Everyone Should Dance is Premise of Two Hartt Alumni

December 14, 2023
Submitted By: Office of Marketing and Communication

The Hartford Dance Collective, founded by two alumni of The Hartt School, has brought—and continues to bring—the joy of artistic physical expression to thousands of people in the greater Hartford area. The nonprofit Collective provides open dance classes for adults under the principle that everyone can dance and, taking it a step further, that everyone should dance.

Last summer alone, the Collective featured 25 performing groups at the second annual Hartford Dance Festival in Elizabeth Park, the popular open-space destination on the border of Hartford and West Hartford. The group’s first adult summer intensive weekend was also held last summer.

“Our studio space at Parkville Sounds on Arbor Street in Hartford provides creative participants with a home to hone in on their movement vocabulary,” explains Jillian Foley, president of the Hartford Dance Collective. Foley co-founded the group in 2017, just a year after graduating from The Hartt School. “Movement allows us to escape, which leads to discovery and connection. We have been able to give many artists a home in which they can discover and connect, and we have also had the opportunity to bring in professional dancers, including from the Limon Company, the Rockettes, and the Merce Cunningham Trust.”

Foley taught in the theatre and vocal divisions at Hartt from 2016 to 2023. Co-founder and secretary Jane Krantz currently teaches theatre at Hartt. Many other alumni, current students, and faculty also participate with The Hartford Dance Collective. 

“We work to bridge the gap between the arts and our community,” Foley says. “We’ve shared dance at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, Real Art Ways, TheaterWorks Hartford, Dunkin Stadium, a few Connecticut breweries, and many other locations.”

The Hartford Dance Collective ( has many open classes, exclusive programs, and plans to expand to a second studio location in Hartford. A special performance called “Self Portraits” is scheduled for May. 

Last summer the Hartford Dance Collective featured 25 performing groups at the second annual Hartford Dance Festival at Elizabeth Park.