People of the Beat, a global community of dancers, organizes unique, oversized nights for dancers so that they can groove to playlists of dance and hip hop, Latin and African, rock and country tunes—in sweatpants or ball gowns. The all-ages party’s dress code is simply “whatever is most comfortable to dance in.” This utilitarian vibe attracts novice dancers, fitness groups, and professional ballerinas alike to the party, which combines stage performances with an always-dancing crowd. Each party is held in a spacious arena where dancers can spread out and dance with the sky as the limit to their exuberance.
When it was founded in 1970, the theatre company Street ’70 didn’t have a home, instead serving as a nomadic outreach program for schools and community spaces. It would be seven years before they’d find their own space in the Round House Theatre, which would eventually become the company’s moniker. Since those early days, the ensemble has produced more than 200 performances per year out of their home theater in Bethesda and a black box theater in Silver Springs. Round House Theatre also spreads the drama bug through classes, workshops, and not washing their hands after handling freshly penned manuscripts.
Since 1965, Choral Arts has toured internationally, produced 18 recordings, and grown its symphonic chorus to include more than 180 professional singers. Artistic director Scott Tucker christens his first season with the ensemble, calling upon more than 17 years of experience as a director at Cornell University and as an assistant conductor at Harvard University. The ensemble regularly performs with the National Symphony Orchestra and other orchestras from around the world.
Chevy Chase Ballroom & DanceSport Center’s professional instructors draw on competitive dance backgrounds to guide group classes that groove through a range of styles. Latin beginners learn the basics of the cha-cha, merengue, and rumba, and the argentine tango and beginner salsa classes rehearse dance-specific fundamentals, gradually adding steps until sure-footed feet cut right through the ballroom's sleek new floor. Onlookers can watch from benches lined against the wall, observing dancers as they perfect their moves or sneakily scout for new partners in the mirrored wall lining the studio. Check the full schedule for class times.
DC Dance Collective is on a mission: to open the world of dance to everyone. And it takes that seriously—low-income dancers are encouraged to volunteer at the front desk in exchange for class credits. This communal spirit of creative exercise and collaboration realizes the dream of founder Nancy Newell, whose impressive 49-year dance career includes curating two Smithsonian series based on tap.
Dance Studio Life rightly describes DCDC as "an anomaly among studios in its region for both its collective approach and its vast offerings." In the lobby, which "feels more like a living room," the friendly instructors welcome people of all ages and backgrounds to pick from an eclectic assortment of dance styles, ranging from classics such as tap, ballet, and jazz to diverse styles such as hula, salsa, flamenco, belly dance, and Sri Lankan dance. Hip-hop and break-dancing classes help dancers find their inner funk without GPS, and Zumba fitness dance classes get everyone sweating to global party beats with Latin-inspired moves.
Founded in 1951, Adventure Theatre MTC has been the longest-running children’s theater in the Washington area and has earned a mantel-overloading amount of awards throughout the decades. Alongside professional and student productions, the theatrical powerhouse hosts camps and workshops to expand the performance arts, instill the love of the stage in children, and help teens to act like they care about the SATs.