BIG NEWS: Daniel Pink, New York Times Best-Selling Author, will host our 40th Anniversary Gala!

©Rebecca Emily Drobis All Rights Reserved Author Daniel Pink
©Rebecca Emily Drobis
All Rights Reserved
Author Daniel Pink

We are thrilled to announce that the highly-anticipated 40th Anniversary Gala, Party Like It’s 1976, will be hosted by Daniel Pink, New York Times best-selling author, host of National Geographic Television’s “Crowd Control,” and a dance dad. Last year, Thinkers50 named Pink one of the 10 most-influential management thinkers in the world! His 2009 TED Talk: The Puzzle of Motivation, has garnered over 15 million views, making it one of the 10 most-watched TED Talks of all time.

Most important, Daniel is also a dance dad. His daughter, Eliza (17), has Daniel Pink danced with our pre-collegiate modern program, the Youth Dance Ensemble, since 2012. Inspired by our mission, Dance is for Everyone®, coupled with an interest in photography, Eliza produced a dance calendar and donated the proceeds to our Motion Express outreach program at last year’s Gala, the Mad Hatter Bash. This year, her father will take the family’s sense of altruism to the next level: a live auction on stage to raise much needed program funds. These programs provide free access to dance education, concerts, and performance opportunities to children in grades K-12 and senior citizens through the following programs: Motion Express, Seniors in Motion, Step Ahead, and the Dance is for Everyone® Youth Scholarship Program.

Silk Road Dance Company
Silk Road Dance Company

First, the evening will begin with champagne and a trip down Memory Lane, a photo exhibit of archival images from the 1970s through today. Photos from the past 40 years will be for sale, alongside a Polaroid photo booth, and David Bowie-inspired make-up artist (lightening bolts included). Then, watch a concert that celebrates the diversity of the D.C. dance community: flamenco, middle eastern, modern and more. Nowhere will you see the organization’s world-renowned Resident Arts Partners in one concert including DC Contemporary Dance Theater, who recently celebrated 30 years on stage under the direction of Miya Hisaka. Miya will also be honored for her service to JOMDC. Silk Road Dance Company, under the direction of long-time faculty member Laurel Victoria Gray, will leave you in search of your passport, eager to take a trip around the world. You’ll soon realize the world has come to the historic Atlas Performing Arts Center when you see (and hear) the passionate percussive stylings of Furia Flamenca. Artistic Director, Estela Velez de Paredez, celebrates her work through JOMDC having taught with us since 1999. JOMDC’s award-winning Youth Dance Ensemble and youth hip-hop free-style company, HypeFlow, will also perform.

Estela Velez de Paredez
Estela Velez de Paredez

Alongside the performances, for the first time, JOMDC will honor current faculty who have served the organization for a decade or more. Over 100 faculty members teach for the organization on a regular basis and 23 long-time dance educators will be honored on stage. Among the many honorees is, JOMDC founder, Michelle Ava. Forty years ago, Ava set her vision, “Dance is for Everyone” in motion in a one-room studio on Connecticut Avenue. That vision has changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of dance students, choreographers, and performers across the DC region. In addition to the recognition of Ava’s founding, former Executive Director of 25 years, Douglas Yeuell, will be honored with the Michelle Ava: Dance is for Everyone Spirit Award.

After the concert, disco the night away with cake and champagne on the Lang Stage of the Atlas Performing Arts Center.

For more information visit or click here.


Get inspired and watch Daniel’s Ted Talk, if you aren’t one of the 15 million who have seen it already!

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