Marcus Performing Arts Center

DanceMKE 2019 Will Wow You

Dancers from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines compete to make the finals. The fun begins next week.

By - Jul 22nd, 2019 03:23 pm
Salsabrositas. Photo courtesy of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.

Salsabrositas. Photo courtesy of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.

The Marcus Performing Arts is presenting a fourth season of its summer dance competition DanceMKE. DanceMKE is presented as part of the Live at Peck series sponsored by the Molitor Foundation and Urban Milwaukee. The competition begins on July 30 and continues with preliminary rounds culminating in the finals on August 20.

DanceMKE is a four-week dance competition featuring Milwaukee dance artists from any discipline. The selected dance groups introduced below will battle it out over three consecutive weeks starting July 30 at 7 p.m. A panel of local dance experts will select the top three groups from each week to advance to the finals on August 20. Over the course of the last four years, over 450 local dancers have performed to nearly 4,000 dedicated dance lovers, and they’re looking for even more dances to wow the audience and join in on the fun.

These talented artists are competing for cash prizes and trophies as well as bragging rights as the winners of DanceMKE. There will be a little something for everyone with a wide variety of dance styles including hip hop, modern, ballet, folk/ethnic and more!


  • Open to dancers age 9 (choreographers at least 16+) and older in ANY style of dance.
  • Dance selections must be a minimum of 3 1/2 minutes and not greater than 6 minutes.
  • Solos, duos, or groups (25 max) are allowed
  • Work must not consist of profanity or crude subject matter.
  • Proposals must fit flexibly into project parameters (including no rehearsal time on stage and limited technical support).

All performances take place at the Peck Pavilion on the grounds of the Marcus Performing Arts Center.

New to this season, DanceMKE will advance one solo or duo on to the finals each week. The three solo or duo groups will then have a chance to win a $1,000 cash prize at the finals. The opening night of performance is on Tuesday, July 30th, and here’s a preview of the dancers who will perform:

Expressions Unlimited

A youth performance group out of Grayslake, Illinois that focuses on the joy and love of dance. Expressions Unlimited has eight dancers.

Water Street Dance Milwaukee

Water Street Dance Company is one of Milwaukee’s premier repertory dance companies and strives to bring life to the city’s growing community of artists. Artistic Director Morgan Williams has worked to create a dance company that offers an impactful dance experiences for audiences and dancers everywhere. In 2018-2019, the company has performed its work in cities including, but not limited to: San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, Columbus and Milwaukee. The company is committed to all parts of concert dance: the creation process, collaborative input, producing dynamic and expressive works unique to the company, and translating the latter product into performances offered to multifarious audiences. Water Street Dance Milwaukee has four dancers.

Water Street Youth Co.

Water Street Youth Company is a dance company comprised of Wisconsin’s most talented emerging pre-professional dancers. They train and perform alongside the main company in Water Street’s Winter and Summer Concerts as well as dance festivals and conferences around the country. Water Street Youth Co. has seven dancers


Monstarz All Star Dance Team is committed to help all dancers strive for excellence. We promote and encourage the continued success of our dancers through physical, emotional, and intellectual development while with our company. Our goal is to produce people that strive for greatness in both the dance world as well as in the real world. Monstarz has ten dancers.

 Voltage Dance Crew

Voltage Dance Crew formed in 2018 to bring competitive hip hop to the Greater Menomonee Falls area, generating excitement for a largely untapped market in the Milwaukee area. Choreographed by 18-year-old Ben Chitwood, the work is inspired by breakthrough artists such as Parris Goebel and Kiel Tutin. Voltage Dance Crew has eight dancers.

Artistic Edge Dance Centre

Shelly Tosh founded Artistic Edge Dance Centre in 2018. Under the artistic direction of Christa Smutek, the dancers of Artistic Edge had an award-winning first season. Artistic Edge is committed to providing a strong technical foundation of dance to all of our students, while encouraging them to explore movement, discover their strengths, and inspire their audience. We believe in motivating our students to attain their full potential, while working together as a team to inspire one another. Artistic Edge Dance Centre has six dancers. 

Young Dance Academy

Young Dance Academy has been in business in southeastern Wisconsin since 1983 and is in its 37th season! Their dancers are trained in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, lyrical/contemporary, musical theater and much more. They have been competing regionally and nationally since 1991. Young Dance Academy has 20 dancers. 

Dance Academy of Mexico – Youth

The Dance Academy of Mexico was established in Milwaukee to preserve Mexican traditions and promote culture and diversity through the arts. Dance Academy of Mexico has 12 dancers.

Dance Academy of Mexico – Ballet Folklórico

Ballet Folklórico DAOM is formed by the advanced students of the Dance Academy of Mexico. DAOM teaches Mexican traditional dances to kids from all ages. We promote culture and diversity through the arts. Ballet Folklórico has 12 dancers.


SAINTS stands for Something All Individuals Need To See and we like to push the boundaries of Hip Hop and explore movement. SAINTS has seven dancers.

ICD Dance Company by Manuel Gaona

ICD Dance Company specializes in Mexican folklore. Their objective is to show our students some of our Mexican culture. ICD Dance Company has 25 dancers. 

Bella Via Dance Studio (DUO):

Through technical training and artistic expression, Bella Via Dance Studio strives to create confident, compassionate, intelligent and creative individuals who believe they are capable of accomplishing anything. Through dance, students will build the self-esteem needed to face everyday obstacles head on, with a clear mind and an open heart. The Bella Company is an award-winning competitive team that travels throughout the Midwest to both regional and national competitions. Dancers were consistently awarded with top technical accolades and overall placements as well as some of the highest scores of the entire competitive weekend.

Salsabrosa Dance Company (DUO) – Layanet and Zion

Layanet and Zion have been dancing with Salsabrosa Dance Company for the last two years and have been working on their partnership for the last six months. This is their first time competing together.

Salsabrositas Dance Company (DUO) – Natalia and Elizabeth

Natalia and Elizabeth have been performing duets together for the last two years. For the last five years, they have been members of Salsabrositas Dance Company.

Join the fun each week at 7:00 p.m. as preliminary rounds begin July 30th presented at the Peck Pavilion at the Marcus Center. The audience gets a chance to inform the judges’ choices by weighing in via smart-phone voting each week to help their favorite dancers reach the finals. Watch and see who will be chosen to compete in the finals on Tuesday August 20 and be picked as the winner of DanceMKE 2019.

Watch Urban Milwaukee for DanceMKE recaps featuring the top groups from each week of the competition.

DanceMKE is presented free as part of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts summer performance series: Live at Peck Pavilion. All performances are free and open to the public.

For more information on the DanceMKE schedule and all of the free Live at Peck events visit its website.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us