Welcome

To The Bates Dance Festival

Education Programs

BDF offers three different dance education programs.

Performances

See the calendar of performances & events.

Faculty

Meet the extraordinary faculty of the Bates Dance Festival

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The Bates Dance Festival brings together an international community of choreographers, performers, educators and students in a cooperative community to study, perform and create new work. The Festival offers a supportive atmosphere aimed at fostering a creative exchange of ideas, encouraging exploration of new ground and providing opportunities to experience a wide spectrum of dance/movement disciplines. Artists, students and audiences share their knowledge and inspiration through workshops, jams, discussions, informal showings and performances.

About

Learn more about the Bates Dance Festival and its history.

Education

The Bates dance festival offers programs for all ages.

Visit

Take a virtual tour of the campus and schedule your visit.

Support

Help support the Bates Dance Festival.

Images from our 2014 summer programs

"Bates has become an ever important nexus of dance. It provides fertile ground for development and growth in the art form, and is helping to shape its future."

− Steve Koester, faculty

"It is a rare occasion for young artists like ourselves to be seen, celebrated and asked to grow the way we were at BDF. We were immersed in the world of dance for three weeks in the way we all hope to be, but struggle to do, in our own communities. We left Bates with a sense of joy, creativity, clarity and community …"

− Lida Winfield & Ellen Smith Ahern, Emerging Artists

"BDF surpassed my expectations… incredible faculty, supportive community environment, and a rich, diverse, incredibly talented group of attendees."

− BFD Sudent

"I am one of many examples of BDF’s commitment to artists from the local community and around the world over long periods of time. The festival has been a home where I can rediscover my artistry at every stage of my career."

− Paul Matteson, Faculty

"My summer at BDF was the best and most successful I've ever had. The people, the dancing, the opportunities, your kindness and generosity are completely unparalleled. Not enough people understand the imperative of fostering community, which makes dance as an art form function as a significant part of society."

− BDF Student

"We found Youth Arts to be a consistently wonderful program. The faculty is top notch. The focus on respectful and mature engagement with each other and with the artistic process is equally impressive. The kids are learning self-discipline and mutual respect."

− Parent

"I took my son Isaiah to see Rennie Harris last summer. The performance sparked his interest in dance. When I asked how he liked the performance he said with sparkles in his eyes, I want to be a dancer.""

− Audience Member

"There is something deep and supremely relevant about attending, participating, performing, and/or visiting BDF that seamlessly and potently infiltrates the community i.e. dancers, dance enthusiasts, and the curious."

− Kendra Portier, Emerging Choreographer/Faculty