“To present world-class dance performance, increase public appreciation for the art, and provide quality dance education.”


Laguna Dance Festival values equity , diversity, and inclusion and is committed to furthering these values via each aspect of our mission to present world-class dance performance, increase public appreciation for the art, and provide quality dance education.

-As we move further into the 21st Century, we will continue to embrace a broader vision of cultural inclusion in the dance we present, including centering dance that is not born of the classical ballet of the imperial courts of Europe.

-The exquisite beauty of dance must also be relevant to our community if we are to survive as an art form and an organization. This will require a vision that is more inclusive, that is capable of acknowledging and respecting the diversity of human culture.

– An initial step is to create equal access and opportunity for all students, and where aspiring young dancers of all colors and races feel welcomed into the art form. Participation at the educational level is critical, and providing access to a broader and economically disadvantaged population is our commitment to the future.

– We are also working to increase equity, diversity, and inclusion in our internal operations to foster greater trust in how our organization is run.

Martha Graham said, “Dance is the hidden language of the soul.”  We take this as our inspiration to leverage this amazing art form in pursuit of the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion.








Laguna Dance Festival Presents Three Nights of Dance
from New Zealand to Los Angeles


Coverage Links: https://www.broadwayworld.com/costa-mesa/regionalshows.cfm


LDF Summer Dance Intensive: “Moving Together in Person” faculty reception

From June 14-19, Laguna Dance Festival (LDF), in collaboration with Orange County Music and Dance, held an intensive week of daily in-person dance classes within small cohorts. Taught by world-famous instructors, classes included Repertory, Contemporary, Jazz, Composition, Seminar, Conditioning, and Ballet.

Under the direction of Laguna Dance Festival’s Founder and Artistic Director Jodie Gates, this specialized program brought eight internationally renowned dance artists to Orange County, providing opportunities for students to be immersed in the highest level of training and artistic exploration.

Forty-five intermediate, pre-professional, and collegiate level dance students experienced six full days of technique training, artistic development, career mentorship, and professional networking opportunities.

“To be in person with these artists is pretty remarkable,” said Gates.

OC Music & Dance is a premier nonprofit community performing arts school, with a diverse student body of over 400 children, ranging in ages from 18 months to 18 years old. Through its financial assistance program, OCMD aims to make the arts accessible to every child, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. READ FULL ARTICLE

Laguna Dance Festival Brings Live, In-Person Dance Back to Young Orange County Dancers

Relaxing restrictions and a longing to return to normal have presented a number of ways forward for the performing arts to reemerge — finally. One of the first opportunities for advanced Orange County dance students to venture out from behind their computer screens came in the form of a six-day summer dance intensive. “Moving Together In-Person” took place June 14-19 and was hosted by the Laguna Dance Festival at Orange County Music and Dance.

“When we set the dates for the intensive, we were really banking on what science was telling us and felt confident that we would be able to host in-person,” said Laguna Dance Festival founder and artistic director Jodie Gates.

The 45 intensive participants ages 13-20 were organized into three cohorts to keep class sizes small and separate. Classes included ballet, contemporary, jazz, composition, conditioning and repertory, as well as a seminar period covering various topics. READ FULL ARTICLE

Laguna Dance Festival’s “Gather Round,” a collaboration of Complexions and Lee Rocker, premieres Sunday online

The worlds of dance and rockabilly come together in “Gather Round,” a collaboration between Laguna resident Lee Rocker of Stray Cats fame and the award-winning Complexions Contemporary Ballet. The nine-minute performance features three songs from the Grammy-nominated upright bass player, singer, and songwriter’s current solo album Gather Round.

Commissioned by the Laguna Dance Festival, this first iteration of a full-length ballet by Complexions using the music of Rocker will be world premiered online as a free event starting Sunday, April 25 at 5 p.m. To watch the trailer, click here.

“Gather Round”

Performed by Brandon Gray and Larissa Gerszke, “Gather Round” will be presented in three short duets to Rocker’s songs: “Gather Round,” “The Last Offline Lovers,” and “When Nothing’s Going Right.” It’s a rousing, tongue-in-cheek nod to the timeless genre that is rockabilly. The piece finds its inspiration musically “in the pocket” of the rhythm and soul of Rocker’s spinning double bass, and distinct vocals. “Gather Round” is a colorful expression of movement that connects, expresses, and celebrates the joy of living life, in all of its complexities. READ FULL ARTICLE

Lee Rocker of the Stray Cats Joins Forces with “Complexions Contemporary Ballet”

The worlds of dance and rockabilly uniquely come together in “Gather Round,” a collaboration between LEE ROCKER of The Stray Cats fame and the award-winning COMPLEXIONS Contemporary Ballet featuring three songs from the Grammy-nominated upright bass player, singer and songwriter’s current solo album Gather Round. This first iteration of a full-length ballet by COMPLEXIONS using the music of ROCKER has been commissioned by the Laguna Dance Festival and will be world premiered online as a free event starting April 25 at 5:00 PM PT/8:00 PM ET (Laguna Dance Festival). Watch the trailer here. The full-length ballet, for which other details are TBA, will be performed in 2022 in Laguna Beach, CA (venue TBA). READ FULL ARTICLE



Laguna Dance Festival’s 16th Winter Season Makes Your Home Its Venue

With theaters and performance studios closed in the midst of a pandemic, where does dance go? If the Laguna Dance Festival has anything to say about it, “away” is one place dance will not venture to. In fact, the coronavirus era may have just proved that dance performance can be anywhere as long as you have a screen and connectivity. READ FULL ARTICLE




Los Angeles Times

Laguna Dance Festival to stage its fall performance at the Irvine Barclay

The Laguna Dance Festival is raising the, um, barre on its autumn show by staging it at the Irvine Barclay Theatre. Laguna Beach, however, will remain in first position for the rest of the series’ 2019 schedule. For the fall installment, the festival will dance 20 minutes up the road to a space that is nearly double the size of its main home at the Laguna Playhouse, where the festival has held its fall performances for the past seven years.

“It’s time to think broader about how we can impact our community with the performing art of dance,” said Jodie Gates, the festival’s director. September’s performances include a weekend of shows and a workshop with the New York-based Parsons Dance Company and the RubberbanDance Group of Montreal. Both troupes have performed at the Barclay. Another group, to be announced later this week, will join the Sept. 27-29 performances. READ FULL ARTICLE


Consent Preferences