Over 40 years Dancin’ Unlimited has evolved a mix of entertainment and educational programs…
Dancin’ Unlimited formed in 1973 as the Dance Theatre Company of Northern Virginia by Robert Thoma. Mr. Thoma had a goal to “assemble and train a company of young people who would specialize in jazz dancing.” Drawing upon his background in Broadway, musical comedy, and using contemporary music and ideas, he choreographed works that emphasized theatrical jazz dance. With the company’s acceptance into the Northeast Regional Ballet Association in 1974, they became the only all-jazz dance company in the region.
Marilyn York became the Artistic Director in 1976. The company was known, during the early 1980’s, as the Virginia Jazz Theatre. They grew into a stable and cohesive performing unit through membership of professional adult dancers who had settled in the area and wished to continue performing. They focused on theatrical jazz dance concerts, with emphasis on technical excellence. In addition to bringing quality jazz dance to the Washington DC metropolitan area, the company also became a training ground for the serious jazz dancer, including the older high school and college dancers, aiming toward musical theatre and concert jazz performance.
In 1982, Ms. York changed the name to Dancin’ Unlimited, the first company in the area to produce all-jazz dance theatrical productions and cabaret-style shows. In 1985, Dancin’ Unlimited produced the first Jazz & Tap Dance Festival, now an annual community event. Each year the best local companies participate in a weekend of jazz and tap dance at its finest. The Jazz and Tap Dance Festival, with the help of grants from The Arts Council of Fairfax County, has also hosted guest companies from across the United States.
For three years we have produced Dancin’ on Broadway & Beyond, a full length company show, at First Stage in Tysons Corner VA, Port Tobacco Players in La Plata MD, and other mid-Atlantic locations. We were selected (2007, 09) to perform original choreography at the Jazz Dance World Congress, an international dance festival held in Chicago. The company has presented jazz dance educational programs for public and private schools for more than 10 years. Dancin’ Unlimited is supported in part by the Arts Council of Fairfax County and remains the only professional jazz dance company in Fairfax County.