“I love bringing the many different dance genres together and building a stronger dance community,” said Derrick Curtis, production director of the annual social dance showcase BASSH (sbassh.com). The annual event highlights myriad forms of social dance — i.e., dances that were created for participation rather than just performance — including competition ballroom, swing, salsa, hip-hop, jazz, aerial dance, and belly dancing.

In addition to offerings from established schools such as The Dance Network, Santa Barbara Dance Center, and Arthur Murray Dance Center, the evening’s repertoire comprises performances choreographed by well-known dance teachers including Tamarr Paul, Miguel Hernandez, Hector Sanchez, Yulia Maluta, Daniel Rojo, Lloyd and Lisa Wyckoff, and UCSB Artistic Director of Dance Theater (and Indy Dance Award honoree) Christopher Pilafian. And a new genre has been added to this year’s global slate: contemporary Chinese dance. “Sino West Performing Arts, under the direction of Dragon Sun, will present ‘Butterfly Love,’ a famous traditional Chinese love song with dancers Rebecca Li and Yin Lu,” said Curtis.

Presenting a broad array of styles, BASSH offers audiences a unique look at the social dances that have developed throughout history and all over the world. However, the showcase serves another purpose, as well: “I want the audience to walk away inspired to move and maintain a healthy lifestyle through movement and dance,” said Curtis:

BASSH performances take place Friday, March 17, 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, March 18, 2 and 7:30 p.m., at the New Vic (33 W. Victoria St.). For tickets, call (805) 965-5400 or see newvictheater.com. A portion of this year’s proceeds will benefit La Cumbre Jr. High School’s Core Knowledge Ballroom Dance program.


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