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The Year of Chicago Dance will be celebrated across the city in 2022

There will be plenty of fancy footwork all over Chicago in the coming year.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) have proclaimed 2022 the “Year of Chicago Dance,” a citywide, year-long celebration described as “the first of its kind in the United States,” according to the official announcement on Friday.

The celebration will include dance performances, ballroom dancing, dance-related special events and educational programs at dozens of local venues that examine the critical issues facing the Chicago dance community.

Members of the Chicago Tap Theater are photographed at Navy Pier in 2020. Photo by Philamonjaro

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

The city is also home to some of the most renowned dance companies in the world 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 it [Chicago’s] Dancers and choreographers make less than $15,000 a year from dance, and 12 percent work without pay.

“After two turbulent years over the past few years, the Year of Chicago Dance 2022 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 longtime instructor for Chicago SummerDance. “From the instructor to the choreographer, the feeling of being seen, heard and considered is an incredible gift.”

Highlights of the year-long program include:

night in the parks, which will bring dance performances and events to all 77 Chicago common areas via the Chicago Park District.

Art at theMART will present four new facade projections as part of the summer/fall season, highlighting choreographers, dancers and visual artists. These include “Floe” by Carrie Hanson; an untitled play by Shkunna Stewart and Will’s glass mirror; Jasmine Taylor’s Trap Moulin Rouge; and “Love Letters” by Yuge Zhou.

Art on theMart will celebrate Chicago's dance community with a series of new projections over the coming months.

Art on theMart will celebrate Chicago’s dance community with a series of new projections over the coming months. Courtesy of DCASE

See Chicago Dance, Chicago’s premier dance service organization, in collaboration with Navy Pier, the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project, will compile a schedule of performances.

Chicago Dancemakers Forum presents Elevate Chicago Dance: eMerge, a festival highlighting the artistry of Chicago’s radically different dance creators through workshops, performances and screenings at the Chicago Cultural Center, The Dance Center at Columbia College Chicago, Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center and Big Marsh Park, alongside other venues across the city.

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

More information about the celebration and the program can be found at chicago.gov/dcase.

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