5 Things: Dance in Buffalo Edition (Guest Post)



When people are asked to name dance hot spots they will most likely say New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago, with a few cities in between…but dance is becoming more and more popular in Buffalo, New York, and people should start taking notice. After all, Buffalo is the hometown of dancers including Neil Haskell (So You Think You Can Dance, Bring it On: The Musical), Jacob Artist (Glee), Tony Bellissimo (So You Think You Can Dance, Tremaine Dance Convention), and Jae Fusz (Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, Ke$ha) to name a few. Here are five things you should know about why Buffalo is becoming a dance hot spot:

1.)    The location: Buffalo is two hours away from Toronto and about eight hours away from New York City. The location of Buffalo, which has a very affordable cost of living, allows for dancers to be able to travel to a big city, audition and come home in one day.

2.)    LehrerDance: This Buffalo-based professional dance company was created by Jon Lehrer in July 2007. In only five years, the company became an internationally-touring company and performed in Europe and Russia, along with visits in cities all across America. Their unique style and choreography keeps audiences at the edges of their seats. They have come so far since 2007 and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead in their future. 

3.)    Infinity Dance Project: With a professional dance company based in Buffalo, it’s only fair to let young students get the chance to see what it’s like to be a member of a professional company and if it’s something they would want to pursue in their future. In 2007, Rebecca Guile-Wind and Tracy Navarro started this pre-professional dance company for dancers ages 13-18 who were serious about dance (one student was Jacob Artist, mentioned above). The company, which now has a junior company level for younger dancers, meets once a week to learn choreography and hear from guest speakers. In January, the dancers get the chance to perform the pieces they have learned at the University at Buffalo. It’s wonderful to see young dancers improve and dive further into their passion for dance. Learn more by “liking” Infinity Dance Project, Inc. on Facebook.

4.)    Battleat Buffalo: Freestyling at its finest. The Battle at Buffalo allows dancers to come together once a month to battle each other until a winner is named. Don’t feel like dancing? Anyone is welcome to hang out and cheer for their favorite dancers. Each summer, the battle makes its way to the headquarters of New Era Caps downtown for a battle under the lights. This event brings in people from all over, including other countries, who hope to win the title. The Battle at Buffalo is hosted by Verve Dance Studio.

5.)    Dancers Give Back: My favorite part about dance in Buffalo is this event that brings all of the dance studios together each fall to raise money for cancer research. This day consists of performances, master classes, games, crafts, auctions, raffles and fun. All of the proceeds benefit Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the Jacquie for A.L.L. Foundation. Since its inception six years ago, DGB has raised close to $200,000! Ida Saki, who has been a guest teacher and performer at DBG the past three years, has teamed up with DGB co-founder Ali Dietz and is bringing the event to her hometown, Dallas, Texas. To see more cities put on their own Dancers Give Back, forget about competition and focus on joining forces to help find a cure for cancer would be amazing! Learn more about Dancers Give Back by visiting their website.

These are just five of many reasons why Buffalo is a rising city in the dance world, and a unique one at that. Want to learn more about dance in Buffalo? Plan on visiting and want to know where to go? Contact me at lkirchmyer{at}verizon{dot}net.

About the Author

LaurenKirchmyer grew up taking dance classes in West Seneca, New York, a suburb of Buffalo. An avid writer, she attended Buffalo State College where she majored in communication studies and received a minor in dance.

Kirchmyer’s dance experience includes performing with the Classic Dance Company of Western New York, Infinity Dance Project, Buffalo State College Dance Theatre, Habit Dance Project and the Buffalo Bandettes Professional Dance Team. She teaches dance at Steppin’ Out Dance Academy and is the choreographer for West Seneca Youth Theatre.

When she is not dancing, Kirchmyer is writing. She currently works for Metro Group, Inc. and assists with her father’s communications company, Kirchmyer Media.

If you would like to reach out to Kirchmyer, send an email to lkirchmyer{at}verizon{dot}net.


1 comments:

Jenn Romano said...

Thanks so much for sharing about dance in Buffalo, Lauren! I had no idea the arts community was so rich in your corner of the world and am glad you're getting the word out.

 

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