PREVIEW Can dance save the world? Those of us who are hooked on it like to think so. At the very least, it makes you feel more alive as a human being. But in the cultural pecking order, dance often gets the short stick: you can't buy or own it, hang it on a wall, or sell thousands of DVDs of it. You pretty much have to depend on bootlegs or YouTube to get your fix. Maybe that's why such fervor surrounds Bay Area National Dance Week and its 10 days of dance madness. This year, BANDW celebrates its 10th year with a throw-open-the-doors event designed to give all comers a chance to see or try all manner of free moves: hula hooping, belly dancing, salsa, body orchestration, Scottish country dance, Sufi dancing, Greek dancing, swing, fire twirling, and more. Some 300 participants are on board, the majority from dance companies and studios. For us working stiffs, weekday classes take place mostly in the evening, but ODC Dance Commons will offer Dance Weekrelated classes throughout the day. For those who prefer watching, there will be many free performances as well, ranging from San Jose's sjDANCEco, to Mill Valley's RoCo Dance with Oakland's Axis Dance Company, to San Francisco's Mark Foehringer Dance Project. Get the details of what the good people at BANDW have in store for us from their 24-page brochure, available at select cafés, libraries, and most dance studios. The kickoff conga line event starts Friday at 11:30 a.m. in Union Square.
BAY AREA NATIONAL DANCE WEEK April 25May 4, free. www.bacndw.org