"Moving our community" isn't just the theme of Kern Dance Alliance's recently announced 2019 season, it's also a key part of the organization's ethos.
Its slate of events for the upcoming year is all about bringing dance to the community and everyone in it, from stage performances to signature programs to a unique performance in Wall Street Alley.
"The KDA board approved the 2019 season last September and ensured there was something to offer for nearly everyone," said Andrea Hansen, KDA president. "2019 is rich in diversity for dancers, dance-lovers and dance novices alike."
This year's season includes six special events and nine new or continuing centerpiece programs.
"KDA is exceptionally jazzed to be offering so many dance experiences" this year, Hansen said. "Each of our special events was curated with our community in mind by thinking about how we can get more people to move. We hope one, or several, of the programs will inspire someone to experience something new or rediscover a love they have had for dance."
The first of the events is a performance of "Swan Lake" by the Russian National Ballet on Sunday at the Fox Theater. Doors open at noon and the show starts at 1 p.m., which means football-loving dance fans can attend before the Super Bowl starts.
On Valentine's Day, KDA will host Two to Tango at The Mark Restaurant, where guests can enjoy some fine dining before learning how to tango. On Feb. 17, local dancers have the chance to take a master class and audition for Idyllwild Arts Academy.
In the spring, the alliance will send three members and their guests to a private performance of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at the Music Center in Los Angeles.
Two KDA events in October will get dance out into the community in some unexpected places. At the Bakersfield Young Professionals Downtown Street Party on Oct. 11, 10 dancers will perform on a 4-foot-by-4-foot stage in Wall Street Alley for "Ten Tiny Dances."
The next day, Oct. 12, dance will take over Temblor Brewing Co. for A Movement Flight, which will feature the New York City-based Schoen Movement Company dancing to music of the Bakersfield Sound. Guests will also enjoy flights of beer, dinner and live music by Josh Aigner Band.
The Temblor event "is our chance to bring dance out of the theater and into a location most would not expect to view a professional dance performance," Hansen said. "The dancers will utilize the brewery space as the stage, dancing on the tops of tables and mingling in and out of guests."
The alliance will continue its various programs using dance to help kids with literacy and math (Books in Motion and SHINE for Girls, respectively), as well as its programs for disability and Alzheimer's patients (ADAPTIdance and MemoryMOVES).
"After witnessing the success of MemoryMOVES ... we realized it was important to expand our services into different capacities of the community," Hansen said.
There are also two new programs this year: HealingMOTION, a dance/movement therapy (DMT) program for cancer patients coming in the spring in collaboration with Adventist Health, and MovingYOUTH, a DMT program for kids in the foster system, coming in the fall. The second program was inspired by the alliance's annual Children's Dance Education and Outreach Event (Nov. 13), an afternoon of dance for disadvantaged children.
"After running that program for four years, we realized how important it was to serve our community's children in a greater capacity," Hansen said.
For more information on how to get involved with these programs and when and where they will happen, go to kerndance.org/kda-programs.
Hansen encouraged the community to attend some of the alliance's events or enroll themselves (or loved ones) in its programs.
"Step outside of your comfort zone and try something new," Hansen said. "Kern County is boasting a rich cultural diversity of arts offerings and KDA is thrilled to add to that platter."