BGSU to host annual dance festival

When people are younger they dream of that perfect career. These dreams can range from being an astronaut to a doctor to a ballerina. It isn’t often that there’s a second chance for that dream, but this weekend students and community members will get the opportunity to be a dancer once again.

Professors and professional dancers across Ohio will be meeting at BGSU to get locals involved with dance.

The OhioDance organization, a service group that focuses on dance and movement arts, will be holding its annual OhioDance Festival this weekend starting at 12:30 p.m. Friday through 2 p.m. on Sunday.

The reason this year’s festival is being held here is because Tammy Starr, associate professor within the School of Human Movement, Sport and Leisure Studies, advocated to host the festival.

“I knew that the OhioDance festival traveled to various cities and I knew that there was a lot of dance interest in Northwest Ohio,” Starr said. “I thought that it would be appropriate to bring this event to this area.”

In fact, this is the first time the OhioDance festival has been held in Northwest Ohio in its 30-year tenure, according to Executive Director of the organization Jane D’Angelo.

Throughout the three-day festival, students and community members will be able to take classes and join in panel discussions about various aspects of dance.

“OhioDance Festival provides the student and community members with the chance to master classes in dance forms ranging from traditional ballet and modern to cultural forms such as Korean and Native American dance,” said Meghan Gillette, a junior dance major. “Really, OhioDance provides students and the community with the access to dance.”

The OhioDance festival is a great opportunity for students who are involved with dance a chance to network and get involved in their field.

“As a dancer, I feel that OhioDance Festival is a great experience,” Gillette said. “It allows for dancers, of a variety of ages, to take classes from a variety of instructors who are versed in multiple forms of dance. It is a great experience to meet other dancers and it is an excellent place for networking.”

Not only are classes offered, but dancers are given an opportunity to audition for various dance companies across the state at 10 a.m. on Sunday.

“While some dancers may not be ready to join a company they still are able to get the experience and perhaps see the areas in which they need improvement,” Gillette said.

The festival is open to both the community and BGSU students. Registration is open until the beginning of the event.

“Classes are filling up fast,” D’Angelo said. “But the earlier you register the easier it will be to get into a particular class.”

Classes are open to people of all ages and dancing ability. Some classes have an age limit, but there is something for everybody, Starr said.

Overall, the festival is a great opportunity to get involved with dance or to continue one’s passion for it.

“[OhioDance Festival] brings multiple people together who share the same passion – dance,” Gillette said. “It is a challenging few days of classes, performances, and the audition. Through these types of festivals, one can begin to realize how important and active dance is in a community, be it Bowling Green or New York City.”