3rd Annual Philadelphia Youth Dance Fest

photo by Lindsay Browning

The third annual Philadelphia Youth Dance Fest (PYDF) will take place at The Arts Bank, 601 South Broad Street, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 5, 2016 at 7:30pm and March 6, 2016 at 4:00pm.  After last year’s sold out performances, Philadelphia residents can expect another exciting weekend of noteworthy dance from our wonderfully talented youth! These performances act as an opportunity to expose local audience members to the young dance community creating support for the students that end up pursuing dance professionally.

The Philadelphia Youth Dance Fest is a pre-professional dance festival designed to share and celebrate high quality dance training in a supportive and professional atmosphere. This festival unites talented and aspiring dancers by offering them a venue to share their love of dance.  In addition to the performances, the students also participate in master classes.  Many genres will be presented including Ballet, Contemporary, Modern, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, and Musical Theatre.

The festival has grown from last year’s sixteen pre-professional companies to, this year’s, twenty- one companies!  Over 200 dancers ranging from 13 to 18 years of age will be performing this year!

Companies are traveling from as far as New Jersey, Chester, PA, Lancaster County, PA, Wilmington DE, Dover, DE, as well as our very own Philadelphia and it’s suburbs to dance in this festival.  In order to create a bond between teaching artists in Philadelphia the students, PYDF also provides master classes for participating companies during the day on March 6.  The students have the privilege of participating in three Master Classes in Contemporary, Flamenco, and an Afro/Funk Fusion class called Eclectifunk at the University of the Arts studios. The goal is to expose the students to different dance genres, broadening their knowledge of dance.  The students also are combined with other peers from different studios, establishing new friendships, connections, and roll models.

Shannon Murphy, certified Franklin Method Instructor, Adjunct at University of the Arts, and co-director of idiosynCrazy Productions, will be teaching Contemporary.  Elba Hevia y Vaca, master Flamenco Performer and Teacher and founder of Pasion y Arte will be introducing the students to Flamenco with live accompaniment. Charles Tyson, Jr. will be introducing a movement style known as “EclectiFunk,” which is a blend of the traditions of American modern dance, African movement and rhythms, combined with the percussive musicality of street jazz and voguing. It is the official movement style of Tyson’s dance company Under Ground Dance Works.

The 2016 PYDF participating companies are All Star Dance, Babylon School of Dance, Chester Valley Dance Academy, COBALT Contemporary Ballet of PA, Concepts in Choreography, Dance Elite, Dancefusion’s fusion2, Delaware Ballet, Delaware Valley Dance Academy, Innovation Dance Project, Institute of Dance Artistry, International Ballet Theatre, Janice’s DanceWorks, Kimberton Dance Academy, Koresh Dance Company Youth Ensemble, Opus 2 Project, Philadelphia Dance Theatre, Shannon Cooper’s Academy of Dance,  The DANCE! Workshop Company, Wilmington Ballet Jr. Company, and Wissahickon Dance Academy.

The mission of the Philadelphia Youth Dance Fest is to provide young and aspiring dancers an experience that will enrich and inspire their craft through the celebration and performance of dance. It is an occasion that will allow them an opportunity to learn from their peers, unite through dance, and gain a sense of community. We hope to provide a true feeling of accomplishment that they, in turn, can apply to all their futures in the world of dance and in their lives.

3rd Annual Philadelphia Youth Dance Fest
March 5 at 7:30pm
March 6 at 4:00pm
The Arts Bank, 601 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Information: www.phillyyouthdancefest.com
Tickets:  $22 General Admission, Online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2499011

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