Free Dance!

Maximum movement, minimum cost

Tapestry co-founder and Artistic Director Acia Gray
Tapestry co-founder and Artistic Director Acia Gray

Ballet Austin holds its annual day of free dance classes this Sunday, Sept. 12, 2-6pm. "Come Dance!" lets visitors sample the plethora of dance, movement, and fitness classes offered every week at its Butler Dance Education Center, 501 W. Third. Each hour features different classes, plus a preview excerpt from Ballet Austin II's production for kids, Not Afraid of the Dark – The Show That Glows!, which runs at the Paramount Theatre Sept. 18-19. The class schedule is:

2-3pm: Zumba, Broadway Jazz, Thera-band, Kid's Modern Dance, Ultimate Cardio, Yoga Fundamentals, Pilates Studio Tour

3-4pm: Theatre Dance, Ballet Fit, Below the Belt, Kid's Beginning Ballet, Jazz Funk, Hula, Pilates Mat, Pilates Studio Tour

4-5pm: Contemporary Jazz, Zumba, Pilates Cardio, Kids in Motion, Broadway Fit, Arms & Abs, Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Pilates Studio Tour

5-6pm: Hip Hop, Modern, Body Stretch, Kid's Hip Hop, Teen/Adult Ballet, Tap, Feldenkrais, Pilates Studio Tour

Ballet Austin will also be showing off the center's new 1,900-square-foot studio, created in response to the community school's 472% increase in attendance. For more information, call 476-9051 or visit

• Speaking of free dance classes, Tapestry Dance Company has started offering free introductory dance classes for adults and teens every Saturday at 11am. The first Saturday of each month is introduction to rhythm tap, taught by Tapestry co-founder and Artistic Director Acia Gray. Every second Saturday is introduction to ballet, taught by Tapestry co-founder and master teacher Deirdre Strand. Third Saturdays are modern dance, and fourth Saturdays are jazz. All classes are taught by professional dancers and take place at Tapestry Dance Studios, 2302 Western Trails Blvd. For more information, call 474-9846 or visit

• And that isn't all that's free from Tapestry. On the third Thursday of every month, the company is offering Tapestry on the Fringe, a series of free shows spotlighting new and innovative elements of rhythm tap. Company member Matt Shields directs the series, which launched in August, but on Sept. 16, he gives the stage to Tapestry co-founder and Artistic Director Acia Gray for a playful and relaxed evening of "give and take between an artist and an audience." Shades of Gray promises a behind-the-scenes look into the mind (and feet) of this recent recipient of the American Tap Dance Foundation's prestigious Hoofer Award and Austin Arts Hall of Famer. Gray will discuss her career as a jazz tap dancer and her choreographic process in creating both the spatial design of a dance and its rhythm and melody. The program runs twice: Thursday, Sept. 16, 8 & 9:45pm, at Salvage Vanguard Theater, 2803 Manor Rd. For more information, call 474-9846 or visit

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Austin dance, Ballet Austin, Tapestry Dance Company, Acia Gray, Deirdre Strand, Butler Dance Education Center, Not Afraid of the Dark

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