The Spin

MEDGE presents belly dancer Razia Star
MEDGE presents belly dancer Razia StarPhoto courtesy Maani Vadgama

Spring is in the air, and dance offerings are starting to bloom, beginning with “In the Studio” with DanceAbility, an inspiring demonstration from their Everybody Can Dance teen program. Celebrate with local teens across a full spectrum of abilities and disabilities as they enjoy the art of dancing together. Guest professional dance artists led by DanceAbility teacher Jana Meszaros will also show an inspiring choreographed mixed-abilities piece with dancer Kelcie Laube. Catch it 4:30 to 5:30 pm Thursday, March 3, 2016, at the Hilyard Community Center, 2580 Hilyard; free.

The UO Dance Department offers its Winter Dance Loft 8 pm Friday, March 4 — a showcase of work by graduate students in the department — in the Dougherty Dance Theatre on the third floor of the Gerlinger Annex on the UO campus. Tickets are available at the door; $5.

Also in Dougherty Dance Theatre, at 7 pm Monday, March 7, the UO presents its Dance Quarterlyfeaturing both improvisation and the latest works by UO student dancers; free.

The LCC Dance Program holds its Winter Term Open Show 3 pm Tuesday, March 8, in the Ragozzino Performance Hall. “The Open Show performances encompass everything our dance students have learned through winter term. Genres range from ballet to hip hop, and there are usually some surprise presentations along the way!” says the department’s lead, Bonnie Simoa. Admission is free.

In celebration of its achievement, the Middle Eastern Dance Guild of Eugene (MEDGE) presents a gala evening, Belly Dance! 25th Anniversary Gala Show  8 pm Saturday, March 12, at the Wildish Theater. This fast-paced evening features many styles of Middle Eastern dance, from folkloric to traditional to fusion. “With over 35 performers on stage, including live musicians, this show promises to be a unique cultural experience,” says Denise Gilbertson, the group’s spokesperson. See for more details. Tickets are $15, available at

In studio news, Danceability International offers several opportunities around the area, including EVERYbody has DanceAbility  — youth dance classes in Eugene, Cottage Grove and Junction City.

“This creative dance class is for people across the full spectrum of abilities and disabilities that are interested in dance or recreation. During the classes a certified DanceAbility teacher will guide participants through creative movement games that build camaraderie, physical awareness and expressive capabilities. The unique DanceAbility method always ensures that nobody is isolated, regardless of abilities or disabilities,” writes Danceability’s Kathryn Gaines.

DanceAbility International will also offer 2016 Teacher Certification and Orientation Courses in Portland and Eugene. From their press release: “Participants will learn how to teach dance and movement to groups that integrate people of all abilities and disabilities. They will also learn how to create a foundation of equality and respect among students while building connections and community through dance. DanceAbility method founder Alito Alessi has led these courses internationally since 1996, and is a Guggenheim Fellow. Courses will cover well-defined methods and techniques for teaching that emphasize how to work with mixed-abilities groups of various sizes, how to adapt teaching style to any given participants and how to work with both improvisation and choreography.” For more information on classes and workshops, please visit

The Eugene Ballet Academy offers a new class for boys 1 to 2 pm Saturdays. Working in a beginning and intermediate levels for ages nine and older, this class will concentrate on the specific needs of the male danseur. Cory Betts, professional dancer with the Eugene Ballet Company, teaches this class focused on developing strength, endurance and flexibility with an emphasis on jumps, leaps and turns. For more information, please call 541-686-9342 or email Katie Patrick at

Dancing for Life classes continue at Ballet North West Academy every Sunday at 1 pm. “This is a dance class specifically for individuals with Parkinson’s or other movement disorders, and it is based on the Dance for PD program developed by the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson’s Group,” says BNWA’s Eleanor Knapp. “Claire Maederer, BNWA Artistic Director, integrates movements from jazz, musical theater, tap, ballet and modern to engage participants both physically and mentally. No dance experience is necessary and caregivers are encouraged to participate. Dancers can stay seated for the entire class or progress from seated to standing to center work. For more information on the benefits of dance for individuals with Parkinson’s, go to” For more information on the Dancing for Life class at BNWA, call 541-343-3914.

Got a scoop on the local dance scene? Email Rachael Carnes at