Connecticut Dance Alliance to host state’s first National Dance Day on Saturday, September 19

New performers and workshop facilitators announced

for the free outdoor event celebrating dance

HARTFORD, CT – September 3, 2020 – Connecticut Dance Alliance (CDA) will host

the state’s first National Dance Day on Saturday, September 19, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30

p.m. at Webster Walk at Blue Back Square in West Hartford. The free outdoor event

celebrates the joy of dance and showcases the diversity of dance in Connecticut while

also encouraging fun and healthy body movement and creative expression. The rain date

for the event is Sunday, September 20.

National Dance Day will feature live performances and workshops from Connecticut

dance studios, companies, and independent performing artists; dance literature book

presentations by Connecticut authors; a Dance-Me-a-Story demonstration for young

children; and a gently-used/new dancewear fundraiser. Connecticut Dances – A Visual

History , a touring exhibition jointly presented by CDA and the Connecticut Historical

Society, will also be on display.

"The Connecticut dance scene has been continuously growing due to the hard work of

many devoted artists. It is so important to keep that momentum going, especially in

light of current events,” said Katie Bittner, resident artist with the Hartford Dance

Collective - one of the many local dance organizations participating in National Dance


The event will begin at 10:30 a.m. with Read & Reverence, a socially distanced reading

demonstration for children ages 3 to 7 presented by students from the Hartt School at

the University of Hartford. The program includes a reading of New York City Ballet’s

The Sleeping Beauty picture book, a brief movement session, and concludes with a

photo session for each child with the program leaders to remember the special day.

Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet, Graceful Planet Studio of Dance, Studio8Sixty, ATTAK

Dance Company, and Immix Dance Project have also been added to the robust roster of

diverse dance organizations and performers participating in the event. They join

previously announced performers and workshop facilitators, including: Karrington

Trice, Fred Astaire Dance Studio West Hartford; Dimensional Dance; The END

Ensemble; New England Ballet Theatre; Baila Con Gusto CT; Evjen Academy of

Performing Arts; GUSTO Dance; The Hartford Dance Collective; CREC Greater

Hartford Academy of the Arts; CT Tap Collaborative; Leslie Frye Maietta; Arthur

Murray Glastonbury; and Ballet Hartford performing with its new Pre-Professional


National Dance Day will follow all current Connecticut COVID-19 mandates for outdoor

public events. Members of Dimensional Dance will demonstrate their unique and

beautiful way to comply with regulations to guests. The Connecticut Dance Alliance is

asking all participants and attendees to wear protective face coverings to ensure

everyone’s safety. For more information on National Dance Day, visit .

About the Participating Artists:

Read & Reverence - Presented by students from the Hartt School at the

University of Hartford

What began as a midterm project for Sydney Hitchell, a Raising Senior at the Hartt

School at the University of Hartford receiving her BFA in Dance Performance and minor

in Performing Arts Management, Read & Reverence was brought to life specifically for

CDA’s National Dance Day. Along with Hartt School at the University of Hartford

Raising Seniors Felicia Isotti, Meredith Bolton and Kyleigh Olivier - who are all

receiving BFAs in Ballet Pedagogy - Read & Reverence was developed for children ages 3 to 7 and focuses on integrating the power of the written word with dance.

Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet

Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet is a professional dance company comprised of

artist-theologians whose goal is to create spaces where art and faith can flourish.

Ekklesia’s diverse repertory utilizes a full spectrum of emotional and physical

vocabulary while addressing issues such as poverty, inequality, and human


The Graceful Planet Studio of Dance

The Graceful Planet Studio of Dance is committed to providing the Sandy Hook and

Newtown community with high-quality dance classes to enhance overall child

development. The studio provides a safe, child-centered environment to encourage

students to explore dance with qualified, nurturing teachers. Graceful Planet believes

that dance training encourages young people to develop a positive self-image as they

increase awareness of their physical being. Along with improving coordination skills and

developing muscular awareness, dance classes give children the freedom to express

themselves through movement.


860 MVMNT, based in Hartford, is an all-styles street dance collective

implementing original street dance in collaboration with contemporary styles of hip

hop. 860 MVMNT combines dancers of all hip-hop genres, and they train weekly at

Studio 860. Studio 860, under the direction of Jolet Creary, is a dance center dedicated

to educating through hip-hop dance, music, and culture. The mission of 860 is to

enlighten and educate adolescents and adults through urban art forms, outreach, and

performances, giving them a creative and positive outlet while building community


ATTAK Dance Company, established in 2013, is a contemporary modern dance

company. The company was founded by the late Elena Rusnak, the former director of

the Naugatuck Valley Community College dance program. ATTAK hopes audiences

can feel the dancers’ emotion as they tell their stories through dance and connect each

piece to their own personal lives. Elena’s daughter, Cate Rusnak-Craig, has been

ATTAK’s Artistic Director since her passing in 2014.

Immix Dance Project

Immix Dance Project was born out of a desire to collaborate with local artists in an

effort to grow both individually and together. Focusing on building community and

connections, the group seeks to support dancers, choreographers and companies, and to

help each other grow. The four core collaborators have been dancing together since 2013

and have a strong connection both in the studio and out. Their friendship and genuine

admiration of each other makes them stronger dancers and choreographers. They

created Immix Dance Project as an outlet to generate ideas, push each other creatively

and spend time together doing what they love.

Additional performers and workshop facilitators include Arthur Murray Dance Studio of

Glastonbury, Karrington Trice, Point to Perfection Dance Studio, Ekklesia

Contemporary Ballet, Toriography Dance Company, and ATTAK Dance Company.

The event will also highlight CDA’s collaboration with Para Dance by Fred Astaire Dance

Studios in West Hartford.

About Connecticut Dance Alliance (CDA)

Connecticut Dance Alliance, Inc. (CDA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of dance in all its forms and serving the needs of the statewide dance community. Since 1999, CDA has created and presented numerous events such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Dance – a day celebrating African-American dance traditions, CDA Distinguished Achievement in Dance Awards, Healthy Dancer Seminars and workshops on Planning a College Career in dance. In 2011, CDA founded and developed a successful summer scholarship annual competition, the Connecticut Classic , a competition for pre-professional classical ballet students. CDA also administers the Elena Delvecchio Rusnak Dance Education Scholarship. CDA’s current project, The

Dance History Project. Through grassroots networking, the project endeavors to

capture and share, through the art of photography and scholarly writing, a cultural and

historical documentation of the rich and vibrant dance heritage in Connecticut. Using

the 2,000 images submitted by the dance community, the curated Connecticut Dance

exhibition has toured the state since 2017. In addition to the Dance History Project ,

other CDA initiatives include the further development of regional network consortiums

to increase communication, partnerships, and opportunities for Connecticut’s dance

community; dance education programs; and the new statewide dance resource database.

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