The Arizona Dance Coalition and the Arizona Dance Education Organization are presenting the first-ever Dance Festival of Southern Arizona Saturday and Sunday.

Thirty classes and workshops, taught by 13 instructors from New York, Los Angeles, Yuma, Mesa and Tucson, will be held at Tucson High Magnet School, 400 N. Second Ave., both days.

A performance for the public, “Step to the Rhythm, Dance to the Rhythm,” will be at 7 p.m. Saturday at University High School, 421 N. Arcadia Ave.

Classes are for dance students ages 14 and up, dance instructors and groups specializing in folklorico, flamenco and tap dancing. Classes also will be taught in hip-hop, jazz, modern/contemporary, plus the award-winning Step’s Junk Funk (percussive movement art).

The theme of the festival is “rhythm” and a special cultural study and practice of polyrhythms (African tradition) and the Afro-Cuban Latin rhythm clavé will have participants learning history and dance patterns at the same time.

On a therapeutic and healing note, qi gong and Feldenkrais classes will be offered tailored specifically for dancers.

Saturday’s performance will feature 22 dance companies, dancers and choreographers from Southern and Central Arizona presenting African, Argentine tango, salsa, samba, ballet, hip-hop, modern/contemporary, tap dances and Step’s Junk Funk. The performance will kick off with a dance film by Amanda Kapp from Flagstaff.

Tickets are available at online. Cost is $15 in advance or $20 at the door for adults. It’s $10 in advance or $15 at the door for children younger than 12, seniors 65 and older and military. Tickets are $10 for dance festival participants and AZ Dance Coalition and AZ Dance Education Organization members.

For more information email or call 743-1349. For details and registration, go to online.

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