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inspireDANCE Festival

About inspireDANCE

inspireDance Poster
Learn more about the 9th annual inspireDANCE Festival
on our events page.

The inspireDANCE Festival grew out of a simple idea to find a way to connect student dancers with each other, with the Program of Dance and Movement and with the larger dance community in the Rochester area. With well over 600 students involved in dance and movement groups and classes on the University of Rochester campus, along with several other excellent local university dance programs and a cohesive community of professional dancers in the Rochester area, inspireDANCE is an opportunity to unify, develop and strengthen the dance community at large.

The inspireDANCE festival was conceived in January 2010 as a project for the KEY (Kauffman Entrepreneurial Year), a UR program that provides students with an additional fifth undergraduate year to work on an entrepreneurial business venture. KEY student Arielle Friedlander realized there was a wealth of dance on the UR campus in pods that were somewhat isolated, and saw the potential for and value of a united dance community. She, along with Missy Pfohl Smith, then the new Director of the UR Program of Dance and Movement, wanted to give students opportunities to grow as dancers, to broaden their perspectives in dance, to communicate with one other, to share the rich and diverse dance activities that exist at UR and in the Rochester region, and to take classes and interact with faculty and professional dancers and choreographers, right on campus.

inspireDANCE Festival

Thursday, February 14–Friday, February 22, 2019
Spurrier Hall

Visit the inspireDANCE event page for the full schedule and registration details.


inspireJAM 2016
inspireJAM 2015, see more images >

The inspireJAM was conceived in 2013 by student Smon Cheewapansri in order to share hip hop culture and breaking with the UR community.  It has grown to become an international jam of bboys and bgirls who gather to learn from our high profile judges who also share workshops, and to battle in an extremely virtuosic display of breaking, flipping, balancing and head-spinning. Dancers gather from New York City, Philadelphia, Toronto, Ithaca, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and more, to battle for a cash prize, and to defend the inspireJAM title.  We are proud to continue this annual tradition as part of the Annual inspireDANCE Festival.

Our extensive roster of classes over six days is taught by diverse guest artists and the excellent Program of Dance and Movement faculty and  truly offers something for everyone.  You can relax with a Moving Into Stillness meditation or Yoga or Tai Chi workshop, or get energized with a Capoeira Brazilian martial art dance or a vigorous Contemporary Floorwork class.  Join us to experience dance and movement in ways you never have before.