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inspireDANCE Festival

About inspireDANCE

inspireDANCE festival poster.The inspireDANCE Festival grew out of a simple idea to find a way to connect student dancers with each other, with the Program of Dance and Movement and with the larger dance community in the Rochester area. With well over 600 students involved in dance and movement groups and classes on the University of Rochester campus, along with several other excellent local university dance programs and a cohesive community of professional dancers in the Rochester area, inspireDANCE is an opportunity to unify, develop and strengthen the dance community at large.

The inspireDANCE festival was conceived in January 2010 as a project for the KEY (Kauffman Entrepreneurial Year), a UR program that provides students with an additional fifth undergraduate year to work on an entrepreneurial business venture. KEY student Arielle Friedlander realized there was a wealth of dance on the UR campus in pods that were somewhat isolated, and saw the potential for and value of a united dance community. She, along with Missy Pfohl Smith, then the new Director of the UR Program of Dance and Movement, wanted to give students opportunities to grow as dancers, to broaden their perspectives in dance, to communicate with one other, to share the rich and diverse dance activities that exist at UR and in the Rochester region, and to take classes and interact with faculty and professional dancers and choreographers, right on campus.

10th Annual inspireDANCE Festival

Wednesday, February 19–Thursday, February 27, 2020
Spurrier Hall

Full Schedule

Tickets and Registration

All-inclusive tickets (includes events listed below) will be sold at the Common Market and online for $18 through Wednesday, February 19. Registration is required and can be completed when purchasing your ticket online or at the Common Market after ticket is purchased.

  • All-Inclusive Festival Pass purchased starting February 20: $25 (sold online and at the door)
  • One-class Pass: $10 (sold at the door only, register at the door)
  • E. Moncell Durden Lecture/Demonstration Only: $10 (sold at the door or Common Market)
  • inspireJAM: $10 to compete and/or take the workshop, $5 to observe (sold at the door only)
  • Salsa Night: Free
  • Lessons in Becoming Unhindered: A Night of Dance on Camera Only, $5 to observe (sold at the door only)
  • Kickoff: Free


inspireJAM 2016
inspireJAM 2015, see more images

The inspireJAM was conceived in 2013 by student Smon Cheewapansri in order to share hip hop culture and breaking with the UR community.  It has grown to become an international jam of bboys and bgirls who gather to learn from our high profile judges who also share workshops, and to battle in an extremely virtuosic display of breaking, flipping, balancing and head-spinning. Dancers gather from New York City, Philadelphia, Toronto, Ithaca, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and more, to battle for a cash prize, and to defend the inspireJAM title.  We are proud to continue this annual tradition as part of the Annual inspireDANCE Festival.

Our extensive roster of classes over six days is taught by diverse guest artists and the excellent Program of Dance and Movement faculty and  truly offers something for everyone.  You can relax with a Moving Into Stillness meditation or Yoga or Tai Chi workshop, or get energized with a Capoeira Brazilian martial art dance or a vigorous Contemporary Floorwork class.  Join us to experience dance and movement in ways you never have before.