SOCIAL ANIMALS (Next Step Project)

Social Animals:

Dancers and Music-Makers Creating Art Together in the Moment

Photos of Erinn Liebhard and Steven Hobert by Sean Smuda, design by Jaime Willems


Part performance, part participation, this unique event invites you to both witness and experience the electricity of dancers and music-makers creating art together in the moment as they explore connections between the social and the staged.

When: November 3rd @ 7:30
Tickets: HERE
Facebook Event


  • Bob DeBoer (trumpet)
  • Ozzy Dris (Social Dance – House + Hip-Hop Styles)
  • Maurice Fields (Social Dance – Swing)
  • Steven Hobert (piano)
  • Reid Kennedy (drums)
  • Erinn Liebhard (Concert Dance – Jazz + Modern)
  • Megan Mahoney (bass)
  • Crissy Tolson (Concert Dance – Jazz + Modern)

Social Animals brings together concert and social dancers, and musicians of various instrumentations and backgrounds, to cross-train and improvise together in performance in one on ones, duo on duos and as a full group. Held at the Icehouse rather than a traditional theater and featuring a dance floor open to all after the show, Social Animals seeks to gnaw at the gap between ‘dance you do (social) and dance you view (staged).’ The connections between social and staged dance ideas in America are dynamic, highlighting how cultural ideas and the people that practice them can thrive because of both their similarities and differences: come see this unfold through movement and music, and stick around after the show for ICEHOUSE’s weekly Sunday night dance party, Nightchurch. This event has been made possible in part by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council’s Next Step grant, funded by the Legacy Amendment the voters of Minnesota made law in 2008.

This project has been bubbling up in my soul for a long while now, and was kick-started into bring through receipt of the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Next Step Grant 2018. I’m grateful to have dedicated funds for further exploration of the dynamic connections between social and staged dance ideas in America, a curiosity that fuels all of my work as a dance artist. Specifically, I attended the International Swing Dance Championship in Houston, Texas this May to continue my study of how social dance forms (like Swing and House) are related to and inform staged dance. I’ve brought back my observations and am using them to work with local dancers who consider themselves primarily social or concert dancers, and musicians of varying improv-heavy backgrounds, moving and making music together to research how our aesthetics intersect.