The Dance Center Columbia College Chicago
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From left to right: Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan Artistic Director Lin Hwai-min, photo by Robert Kusel; Blue Sky Black Monk, a Community Outreach event, photo by Lindsay Schlesser; Vogue dance class, led by Armitage Gone! Dance member William Isaac, photo by Lindsay Schlesser.

Audience and Community Engagement

The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago’s Audience and Community Engagement (ACE) program is dedicated to broadening audiences and engaging the public through dynamic programs that deepen the experience of contemporary dance. ACE partners with diverse cultural and community- based organizations to develop programs that explore national and international dancemakers’ work, process, and technique. ACE programs range from community master classes and family dance matinees, to interactive workshops, discussions, and public forums.



Expand your artistic and technical palette while meeting other artists from the Chicago community.  DanceMasters classes offer a unique opportunity to learn first-hand from the internationally renowned choreographers and dancers featured during The Dance Center’s season. The classes are for intermediate or higher level dancers and are open to the public.

Click here for more information about DanceMasters.



The Dance Center believes in opening up the world of contemporary dance to the whole family.  During our FamilyDance matinee series, families can spend a Saturday afternoon at The Dance Center enjoying an hour-long family-oriented program by top contemporary dance companies. A free hands-on movement workshop followed by a matinee performance, gives families a chance to experience the art of dance on the main stage with world class artistic directors and dancers, before sitting down to watch an excerpt from the presenting companies’ performance.

Click here for more information about FamilyDance.


Audience and Community Engagement: Public Programs

The Dance Center’s Audience and Community Engagement department develops programs to provide the public with opportunities for deeper engagement with dance and contextualization of dance artists’ works. Community Outreach Events range from panel discussions to interactive workshops with Artistic Directors and dancers of our presenting companies. Events take place throughout the city in community centers, city parks, schools, alternative spaces, and other places throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods.


past projects

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As part of The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago's Audience and Community Engagement programming, presenting season artists visit different sites and groups throughout the city to share aspects of their work.

Watch these short videos to catch a glimpse of some of the happenings during residencies including:

Sennichimae Blue Sky Dance Club (part of Japan Dance Now) and the Black Monks of Mississippi
and David Dorfman Dance


The Audience and Community Engagement program also partners with schools and universities to bring experiences with world-class contemporary dance artists to students in classrooms throughout Chicago.