Dancing for democracy: Colorado dance company urges people to get out the vote


BOULDER, Colo. New Breed Dance Company is a Boulder-based dance company that specializes in jazz dance. But with the November presidential election just around the corner, the performers are using their talents to get out the vote.

“We all are not only very passionate about the arts and dance in particular, but we are a collective body of people who care about what’s happening to our community and our country,” said Linzee Klinkenberg, the artistic director for New Breed Dance Company.

Klinkenberg founded New Breed Dance Company in 2011. The company’s latest dance film, titled “Dancing for Democracy,” celebrates the United States Postal Service and encourages people to exercise their right to vote, be it by mail or in-person.

In the video, several dancers dressed as postal carriers dance to Stevie Wonder’s "Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)" as messages emphasizing the safety and importance of voting pop up on the screen. Posted to YouTube on October 15, the video has also garnered thousands of views.

“Mail-in voting is safe, valid, and secure,” the text reads about a minute into the dance movie. “The American public can rely on the USPS to fulfill their role in the electoral process.”

“In this season where I feel like there is so much division and negativity...we wanted to put something out that would help uplift us, inspire us, energize us, and motivate us as a people to use our collective voices and individual power to vote for what matters to us,” Klinkenberg said.

She added that the company wanted to emphasize the diversity of the dancers and the issues they care about. The age of the dancers in the video ranges from 18 to 72 years old, according to Klinkenberg.

“It’s so challenging as an artist right now: we have no theaters, no stages, no studios, no seasons,” Klinkenberg said. “We’ve worked our whole lives to hone our gifts and talents and share them with the world, and so we’re still looking for inventive ways to utilize our gifts and contribute to our community, and if that literally means dancing on the street, so be it. Because we are passionate about the arts.”

At one point in the video, the company highlights the fact that over 40 percent of eligible voters didn’t vote in 2016. Klinkenberg said she hopes the video will inspire people to vote and to be more hopeful about their ability to make a difference in the election.

“As an artist,” Klinkeberg explained. “I felt like the best thing I could do was utilize my gifts and experiences to literally dance my way to the ballot box, to dance for democracy...and encourage other people to celebrate the privilege we have, which is to vote.”