Pedestrians and performers will mix and mingle again for annual 'Dancing in the Streets'
The annual community dance event returns to portions of Main Street and Washington Street on Sept. 1, from 2 to 6:30 p.m. Get there early to see an opening performance from 1:30 to 2 p.m., and stay late for a closing performance from 6:15 to 7 p.m.
Dance groups and musicians will perform for the crowd, dance instructors and performers will teach dances, and the general public is more than highly encouraged to participate; the main point of the event is to engage the crowd.
With four stages featuring different kinds of traditional dance and music, "Dancing in the Streets" is an opportunity to experience lots of different genres in a single event.
"This is our way to introduce all kinds of traditional dance and music to the community" said Mark Hillegonds on behalf of Ann Arbor Community of Traditional Music and Dance.
The high level of crowd participation makes "Dancing in the Streets" a unique event. It's an experience much different from watching dancers on a stage from a seat in the audience. Instead, people experience the dance forms for themselves.
Daniel Brenner I AnnArbor.com
AACTMAD holds dance events and concerts throughout the year, but "Dancing in the Streets" is special. Held downtown, outside in the summer time, the event engages a large number of people from the general public.
"We have a Swing Dance Stage, which is a combination of performances and opportunities for people to learn. Susan Filipiak, who has a local studio (Swing City Dance Studio), is teaching a few different kinds of swing," said Hillegonds, who booked activities for three of the four stages. The swing area will also feature a jazz performance by five miles more.
"On the International Stage, we are doing Middle Eastern dancing, belly dancing, Balkan, and Cajun. We always try something new each year. This year, we have the Hoaluha Polynesian Dancers, who will be performing and teaching hula," he explains.
"On what we call our Anglo-American Stage, we've got a new Charleston workshop with local instructor Colette Kenville," Hillegonds says. The area will also feature contra, waltz and English country dance.
"Then we have a Concert Stage (booked by Joan Hellmann), which is primarily performances," he explains. It is a spot where people can sit and watch. And if inspired, the crowd can always feel free to get up and dance.
Kids' activities have ended up being popular with adults, too. Hillegonds has noticed that "adults play in the 'Instrument Petting Zone' as much as the kids do. It's a chance for people and their kids to spend time with an instrument, pick something up that you haven't played before. It's a really cool area," he says. The event will also feature street chalk and crafts for kids.
Schedule by stage:
**Please note a slight change in the schedule since the article was first published. Instead of a workshop with Ann Arbor Ballroom, there will be Open Swing Dance from 2:00 - 3:00
1:30 - 2:00, Opening Performance by Plymouth Fife and Drum Corps
Swing Dance Area (West Washington Stage) 2:00 - 3:00, Open Swing Dance; 3:00 - 5:15, two different Swing Workshops with Susan Filipiak and music by II-V-I Orchestra; 5:30 - 6:30, Jazz music by five miles more.
International Folk Dance Area (North Main Stage): 2:00 - 2:45, Middle Eastern Dance with Troupe Ta'amullat; 2:55 - 3:40, International Folk Dance with Drake Meadow and music by Veselba; 3:50 - 4:35, Polynesian Dance with Hoaluha Polynesian Dancers and music by Motor City Ukes; 4:45 - 5:30, Belly Dancing with Unveiled Bellydance; 5:30 - 6:30, Cajun Dance Workshop with Susan Filipiak and music by Creole du Nord.
Anglo-American Dance Area (East Washington Stage): 2:00 - 3:00, Contra Dance Workshop with Reuven AnafShalom and music by Pittsfield Open Band; 3:15 - 4:00, Waltz Workshop with Louise Tamres and music by Susie Lorand, Debbie Jackson and Alex Belhaj; 4:15 - 5:15, English Country Dance with Bob Messer and music by Betsy Foote, Susan Lazar, Susie Lorand, and Debbie Jackson; 5:30 - 6:30, Charleston Workshop with Colette Kenville.
Concert Area (South Main Stage): 2:15 - 3:00, The Millers; 3:15 - 4:00, Kathy Wieland and Judy Insley; 4:15 - 5:00, Bruce Sagan and Brad Battey; 5:15 - 6:00, Laz Slomovits, Jeanne Mackey, Tom Voiles and Linda Teaman.
6:15 - 7:00, Closing Performance by Kidz Klez