BASSH Showcases Area Social Dance Scene

Annual Event Is Light and Enjoyable, Focusing on Importance of Dance Education

Fritz Olenbeger

Dancer, choreographer, and teacher Derrick Curtis is bringing movement education to the people! In support of his program at La Cumbre Junior High School, which introduces teens to the basics of social dance, Curtis’ annual social-dance extravaganza, BASSH, showcases the work of choreographers and dancers in the area social dance scene. In its 18th year, BASSH brought swing, classic ballroom, contemporary, tango, salsa, bachata, samba, rumba, hip-hop, flamenco, belly, and aerial-inspired dance to the stage to support youth dance education and to inspire the community to join the movement.

Curtis cohosted the event with Kyle Ybarra and performed, showing off smooth swing with partners Teresa Johnson and Yulia Mulata. Highlights of BASSH 2018 included the polished prowess of competition dancer Vasily Golovin, who owns and operates Dance Fever Studio in Montecito; the consistently creative, high-energy dance storytelling of Karyn Laver, Ybarra, Daniel Rojo, and Bethany Sutherland at the Dance Network; the glamorous distraction of Cris! Basimah’s belly dancers; and the true romance of Robert Taylor and Catherine Compere’s classic foxtrot.

The tone of the event is light and enjoyable, and the focus is on the importance (and fun) of a dance education. The festival continues next month with BASSH Presents: Burlesque After Hours, performed for a 21+ audience at M8RX Nightclub & Lounge on April 28. This more risqué showcase of burlesque, belly dancing, cabaret, hip-hop, and drag performance is also a fundraiser for children’s dance education.