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Better Family Life’s Black Dance USA: A Celebration in Movement provides just that -- movement worth celebrating. From Thursday through Saturday (May 24 through 26), the festival offers three full days of dance classes for both youth and adults. From Dunham technique (as in East St. Louis’ Katherine Dunham) to Congolese dance, and from hip-hop to Egyptian yoga, these educational sessions feature diverse styles and live music, and are taught by talented teachers who’ve traveled from far and near. The Center of Creative Arts hosts the classes, and registration starts at 8:30 a.m. daily; visit for pricing and to sign up in advance. And then for those who'd rather watch dance than dance themselves -- hey, there's no shame in that! -- Black Dance USA culminates in a performance by Los Angeles’ Lula Washington Dance Theatre. Incorporating elements of several dance disciplines -- including ballet, jazz and African -- this ensemble's choreography goes beyond dance steps, reflecting African American culture and history, and considering humanitarian matters. Tickets for this concert, held at 8 p.m. on Saturday at Washington University's Edison Theatre, cost $22 to $40; visit to make a purchase.
May 24-26, 2012

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