The vitality, excitement and energy of a live dance performance is a joy to behold. This summer, the Queen City plays host to a range of performances that includes African, Latin and belly dancing. In addition, some of Charlotte’s own dancers-in-training will be strutting their stuff following intensive workshops, so definitely put the showcases on your calendar. It’s not everyday that Charlotteans get to experience these world-class dancers, so take advantage.
2nd Annual Charlotte Bachata & Salsa Festival
The Blake Hotel
555 S. McDowell St.
Charlotte, NC 28250
Dates: July 25-29, 2013
The 2nd Annual Charlotte Bachata & Salsa Festival will return again this summer. The Bachata & Salsa Festival includes three days of dance workshops, performances and dance parties. World-renowned instructors will help you perfect your Latin dance moves so you can mambo, salsa and cha cha like a pro. The festival is capped off on July 29 with the Biggest Latin Dance Event in the Carolinas. All activities take place at the Blake Hotel in Charlotte. Prices range from $130 for the full three-day festival pass to $15 for the Sunday night pool party. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights will feature performances by some of the top Latin dancers and instructors in the country.
Africa Umoja – The Spirit of Togetherness
Blumenthal Center for the Performing Arts
130 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
Dates: July 23-28, 2013
The music and dance of South Africa is celebrated in “Africa Umoja” (The Spirit of Togetherness). A cast of young performers from South Africa perform a loud, colorful and energetic embrace of the tribal dance and music of their homeland. The performances include gumboot dancing, jazz and Gospel. The show is performed by an amazing group of dancers, singers, marimba players and drummers. “Umoja” has won numerous awards and has traveled around the world. Don’t miss your opportunity to see this incredible show.
McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square
345 N. College St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
www.thebroadwaydolls.comDate: June 22, 2013This revue offers both dancing and singing, and almost 50 classic Broadway show tunes in both the standard and unique formats. U2, Prince and Britney Spears are rearranged and reinvented. Lady Gaga and Carly Rae Jepsen are mashed up with Broadway tunes, and the girl groups of the 60s are saluted. Dancing is a key element of the musical performed by stars of the Broadway stage. First appearing in 2011 at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, the show has been touring America since to rave reviews.
North Carolina Center for Dance
701 N. Tryon
Charlotte, NC 28202
www.ncdance.comDate: July 27, 2013The North Carolina Dance Theater’s Summer Intensive Program for young dancers trains the future dancers of the company. After three to five weeks of six-days-a-week training, these talented men and woman have an opportunity to show off with the Repertory Performance. This show is professionally staged and fully costumed. The students perform ballet, modern, jazz and ballroom pieces, some choreographed just for this show. It’s an annual event worth getting tickets to see. Tickets are $10 and can be bought in the lobby one hour before the performance.
Belly Dancer’s Showcase
CPCC’s Pease Auditorium
1200 Elizabeth Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28232
Date: Aug. 10, 2013
Kaeshi Chai has founded several dance groups including New York’s Bellyqueen in 1998, Pure in 2005 and The Flying Apsaras in 2011. She’s been a key figure in the belly dancing world and continues to teach and choreograph as well as as perform. Chai will be teaching an intensive belly dancing class here in Charlotte on August 10 and 11. On Saturday night, she will perform alongside her students for the delight of Charlotte residents.
Lauren J. Walter is a freelance writer covering all things Charlotte. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.