OhioDance inclusively supports the diverse and vibrant practice of dance of all cultures and for all capabilities.


The organization began as the Association of Ohio Dance Companies, formed in 1976 by representatives from 16 dance companies in Ohio. To reflect the increased membership it served, the organization changed its name to OhioDance in 1984.


  • 1981 – Produced first statewide festival at Kenyon College in Gambier
  • 1987 – Served as fiscal agent for major institutions
  • 1988 – Received nomination for outstanding arts event of the year (festival) from the Greater Columbus Arts Council
  • 1989 – Office moved to Columbus First National Performance Network residency hosted by Ohio Dance
  • 1995 – Produced OhioDances!, a videotape of Ohio’s diverse dance companies
  • 1996 – Published first statewide dance directory and resource guide
  • 1997 – Established website; 2009 full revision
  • 1998 – Produced festival in Columbus in conjunction with Network ’98: Conference of the International Network of Performing and Visual Arts Schools; reestablished choreographers showcase
  • 2000 – Two OhioDance Award categories were established: outstanding contribution to the dance art form and to dance education
  • 2004 – Presented Ohio’s Dance Treasures in Columbus with Ohio State’s Theatre Research Institute, in conjunction with the Dance Heritage Coalition’s Exhibition America’s 100 Dance Treasures
  • 2005 – Established professional auditions at the festival
  • 2006 – Relaunched the Dance Education Website with new design and content
  • 2007 – OhioDance offered a Panel Discussion during The Ohio Arts Presenters Network in Akron titled Demystifying Dance: Creative Successful Partnerships.
  • 2008 – Dancer Health articles added to the Newsletters
  • 2009-10 – OhioDance and Ohio Arts Council present dance performance at the Ohio Statehouse for National Arts and Humanities month.
  • 2009-10 – Dublin Arts Council and OhioDance in collaboration with The Ohio State University Department of Dance and Ohio Department of Education Division of the Arts present site-specific contemporary dance.
  • 2010 – Imagination Conversation-OhioDance, Oberlin College and Ohio Department of Education Division of the Arts host panel discussions on the role imagination plays in education
  • 2010-Present – OhioDance partners with Ohio Statehouse to offer Dance performance during the Summer Lawn Series
  • 2011 – OhioDance partners with VSA Ohio to offer dance residencies for students with disabilities
  • 2012 – Start of a Maggie Patton Dance Scholarship and OhioDance Outstanding Dance Student Award
  • 2012-Present – OhioDance annual Spring Festival and Conference co-sponsored by BalletMet Columbus
  • 2013 – OhioDance partners with Amethyst, Inc., a recovery center for women and their children, to offer dance classes and a performance opportunity
  • 2013-2015 – OhioDance offers a Fall Festival in different regions of State
  • 2014-15 – Begin research, then work on addition of a Virtual Dance Collection on OhioDance website
  • April 2017 – Unveiling of the Virtual Dance Collection at the annual Festival
  • 2018 – OhioDance Virtual Dance Collection Workshops established in schools

For full details go to the OhioDance Virtual Dance Collection Page https://vdc.ohiodance.org/exhibits/ohiodance/

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