2020 National College Dance Festival

Imag[(I)n]e_2_Belhaven_Natl18_Jackie Hynson_smaller

Breaking News!  The 2020 National College Dance Festival is going West! With approximately 30 schools performing, the three gala performances will be held in the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach, California. California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) will be the Festival host for classes, rehearsals, auditions and additional opportunities.

While it was disappointing that there were no viable dates for the 2020 Festival at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the change of venue allows ACDA to create a different National Festival experience this year. The CSULB Dance Center, with its seven spacious dance studios, is directly connected to the 1100-seat Carpenter Center and will be an ideal venue for Festival activities. There will be classes, workshops, panel discussions, and opportunities to connect with dancers from throughout the country and with dance professionals from the vibrant greater Los Angeles dance scene. 

The best news is that with ample studio space and a large theater, we have room for many ACDA Members to participate in National Festival opportunities even if their schools are not presenting a work in the National Gala Concerts. This rare opportunity benefits everyone! Our presenting schools have the opportunity to share their work with an even larger audience including ACDA national membership as well as family, friends, and the general public; and all Festival participants will enjoy a wide variety of dance experiences reflecting the rich socio-cultural mosaic that is Southern California.

All ACDA member students and faculty are welcome to participate in the Festival.

Dates have been set for May 29, 30, and 31, 2020.

Carpenter Center Exterior    Carpenter PAC_interior_house


The National College Dance Festival, a biennial event, showcases dances selected by the adjudicators from each of the regional conferences based on their outstanding artistic excellence and merit. The primary objective of the National Festival is to highlight, on the national level, the outstanding quality of choreography and performance created on college and university campuses. The National Festival presents three gala performances, each showcasing 10 or 11 dances with a total of approximately 30 schools participating in the Festival.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has been home to the Festival since 1981 with the exceptions Festivals presented by University of the District of Columbia (1986), University of North Texas (1990), Arizona State University (1992), University of Maryland / College Park (2000), Columbia University and Barnard College (2008), and CSU Long Beach (2020).

Nneka_Scripps_NatlFest18_David Torralva cropped  Mine Eyes Have Seen_Buffalo_NatlFest18_Jim Bush smaller  Umbillic_SHSU_ NatlFest2018_Lynn Lane smaller

Photo Credits

Photos from 2018 National College Dance Festival:

  • Imag[(I)n]e, Belhaven University. Photographer: Jackie Hynson
  • Nneka, Scripps College. Photographer: David Torralva
  • Mine Eyes Have Seen, University at Buffalo. Photographer: Jim Bush
  • Umbillic, Sam Houston State University. Photographer: Lynn Lane

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