International Dance Festival returns for 20th year celebration on Feb. 24

The International Dance Festival is returning to the University of Maine for its 20th year. Two shows, which are free and open to the public, will take place at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Collins Center for the Arts (CCA).

Organized by the Office of International Programs (OIP) and the International Student Association, the festival merges cultures of the people of UMaine and the extended community into a colorful display of dances.

To recognize 20 years of promoting diversity, UMaine alumni involved in former shows have been invited back to the CCA to participate and celebrate the festival’s ongoing success. The OIP will also host virtual meetings for alumni to reconnect and share stories. 

When it first started in 2005, the student-led festival was held in a 200-seat venue. Sarah Joughin, who has helped students organize the event from its first year forward, still remembers how the audience radiated energy in Minsky Recital Hall as the dancers displayed cultures from around the world.

Joughin, senior associate director of OIP, said she and other organizers feared the audience would seem empty when they moved the festival to the CCA. Not only did the festival attendees nearly fill the approximate 1,400 seats, the show was eventually doubled into two offerings, both of which have attracted full crowds.

Prior to the afternoon show, a Japanese Culture Exhibition with games, activities and light refreshments will take place in the lobby of the CCA. 

More information is available on the dance festival web page. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact the OIP, 207.581.3437;