Dance Matters is a statewide dance programming initiative conceived and developed by Dance Affiliates with major support from the Pennsylvania Dept. of Community and Economic Development. Through strategic partnerships with local community performing arts centers and educational institutions, the program offers live dance performances and arts education activities in an exciting and unique program for people of all ages that are accessible, affordable, enlightening and entertaining.
Dance Matters provides a forum for in-depth interactive discussions and reflection on the evolution of the art form, its impact on our culture, and its history and ancestry, and a definitive example of how a cultural program can have far-reaching effects and long-term impact because of its ability to serve as an economic driver within a community.
A major project of this program was Thank You, Gregory: A Tribute to the Legends of Tap, a multi-media production showcasing dance by some of today's most talented tappers with live music. Making its world premiere in October 2009 on the Dance Celebration series, the production embarked on an extensive tour throughout Pennsylvania and to several venues in the central and eastern parts of the country. This original Dance Affiliates production presented an historical overview of this uniquely-American art form with an introspective look at the artistry, rhythms and music so intimately connected to the art, and paid tribute to the memory of Gregory Hines. As a tireless advocate for tap in America, Hines inspired countless children and youth from all economic and ethnic backgrounds to live their own dreams and be their own persons.