On March 1, 2024, the UNC Greensboro (UNCG) School of Dance will host Community Dance Day, welcoming students from high schools across North Carolina and Virginia. The initiative aims to engage the broader community by offering a comprehensive program encompassing various dance classes, performances, workshops, and discussions. 

School of Dance Director Lee Walton says the event will involve approximately 180 High School dance students and their teachers, many of whom are UNCG alumni. 

“With a diverse array of activities and expert guidance, this Day of Dance promises to be an enriching experience for all involved. This event underscores the School of Dance’s commitment to community engagement and UNCG’s vision to ‘redefine the public research university for the 21st century as an inclusive, collaborative, and responsive institution making a difference in the lives of students and the communities it serves.’” 

During the event, which runs from 8:30 am–3:00 pm, participants will experience a series of activities, including up to four dance classes led by UNCG faculty and graduate students. These classes will cover a diverse range of dance styles, such as jazz, contemporary, ballet, safety release technique, Afro contemporary, Afrobeats, samba, salsa, Afro Cuban rumba, yoga, Pilates, and percussion workshops.

Attendees will also experience four dance performances choreographed by esteemed faculty members Janet Lily and Robin Gee. These performances, selected for the American College Dance Festival, offer students insights into professional-level dance productions. Gee will share screen dances and discuss the choreographic process behind them. Additionally, a new work by BFA Senior, Cameron Vanderhaar and Guest Choreographer Jordyn Santiago.

During lunchtime, students will engage with college students to learn about the college dance experience. For those interested, the event serves as an audition for UNCG’s School of Dance. Dr. Teresa Heiland, the director of Community Dance Day, has assembled a team of 16 dance faculty and graduate students to facilitate the event, ensuring a rich educational experience for all participants. 

Dance majors pursuing K-12 licensure will play integral roles in event management, from administrative tasks to serving as ambassadors, conversational partners during lunch, and class assistants. Their involvement enhances the event’s organizational efficiency and fosters a supportive environment for high school participants.