Santa Cruz Dance Week kickoff just the balm we needed after winter’s beating

a scene from the opening performances of Santa Cruz Dance Week 2023
(Alison Gamel / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Dancers of a multitude of disciplines wowed audiences along Pacific Avenue last week, delivering everything from ballet and classical dance to hip-hop and folk styles on a gorgeous April evening.

This story was originally featured in this week’s Weekender newsletter. Be first the first to hear about arts and entertainment news in Santa Cruz County — sign up for Wallace’s email newsletter here and and text alerts here.

What a day last Thursday when downtown Santa Cruz attracted a few hundred people (and almost as many dancers) in the beginning of Santa Cruz Dance Week. If you weren’t there, you missed a chance to see the genuine diversity of dance styles that are practiced in Santa Cruz County, from ballet and classical dance, to hip-hop, to folk styles like the arresting Balinese style.

The dancing took place simultaneously on three separate stages, a short stroll from each other, on a breathtaking April afternoon, on the closed-off streets on the northern end of Pacific Avenue. It was all very intoxicating, a telling indication that after a pandemic slog and a punishing winter, maybe this capricious world is going to let us enjoy life a little after all.

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