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Wilmington Dance Festival: 5 Dance Fun Facts

Friday, March 15, 2019

UNCW Presents is excited to welcome the Wilmington Dance Festival to the Kenan Auditorium stage March 22nd and 23rd. Wilmington Dance Festival is co-presented with the Dance Cooperative, a non-profit here in Wilmington focused on providing affordable classes, rehearsal space, and performance opportunities to those under-served artistically, culturally, and economically in the greater Wilmington area. 

The Dance Cooperative is different from other dance studios in that dancers at the Dance Cooperative are exposed to several styles and techniques, allowing them to fully discover their strengths and individuality. Founded by Nancy Carson, Anne Firmender, Erika Meyerson, Suzanne Palmer, Harper Piver, and Leslie Riley Searcy in 2001, the professionals of the Dance Cooperative are united in the goal of fostering a link between professional dance artists and the community.  

The Wilmington Dance Festival is a celebration of evocative local dance art from local choreographers and their talented dancers. To get ready for the celebration, we’ve rounded up some fun facts about dance: 

  1. On March 13, 1988, 119,986 people gathered in Miami to set the world record for the longest conga line. Known as the “Miami Super Conga,” the conga line was held in conjunction with “Calle Ocho,” the largest Hispanic festival in the U.S.
  2. The origins of breakdancing date back to the late 1960s and early 1970s in New York City. Street gangs used martial arts moves as a form of self-defense against other gangs, and these eventually evolved into what we now know as “breakdancing.”  

  3. In 2008, police officers in Timisoara in western Romania were required to take ballet classes to help them “regulate the traffic and achieve more elegance in their movements,” Dorel Cojan, the head of Timisoara’s police force, told the Guardian.  

  4. Before Tupac Shakur became a rap icon, he studied acting, poetry, jazz, and ballet at the Baltimore School of the Arts. That’s right—ballet! He even played the role of the Mouse King in a school production of The Nutcracker 

  5. During the Great Depression, dance marathons were a popular way for communities to dance away their troubles and win prizes. The record for the longest Depression-era dance marathon was set by Mike Ritof and Edith Bourdreau, who danced for 5,152 hours.  

Join UNCW Presents and the Dance Cooperative for two nights of local dance art March 22nd and March 23rd at 7:30 p.m. in Kenan Auditorium. Tickets are available online or at the UNCW Arts Ticket Office Monday through Friday from 12-4 p.m.  


-Lindsay Lake