Akron, OH

City of Akron to celebrate 47th year of free summer dance performances

Terrence Jacobs

City of Akron, Ohio - Mayor's Office/Facebook

For the 47th consecutive summer, residents of the City of Akron will be able to enjoy dance performances at no charge. This year also marks the 14th Heinz Poll Dance Festival, which will feature professional dance performances in city parks.

“We’re proud to be part of such a long sustained summer dance festival which brings the highest quality professional dance companies to our residents and guests for free,” Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said.

The Heinz Poll Dance Festival was conceived in 2007 to recognize the legacy of Heinz Poll, an acclaimed choreographer and the founding artistic director of Ohio Ballet.

The schedule for the festival’s rundown is as follows:

  • July 30,31: Verb Ballets at Goodyear Metropolitan Park
  • August 6,7: GroundWorks Dance Theater at Firestone Park
  • August 13,14: Dayton Contemporary Dance Co. at Forest Lodge Park

The dance programs will begin at 8:45 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and/or a chair to make themselves comfortable throughout the shows.

The University of Akron’s Dance Institute will also present a children’s program at 7:45 p.m. before the main show performance. The festival will also offer masterclasses with professional dance companies and producers every Saturday at 11 a.m. throughout the festival.

Free Beginners’ Classes for Youngsters

As part of its outreach program, Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival will offer free “Beginners Dance” classes in three community centers. These classes are only for children going into the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades. Guests who wish to join the program should check out the schedule at Reservoir Park Community Center, Firestone Park Community Center, and Forest Lodge Community Center.

Showmobile interactive dance events – Inlet Dance Theatre

This year, the festival will debut Inlet Dance Theatre through three show mobile interactive performance events that focus on “Racial Identity and Social Justice.” The company encourages attendees to participate and interact on the grass in front of the stage while complying with social distancing regulations. The dates and the locations are as follows:

  • July 28 at 3 p.m.: Joy Park Community Center
  • August 4 at 2 p.m.: Patterson Park Community Center
  • August 11 at 2 p.m.: Summit Lake Community Center

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the festival will adhere to all health and safety guidelines outlined by Summit County Public Health. For further details, check out www.akrondancefestival.org.

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