‘ODC’ in San Francisco encourages diversity and inclusion through dance
SAN FRANCISCO– Founded in 1971 by artistic director Brenda Way, ODC Dance Commons aims to inspire audiences, engage the community, and foster diversity and inclusion through dance.
“I would say it’s a happy place. And people say that when they come in and say, ‘Oh, it’s a happy place.’ And I think, yeah, well, that’s the idea,” Way said.
“It is a dance-centric organization that seeks to create an environment where art, community, creativity and performance are the natural way of life.”
The San Francisco-based contemporary art institution offers many training courses to nurture your creativity. At ODC Dance Commons and online via Zoom, take part in a variety of dance classes including Hip Hop, Contemporary, Rhythm & Motion, Ballet, Hula, Afro-Haitian, Essentrics, Pilates, Belly Dance, and more.
“It’s also about giving everyone access to the movement,” Way said. “Everyone should dance, and so we created a world where everyone could.”
Way continued: “I think dance is one of the few art forms that really speaks to body, mind and spirit. Obviously it’s about your body, it’s It’s about trying to feel comfortable in your body without feeling intimidated by body image or competitive feelings that I’m not good enough.”
ODC promotes a non-competitive environment, so that dancers can express themselves fully and have fun.
“The creativity is in the bones of the building,” explained the theater’s creative director, Chloe Zimberg.
“We have such a thriving dance center here,” said school principal and associate choreographer Kimi Okada. “We have many components that offer different portals for people to pass through, no matter what interests them.”
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