6th annual Dancing in the Street Festival, sponsored by Wells Fargo Advisors, features breakdancing & step team showcases, plus ballet, tap, jazz, salsa & more!
The sixth annual Dancing in the Street Festival, hosted by Grand Center Inc. with presenting sponsor Wells Fargo Advisors, returns to the streets of Grand Center this fall as one of the region’s largest, most diverse displays of the art, beauty and athleticism of dance. This free, outdoor festival features an array of talent and styles on three outdoor stages from 1 to 8 p.m. Sept. 29 on Grand Boulevard, between Lindell and Delmar, centered at Grand and Washington boulevards.
The juried street festival features nearly 1,000 dancers from 80 local and regional dance companies. Audience members stroll from stage to stage to see non-stop performances that include everything from crowd-pleasing classics like tap, ballet, modern and jazz; cultural favorites like salsa, belly, clog and Bollywood; to more cutting-edge styles of hip-hop, breakdancing and many more.
Scheduled performances are from 1 to 6:30 p.m., with live music and open dance from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
For the first time, two 45-minute showcases take place on stage with a breakdancing showcase at 2:15 p.m. and a step team showcase at 4:15 p.m. Nick Gates, founder and owner of Hip Hop Fanatics and former finalist on So You Think You Can Dance, is curating the breakdance showcase. And two-time national step champions Gentlemen of Vision (GOV) is curating the step team showcase. GOV is made up of 58 males from various high schools in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area and use step as one of its programs to engage members, in addition to instilling values such as leadership, academic excellence and community service.
“Street-based dance has played an important role in today’s pop culture and we are excited to pay tribute to its influence,” said Travis Howser, director of events and theaters at Grand Center Inc. “The curators of our two showcases are totally immersed in these genres and know exactly what the crowds will love. I think we can expect two very high-energy performances.”
Additionally, Grand Center, in collaboration with the Center of Creative Arts (COCA), is again planning a choreographed community street dance. The community is invited to learn this dance through an instructional YouTube video and will perform it with the rest of the crowd on the day of the festival. Choreographed by renowned hip hop instructor and choreographer Anthony “Redd” Williams, the instructional video will “go live” in late-August. Started as a flash mob in 2009, the community dance has morphed into a crowd favorite. No registration is required, but some practice at home, just like the pros, is a fun way to prep for the big event.
Audiences can also look for performances by several finalists from the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation’s St. Louis Teen Talent Showcase Competition held this spring at the Fox Theatre. The Cotton Club, which won first place at the competition, consists of three young men who just graduated from Central Visual and Performing Arts High School. Each has trained in many styles of dance but for the competition, they performed an a capella tap piece, which includes both solo and ensemble work. Second place finalists The Super Sick Crew, comprised of four young men who will be seniors this fall at Hazelwood East High School, will perform its original hip-hop dance routine.
The three performance stages will be located along Grand Boulevard, south of Olive; on Washington Avenue, east of Grand and on Samuel Shepard Drive, east of Grand. Delicious food and refreshing drinks will be available from the growing roster of Grand Center restaurants and numerous area food trucks.
Grand Boulevard from Lindell to Delmar will close at 6 a.m. on Sept. 29 for set up. All district lots and garages are accessible with plenty of parking available. The Grand Boulevard bridge between I-64/HW 40 and Chouteau Avenue is scheduled to re-open in July with one lane in each direction.