Our mission is to strengthen the dance community in Queens and inspire a greater appreciation for Queens dance.
Launched in 2014, Queensboro Dance Festival (QDF) was created out of a need for easier artist access to a dance community within Queens, and to cultivate audiences in underserved Queens neighborhoods. Each summer, we tour throughout Queens’ local parks, plazas, and streets, reaching 10,000 people each year. We proudly present professional Queens-based dance companies of diverse cultures and styles, offering over 30 free outdoor performances, classes, and dance parties to the public. We also provide our dance companies with free professional development and Queens arts resources.
We exist to be a platform for Queens’ underrepresented diversity of dancers, where contemporary and cultural groups come together to share their artistry with our fellow Queens neighbors. We believe cultural exchange builds community, and dancing together uplifts the soul. Our values are equity, curiosity, quality, and connection.
QDF has been cited for its community impact in the first 2017 Create NYC Cultural Plan; a 2018 honoree of Queens Pride with a Proclamation from NYS Comptroller’s Office Thomas P. DiNapoli and certificate from NYC Public Advocate Letitia James; 2019 LIC Game Changer Award with Best in Arts & Humanities, certificate from Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, and 2023 Citation of Honor by Queensborough President Donovan Richards. QDF became a non-profit organization in 2021.
See our one-pager PDF here.
Founding Executive Director
Karesia Batan has been a Queens-based modern dancer, choreographer, and producer since 2006. She has performed for various choreographers, film directors, and installation artists, and established her dance + production company, The Physical Plant in 2010, under which QDF began.
Karesia also produced curated dance film screenings Dance Shorts, and the Site Moves dance installation series for the LIC Arts Open. Prior, she was Creative Producer for Forward Flux Productions NYC (Best of Fringe 2012) and Studio Producer for National Choreography Month. She has spoken on arts & culture panels for the Center of Urban Future, QPTV, and the LIC Partnership. She currently serves on Queens Community Board 2 as Chair of the Arts & Culture Committee, as well as several task forces for Queens District 26 and Queensborough President’s Office, and is on the board of The Design Trust for Public Space.
Karesia’s latest dance projects are performing Filipino folkdances most recently in her Queens neighborhood, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Google, and dancing for choreographer Craig Hoke Zarah. Karesia holds a B.S. in Communication from Boston University with honors.
Elana Ehrenberg, Chair
Karesia Batan, Treasurer
Rafael Landeiro, Secretary
We’re seeking a group of 100 donors
to give $10 for 10 months, in honor
of our 10th Anniversary!
We’re seeking a group of 100 donors to give $10 for 10 months, in honor of our 10th Anniversary!