Year of Chicago Dance to be celebrated across the city in 2022

The celebration will incorporate public dance performances, social dancing, dance-related special events, and informational programming at dozens of local venues.

SHARE Year of Chicago Dance to be celebrated across the city in 2022
Members of Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater are photographed in 2020 at Navy Pier.

Members of Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater are photographed in 2020 at Navy Pier.

Michelle Reid (currently Reod)

There will be fancy footwork aplenty happening across Chicago in the year ahead.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) have proclaimed 2022 as the “Year of Chicago Dance, a citywide, yearlong celebration billed as “the first of its kind in the U.S.,” Friday’s official announcement stated.

The celebration will incorporate dance performances, social dancing, dance-related special events, and informational programming at dozens of local venues that will explore the critical issues facing the Chicago dance community.

Chicago Tap Theatre members are photographed at Navy Pier in 2020.

Chicago Tap Theatre members are photographed at Navy Pier in 2020.

Photo by Philamonjaro

According to the announcement, Chicago’s arts community boasts nearly 425 dance schools/studios.

The city also is home to some of the world’s most acclaimed dance companies including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet, Visceral Dance Chicago, Gus Giordano Dance Chicago, Thodos Dance Chicago, Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater, Chicago Tap Theatre, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, and more. But, according to a recent report on “Mapping the Dance Landscape in Chicagoland,” nearly two-thirds of [Chicago’s] dancers and choreographers earn less than $15,000 annually from dance and 12 percent work entirely without pay.

“Following these past two tumultuous years, the 2022 Year of Chicago Dance is a much-needed spark of hope and inspiration for our dance community,” said Maricza Valentín, CEO and artistic director of Latin Rhythms Dance and a longtime Chicago SummerDance instructor. “From instructors to choreographers, feeling like we are being seen, heard, and considered is an amazing gift.”

Some of the highlights of the yearlong programming include:

Night Out in the Parks, which will bring dance performances and events to all of Chicago’s 77 community areas via the Chicago Park District.

Art on theMART will present four new facade projections as part of its summer/fall seasons, highlighting choreographers, dancers and visual artists. These include “Floe” by Carrie Hanson; an untitled piece by Shkunna Stewart and Wills Glasspiegel; “Trap Moulin Rouge” by Jasmin Taylor; and “Love Letters” by Yuge Zhou.

Art on theMart will celebrate Chicago’s dance community with a series of new projections in the months ahead.

Art on theMart will celebrate Chicago’s dance community with a series of new projections in the months ahead.

Courtesy DCASE

See Chicago Dance, the leading service organization for dance in Chicago, will curate a roster of performances in partnership with Navy Pier, the Chicago Park District, and the Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project.

Chicago Dancemakers Forum will present “Elevate Chicago Dance: eMerge,” a festival highlighting the artistry of Chicago’s radically diverse dancemakers through workshops, performances and showings at the Chicago Cultural Center, The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, and Big Marsh Park, among other venues across the city.

Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project will celebrate the diverse voices in dance throughout the city with spring performances at The Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts.

For more information on the celebration and programming, visit chicago.gov/dcase.

The Latest
“He takes it upon himself to go out there in the seventh with 100-plus pitches and give us everything that he’s got, and that’s why everybody loves him,” catcher Yan Gomes said.
Piping plovers Imani and Searocket have produced four eggs in a protected area of the beach.
“We got a big hit and a little bit of exhale for sure,” manager Craig Counsell said. “It’s a game changer.”
While local events are energetic and entertaining, many participants also say they take time to reflect on Black history and teach younger generations about the realities of race in America.