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Community Engagement

Saturdays in the Studio

Free Dance Classes
Sullivant Hall 390
10:30 am - 12 pm

  • March 23 - JAZZ  with Students Meghan and Valeria
  • March 30 - STEPPING with Post-MFA Ryan Johnson
  • April 6 - MOTION LAB TECHNOLOGY with MFA Student Elizabeth
  • April 20 - AFRO CONTEMPORARY with Dr. Oyea Cruz Banks
  • April 27 - JAZZ with MFA Student Lucy

Free dance classes for Columbus City middle school and high school students will be from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.. All Columbus students are welcome to attend, but the program is geared toward those with limited access to dance education. Arts education has numerous positive outcomes for students, including academic achievement, higher standardized test scores, social and emotional benefits and memory retention (Guhn et al. 2019; Bowen et al. 2019). Arts education remains inequitable and underfunded. Institutional barriers that prevent fair treatment and full participation in the arts are especially prominent when considering who has access to arts education and what cultural traditions and art forms are valued through classroom teaching. Through public programming at the intersection of social justice education, artmaking and activism, we welcome middle school and high school children from the inner city of Columbus to join us for free dance classes. 

Video of Ohio State Dance Faculty and Students teaching Columbus youth dance classes in Ohio State Department of Dance studios.

Dancers rehearsing in a studio

Columbus Kids' Dance Day

The featured event of the year is Columbus Kids’ Dance Day. Dance teachers from across Columbus are invited to bring their students to Ohio State for a mutual dance exchange. During this event, local K-12 students will be able to take dance class from our Ohio State Dance majors and perform in the Barnett Theatre. Columbus Kids’ Dance Day encourages local K - 12 dance students to be affirmed and inspired by the Ohio State Dance community. If you would like your students to participate in Columbus Kids’ Dance Day, please contact the department at dance@osu.edu

Video shows footage of Columbus kids taking dance classes from Ohio State Dance students and faculty. It also shows them performing work created at their home studios or schools in the Barnett Theatre. A voiceover describes the events and community building that happens on Columbus Kids' Dance Day.

Summer Intensive

The Department of Dance launched its inaugural High School Summer Dance Intensive in the summer of 2021. Dr. Nyama McCarthy-Brown, Associate Professor of Dance, leads the ongoing development of this program with support from collaborators and experts working at the intersection of dance technique, dance education and pedagogy, racial equity and community-engagement. Dr. McCarthy-Brown brings decades of university and field-level leadership to bear on this project.

Numerous faculty members from the Department of Dance taught in the summer of 2021 and 2022. Their expertise comprised a wide range of aesthetics and styles including African, contemporary, improvisation and ballet. Our community partners include Thiossane Dance Institute, Flavor’d Flow Dance Studio, BalletMet, Dublin Dance Center, Columbus Dance Center, Transit Arts and many others.


[pdf] - This link is to an Adobe.pdf file requiring the use of Adobe Reader. If you need it in a more accessible format, please contact dance@osu.edu