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Global, celebratory, rigorous, and engaging, the Bates Dance Festival is dedicated to offering a transformative dance experience to all who participate, whether as practitioners, enthusiasts, or scholars. Situated in Central Maine, the Festival hosts an international roster of artists in a collaborative and joyful community. Bates Dance Festival rigorously trains established and emerging dance artists through workshops, community-oriented programs, and advances the field by supporting new work. From local youth to global professionals, the Festival convenes to create, perform, and witness vibrant and vital dance works.

The Bates Dance Festival is comprised of five interwoven programs: two professional training programs including the Young Dancers Intensive (YDI), a rigorous two-week program serving pre-professional dancers ages 14-18; Young Dancers Intensive: Extensions, designed for a cohort of up to twenty advanced students ages 16 to 18 to continue their training alongside BDF’s Professional Training Program; the Professional Training Program (PTP) serving dancers ages 18 and up; a main-stage performances series featuring renowned contemporary dance artists from around the world and community outreach activities including the Youth Arts Program serving local youth ages 7-16 with dance, music, theater and visual arts training.