Y Timbal, 7 Temple Street, Cambridge, MA.


"BCMFEST 2023" written in dark orange over a lighter orange background with a celtic design over it.

The Boston Urban Ceilidh, part of the 20th Annual Boston Celtic Music Festival, features participatory and social dances from the Irish and Scottish traditions, all with live music. No experience is necessary – all dances will be taught and with an in-time caller. Closing out the night with a free-dance to Celtic EDM master Ramblxr (Elias Alexander). Friday, January 13, 7:30 PM, at Crystal Ballroom at Somerville Theater.


Six people learn a dance step from an instructor in front of them.

Enjoy an afternoon with Yana Veselova, the collector and curator of Swan Lake: 145 Years of History and Triumph, an exhibition of photographs, costumes, and historical documents. Take an interactive tours and discover ballet history through the exhibition “Swan Lake,” including figure drawing, coloring pages for families, and a demonstration of the “Swan Hands” dance technique from 12-1 PM. From 1-2 PM, explore the basic ballet positions, movements, and postures. Students will learn a small composition from the dance of the Swan Princess from the ballet Swan Lake. All bodies, ages, and abilities are welcome! Saturday, January 14, 12-2 PM, at the Museum of Russian Icons, 203 Union St, Clinton, MA.


OnStage Dance Company members in three tiers gathered together and smile.

OnStage Dance Company presents their 23rd performance season of new contemporary, jazz, pop, tap and more! Featuring live and filmed dance, this show celebrates the unique artistry of both emerging and experienced local choreographers. Saturday  January 14, 2 pm and 7 pm at Boston University Dance Theater, 915 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston (entrance on Buick Street).


Amazigh New Year written over a photo of someone singing and clapping.

The North African Amazigh community in U.S comes together to celebrate their culture and heritage for Amazigh New Year. The celebration takes place at The Armory, 191 Highland Ave in Somerville Saturday, January 14, 6 PM and includes folkloric dance, live music representing Morocco, Algeria and Niger and traditional refreshments. This is a not-to-be missed event for anyone interested in learning more about one of world’s most ancient cultures!


6 company dancers around a table on a dim-lit stage

Company SBB performs Look Who’s Coming to Dinner at the New England Conservatory Plimpton Shattuck Black Box as a part of Celebrity Series. It is a thought-provoking theatrical dance piece that evokes the 1967 film of similar name as seven talented dance theater artists literally and metaphorically seek a seat at an ever-changing dinner table. Saturday, January 14 at 8 PM and Sunday, January 15 at 3 PM.

Boston Dance Alliance members get $45 tickets ($75 regular price) valid for up to 4 tickets to the Sunday performance only. Offer expires 1/14/23 at noon, so check your BDA account for the code and order soon.


Busy poster in yellow and pink for 2023 World Music Arabian Knights show with raqs/belly dancers shown in small card-like rectangles

2023 “Arabian Knights” raqs/bellydance performance hosted by Za-Beth & Phaedra Rose at the Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub in Cetnral Square, Cambridge, Sunday January 15 from 2 PM-4 PM.


Poster calling dancers for auditions. Background is a pink abstraction of gears working together.

Guerilla Opera seeks three dancers or actors who move well of any gender identity and any ethnicity, for various small non-singing roles in the world premiere of The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, a comedic new opera by Elena Ruehr and Royce Vavrek, based on the graphic novel by Sydney Padua and directed by Tina Mitchell. Rehearsals will take place at Trinity Episcopal Parish of Newton Center, and performances will be held at the MIT W97 Black Box Theater. If interested, please submit a short one-minute self-tape performing an improvised movement solo that demonstrates your interpretation of a wind-up mechanical ballet doll dancing. Upload your self-tape to YouTube or Vimeo and provide the link in an email, along with a photo, resume or list of experience, and any conflicts to as soon as possible.


MLK Unity Networking day promotional poster with event information.

Dancers needed to volunteer to perform for The MLK Unity Networking Day Sunday, January 15, 12-4 PM, The event will have free lunch for vendors, live DJ, poets, inspirational speakers and more!  594 Columbia Road, Boston.
Contact Lakeea 857-396-9033 to apply.


Exuberant cross-cultural bridges bring joy in a Punjabi Bhangra and Highland Dance mashup this winter at Balance Rock, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada.


The sun is starting to return and dance of all genres is beginning to happen again across our community for the new year.

Looking for a dance class for yourself or your kids? Check out Boston Dance Alliance’s Class Finder to find a class where you live! This is just one of the many services we offer to the community for free. Your support makes it possible!

Happy dancing,

Debra Cash, Executive Director