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.
The Bethesda Big Train baseball team came to fruition through the passion and charitable work of the Bethesda Community Baseball Club. Upon seeing that the area's softball and baseball fields were in disarray, this group quickly took to the task of improving them for the community's youth. After raising the money to fix the parks, the organization erected Shirley Povich Field to give the Bethesda Big Train a place to call home. A summer collegiate baseball team, the Big Train delights fans with the sounds of summer: the crack of the bat, the smack of a fastball hitting the catcher's mitt, and the buzz of a cell phone politely vibrating. The team members also aspire to be role models for the region's younger generation, showing them that they can play baseball at a high level while still putting college, their studies, and their right to wear sweatpants to class first. Today the club participates in the Cal Ripken League and has won the league's championship three seasons in a row, giving locals and fans plenty to cheer about while enjoying family fun out under the summer's warm evening sky.
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.
After nearly two decades obsessing over cinema as a film critic for Variety and editor-in-chief of Film Comment, Harlan Jacobson founded Talk Cinema?a series of early film screenings hosted at multiple theaters around the country. Each year, Harlan handpicks independent and foreign films from the world's leading festivals, often resulting in some of the first public screenings of award-winning prestige pictures. After each screening, he hosts experts such as scholars, filmmakers, and critics from the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune during discussions modeled after those held at festivals and particularly cultured kids' treehouses. Talk Cinema also occasionally hosts guided tours of festivals in international cities such as Montreal and Reykjavik.
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.
The instructors at Abe Ballroom Dancing want the world of dance to be accessible to everyone. That’s why they have dance classes for those of all ages, no matter their skill level or previous experience. Dances include ballroom, waltz, cha cha, samba, and West Coast swing. They even have a class to prep soon-to-be newlyweds for their first dance.