Mission

ODC is dedicated to the lifecycle of the artistic process. Through our company, school and theater, we aim to inspire audiences, cultivate artists, engage community, and foster diversity and inclusion through dance.

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In 1976, a yellow school bus rolled into the Bay Area with 16 dancers, musicians, painters, and photographers aboard...

Founded in 1971 by Artistic Director Brenda Way, who trained under the legendary George Balanchine, ODC originated as Oberlin Dance Collective—named after Oberlin College in Ohio where Brenda was on faculty. Brenda's goal was to ground the company in a dynamic, pluralistic, urban setting.

Known nationally for entrepreneurial savvy, ODC was the first modern dance company in the United States to own its home facility, the ODC Theater, built in 1979 and expanded in 2010. In September 2005, ODC also opened the ODC Dance Commons, which houses ODC/Dance, ODC School, administrative offices, and the Healthy Dancers' Clinic.

Since our earnest beginnings, ODC has overcome eviction, earthquakes, and economic upheavals to become a national center for contemporary dance and a standard-bearer of creative life in San Francisco. 

We are:

  • A professional dance company, ODC/Dance. We create dances that reflect on the values of contemporary life and take them on the road throughout the Bay Area, across the country, and around the world.
  • A school for ages 8 months to 98 years, where 16,000 students train in everything from ballet to hip-hop to salsa to hula.
  • A theater where emerging artists and those at the top of their career find a home. We support them through mentorship, commissioning, rehearsal space, and a community of like-minded souls.
  • A health initiative focused on supporting an informed, robust, and responsive physical lifestyle for all ages and abilities.

ODC is so much more than the sum of its parts. What we do fuels creativity and innovation, it crosses borders and connects us, so that we can move forward together.

In addition to developing engaged and committed audiences, the organization advocates for the performing arts as an essential component to the economic and cultural development of our community.

Learn more about ODC's commitment to equity at odc.dance/equity