In Oakland’s ever-changing landscape one thing remains constant: our love for dance and movement. Oakland is home to award winning dance companies and a plethora of street performers. Whether you’re a spectator or a participant you’re bound to find some entertainment out and about in the Town.

AXIS Dance Company: The Axis Dance company is the nation’s most acclaimed ensemble of disabled and non-disabled performers. Their mission, to change the face of dance and disability, is accomplished through three pillars of activity: artistry, engagement, and advocacy. Collaborating with high profile choreographers AXIS engages dancers of all ages and abilities to perform contemporary pieces. They’re not only a dance company but an advocacy group for those often overlooked in the dance world. AXIS has toured over 100 cities across the world and appeared twice on FOX TV’s So You Think You Can Dance. Head over to their calendar to see where they are performing next.

BANDALOOP: BANDALOOP, dubbed the pioneer of vertical dance, debuted in 1991 at a San Francisco climbing gym called City Rock. Since this initial performance they’ve been booked internationally but have made Oakland their home. BANDALOOP seamlessly weaves dynamic physicality, intricate choreography and climbing technology to turn the dance floor on its side. Founded by Amelia Rudolph, BANDALOOP re-imagines dance, activates public spaces, and inspires wonder and imagination in audiences around the world. BANDALOOP will be activating twice during Oakland Art Month, during Oakland Fiesta Sin Fronteras and a week of open rehearsals the week of May 21-15 outside the Calvin Simmons Theater. Click here to see other upcoming performances and classes!

Oakland Ballet Company: For more than 50 years, Oakland Ballet Company has served Oakland and the East Bay by keeping the tradition of ballet exciting, vibrant, and accessible. Founded in 1965 by Oakland native Ronn Guidi, and currently under the direction of Graham Lustig, Oakland Ballet Company celebrates half a century of beautiful dancing, dedicated training, and an enduring commitment to arts education in the East Bay! Make sure to catch their new Spring Repertory Performance, kicking off May 31st.

SambaFunk! : Their mission is to preserve, connect and present African Diaspora culture: music, art, dance and drumming, to underserved communities of color in ways that address severe health issues. The goal of SambaFunk! is to raise the collective consciousness and vibration on planet Earth around issues that affect everyone. They offer weekly classes in Oakland at Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, please check their schedule here.

Savage Jazz Dance Company: Savage Jazz Dance Company (SJDC) was founded in 1992 by Artistic Director Reginald Ray-Savage. SJDC is distinguished by its disciplined dancers and instructors, and its dedication to the exploration of jazz music’s range of expression. The cohesive nature of the organization is reflected in the long-term commitment of its dancers: many began their involvement as students of Savage, later becoming apprentices, and finally earning a position as a company dancer. The spirit of jazz is the foundation for their existence, and the sustenance that keeps SJDC alive. 

TURFinc. : The TURFinc group was created by “Johnny5” in 2012 with the purpose of spreading the original dance culture of TURF that was established in Oakland and to utilize it as a positive platform for dancers, the youth, and the overall community. TURF Inc provides a platform for aspiring dancers to not only learn how to take their skills to the next level, but also gives them the opportunity to audition for gigs in & out of the Bay Area which range from commercials, concerts, private events, corporate events, art galleries, festivals, and museums. You can see TURFinc. perform at First Fridays on May 4th and in Jack London Square on May 5th.