Open floor dancing tonight |

Open floor dancing tonight

Amy Roby can be reached at

It’s Friday night. Are you wondering what to do? Looking for a fun and unique way to kick off your weekend? How about something free?

Every third Friday (except for November and December), Comma Coffee in Carson City hosts “World Dance Open Floor,” a family-friendly event that features dancers from our area who delight audiences with their talents while raising money for causes that “make the world a better place.” Dance styles come from around the world; past performances have included Belly dance, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Ballet, Hula, Salsa, Folklorico, Irish (both soft- and hard-shoe), Egyptian, Native American, and more.

Starr Nixdorf, the “mirthful mistress of the microphone,” considers each event a surprise, because you never know who might take the floor. One event featured Anouaze Beat, a local African drumming group that incorporates dancing and singing into each presentation.

The evening gives dancers the opportunity to showcase their talents, similar to an open-mic night for writers or musicians; it also provides audience members an opportunity to give donations that support local programs. Dancers have danced for the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada, Carson Advocates for Cancer Care, Wild Horse Children’s Theater, and the Carson High School Choir.

This month’s event is billed a “Winter Warm-Up,” and the recipient of all donations is the Always Lost: A Meditation on War art exhibition from Western Nevada College. The exhibit originated as a class project at the college in 2009 and has since embarked on a national tour of colleges, universities, and veterans organizations around the country. U.S. Senators Harry Reid and Dean Heller have invited Always Lost to Washington, D.C., and a replication of the traveling exhibition is underway. The heart of Always Lost is the “Wall of the Dead;” individual photographs with names of the more than 6,300 U.S. military war casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001. It also includes the 2004 Pulitzer Prize-winning Iraq war combat photos by David Leeson and Cheryl Diaz Meyer (The Dallas Morning News), literary work from Western Nevada College creative writing students and other Northern Nevada writers, photos and profiles of three WNC student-veterans, and the poetry of SPC Noah Pierce of Minnesota, who took his own life following two tours in Iraq. Several exhibit components will be on display at tonight’s event.

This exhibition is a cause close to my heart; I was a member of the class that created the original exhibition, and volunteered for two years as Always Lost grew and became a traveling exhibit. Subsequently, I was asked to serve as project manager, and am honored and humbled to be part of such a heartfelt and fitting tribute to our troops.

The event is sponsored in part by: Artsy Fartsy Gallery, Body by Pilates, Bridger Mountain, Comma Coffee, Hair Studio & Spear Me,, and The Bead Store.

World Dance Open Floor starts at 8 p.m. tonight. Comma Coffee is located at 312 S. Carson St. For more information, call Starr Nixdorf at (775) 882-0372 or log onto