The Lehigh Valley Dance Exchange SpringUP Dance Festival, April 7-8

The Lehigh Valley Dance Exchange (LVDE), in partnership with Cedar Crest College, announces the full festival lineup for the sixth annual SpringUP Dance Festival, including internationally renowned artists, guest artist concert, showcase opportunities, and a new scholarship program benefiting the Lehigh Valley community. The region’s first and only professional dance festival, SpringUP will take place April 7-8, 2018 in the spacious performing arts facilities of Cedar Crest College, uniting the dance community for a weekend of dance, fitness and wellness classes, performances and networking, and helping to build a stronger presence for dance and the arts within the Lehigh Valley.

Over the past six years, the annual festival has grown from a small gathering of local dancers into a cornerstone of the artistic culture of the Lehigh Valley, welcoming over 200 participants, guest artists and audience members each year. SpringUP brings some of the dance industry’s most in-demand choreographers and artists to the Lehigh Valley to nurture the physical and artistic potential of the valley’s established and emerging professional dancers. Remaining true to the mission of the Lehigh Valley Dance Exchange to create a strong professional dance presence/scene in the Lehigh Valley, the festival offers a supportive, inspiring environment for professional dance to thrive, grow and connect to the community. Brainstormed and developed by seasoned dance professionals, SpringUP fosters the creative potential of its participants in a more accessible and affordable format than similar experiences offered in the urban dance hubs of New York City and Philadelphia.

The SpringUP LIVE! Dance on Stage and Camera concert on Saturday, April 7 highlights the creative genius of festival faculty and their touring companies. This live performance evening brings together professional dance makers for one outstanding program. Celebrating a variety of styles and artistic voices, this year’s concert features performances by Illstyle & Peace, STAYCEE PEARL dance project, Maree ReMalia/merrygogo, Randall Smith, Tara Madsen Robbins, Subject:Matter, Kathleen Nasti, and a special performance by the Lehigh Valley Performing Arts Charter High School.

The festival also offers additional showcase opportunities for local professional and emerging artists: the Freshly Squeezed choreography showcase gives festival participants the opportunity to present their live work in front of an adjudication panel of guest artists, and the Dance on Camera showcase preceding the presents dance on film works of local and visiting artists.

New this year, LVDE is introducing the SpringUP Scholarship Program as part of its ongoing commitment to the provision of professional level artistic opportunities within the diverse dance culture of the Lehigh Valley. In order to open these opportunities to the widest audience possible, the scholarship program seeks students in the community who may not otherwise have access to such events as the SpringUP Dance

Festival. By offering free tuition to the festival and its events, LVDE will bring professional level dance education and networking opportunities to these students. Recipients will also have the opportunity to showcase a work in the adjudicated Freshly Squeezed showcase during the festival, during which they will experience the technical rehearsal process required to put together a concert, perform on the Samuels Theatre at Cedar Crest College in front of a festival audience and panel of professional artists, and receive constructive feedback from this panel for positive growth and mentorship to progress in their dance careers. This year’s recipient organization is Xcape Dance Studio, a program of the Youth Education in the Arts non- profit organization in Allentown.

Previous festival faculty have included dancers and choreographers from Broadway Dance Center, Koresh Dance Company, Trisha Brown Dance, Ballet X, Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, Kun Yang-Lin/Dancers and more. The focus of the festival is to unite the Lehigh Valley community with renowned artists who have developed successful, sustainable careers in the field of dance, creating an opportunity for established and emerging artists to learn from these guest artists and their experiences, and also to provide a platform for participants to showcase their own work.

The festival is open to professional and pre-professional level dancers age 15+. Registration for the full weekend of events is kept at a low fee of $50 for the festival all-access pass, or participants may choose to drop into a single class for $20. All concerts and showcases throughout the weekend are open to the public: tickets to the SpringUP LIVE! concert are $20, and the Freshly Squeezed and Dance on Camera showcases have a $10 suggested donation. The 2018 faculty lineup promises to be the biggest and best yet, including nationally and internationally renowned choreographers, teachers and dancers from New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and more, representing a wide array of dance and movement disciplines. Faculty members on this year’s roster include:

  • Musical Theatre Jazz / Kathleen Nasti
  • sol. session Contemporary / STAYCEE PEARL dance project Gaga/dancer class / Maree ReMalia
  • Street Dance Styles / Brandon “Peace” Albright
  • A Journey through Juba and Other Social Dances / Mayte Nataio of Camille Brown & Dancers Intermediate Ballet Technique / Kim Maniscalco
  • Tap / Ian Berg Yoga / Lisa Bryan
  • 20th Century Black Dance for the 21st Century Body / Randall Smith Contemporary Modern / Tara Madsen Robbins
  • Barre / Stephanie Morffi 

Registration, showcase applications, tickets and the full festival schedule of events are available through the Lehigh Valley Dance Exchange’s website at

Photo: Illstyle & Peace

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