Joy of Motion Dance Center's annual Youth Dance Project engages young artists throughout the Washington, DC, area, providing a platform to present new dance works of all styles. This year’s showcase features 13 works from choreographers age 11 to 18, some of which explore mature themes including sexual identity.
In Dani Seltzer's (of Chevy Chase, Md.) and Natalie Schwart’z hip hop piece As Long As You Love Me, gay teenagers find love and won’t let anyone get in the way of it. The dance was created in response to seeing their gay and lesbian friends struggle with being accepted by peers. Rockville, Md., native Cecily Lo’s solo This is the feeling you thought you’d forgotten is a contemporary work about relapse.
Sisters Alexandra May Ballance and Sofia Nicole Ballance of Potomac, Md., also choreographed their own respective modern dances for the choreography showcase. Alexandra May Ballance presented her choreography at last year’s Dance Bethesda festival and recently received a Metro DC Dance Award.
Additional choreographers featured in Youth Dance Project include: Ellie Asher, Serena Baldick, Jackie Bowes, Mary Brown, Maggie Bujor, Ayden Elder, Krishna Euell, Tina Fowler, Carly Grossfield, Madeleine Hyde, Raya Kenney, Kaykay Kindy, Lila Ruth Klaus, Simone Kramer, Charlee Mize, Angelita Diamond Pollard, Sabrina Romviel, Sabrian Scherr and Asha Yates. Several of the choreographers are members of Joy of Motion Dance Center’s award-winning Youth Dance Ensemble Program and youth dance companies.
Youth Dance Project takes place Saturday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m. at The Jack Guidone Theater, 5207 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20015. General admission tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Tickets for children, students and seniors are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the Tickets and Events page of joyofmotion.org.