Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival in Akron, Ohio

Sponsored by the City of Akron, The Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival has been established to honor the legacy of the legendary founding Artistic Director of Ohio Ballet, and continues the tradition of free public performances by respected dance companies, each presenting a unique dance experience, but all sharing the common thread of Poll's commitment to the highest artistic standards.

This Festival is a tribute to Poll's legacy and a gift of the performing arts to the people of Greater Akron.

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Important Information Concerning the 2021 Season

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What is the Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival?

Watch this short video detailing Heinz Poll and his legacy as it pertains to dance in North East Ohio.

The Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival

A gift of the arts, and dance in particular, from the City of Akron, to the Greater Akron area.

Overseeing the Summer Dance Festival

About Staff

Akron Dance Festival 2021 Schedule

Continuing Akron's unique 47 year tradition of presenting free dance performances in the parks during the summer, The Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival has been established to honor the legacy of the legendary founding Artistic Director of Ohio Ballet. Free public performances by respected Ohio dance companies, each presenting a unique dance experience, reflect the common thread of Poll's commitment to the highest artistic standards.

Since the 2006 demise of Ohio Ballet's Summer Festival that was founded in 1974 and supported by the City of Akron since 1975, there was no ready outlet for dance in Akron. The Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival presents as many as 18-20 separate dance pieces offered each summer. Attendance averages about ten thousand per season.

ALL DANCE PROGRAMS BEGIN AT 8:45 PM ~ CHILDREN'S INTERACTIVE PROGRAM 7:45 PM

  • Verb Ballets
    July 30, 31
    Goodyear Metropolitan Park
    (2077 Newton St., Akron, OH 44305)
  • GroundWorks Dance Theater
    August 6, 7
    Firestone Park
    (in between N. and S. Firestone Blvd. – Firestone neighborhood)
  • Dayton Contemporary Dance Company
    Aug 13, 14
    Forest Lodge Park
    (by the ballfield on Jefferson Ave.)

Children’s Free Dance Classes

As part of its outreach program to neighborhoods in which the performances occur each week, free “Beginners Dance” classes will be offered for children 6-10 years old. Classes held Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10:30 – 11:30 am.

  • July 27-29 ~ Reservoir Park Community Center ~ (1235 Hillside Terrace, Akron, OH 44305 – 330-375-2802)
  • August 3-5 ~ Firestone Park Community Center ~ (1480 Girard Ave., Akron, OH 44301 – 330-375-2806)
  • August 10-12 ~ Forest Lodge Community Center ~ (260 Greenwood Ave., Akron, OH 44313 – 330-836-2233)
All classes are taught by professional dancers with Inlet Dance Theatre. The sessions are free, and no prior experience or advance registration is necessary.

NEW
Showmobile Interactive Dance Events
Inlet Dance Theatre & Djapo Cultural Arts Institute

New this year, the festival will present Inlet Dance Theatre in three Showmobile Interactive Performance events in collaboration with Djapo Cultural Arts Institute (W African dance) on the theme of “Racial Identity and Social Justice.” The companies will perform and encourage attendee participation and interaction on the grass in front of the stage.

  • July 28 – Joy Park Community Center (825 James Ingram Way, Akron, OH 44306 – 330-375-2805)
  • August 4 – Patterson Park Community Center (800 Patterson Ave., Akron, OH 44310 – 330-375-2819)
  • August 11 – Summit Lake Community Center (380 W. Crosier St., Akron, OH 44311 – 330-375-2826)

Dance Stage to be shared with Akron Symphony Ensemble on Sundays

The City of Akron will extend the use of its weekend dance stage to Sunday nights again this summer for a series of three free admission concerts by the Akron Symphony Ensemble, under the direction of Christopher Wilkins and Eric Benjamin. Each ensemble performance begins at 7:30pm.

  • August 1 - Goodyear Metropolitan Park
  • August 8 - Firestone Park
  • August 15 - Forest Lodge Park

**Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, we will abide by all health and safety guidelines as outlined by Summit County Public Health.

Master Classes

Local residents can take advantage of Master Classes...

Free Beginner's Youth Classes s

As part of its outreach program to neighborhoods in which the performances occur each week, the City presents free “Beginners Dance”...