March 31, 2017

Meet James Ihde

James Ihde


23rd year performing in Shut Up & Dance

25th year attending Shut Up & Dance

Photograph © Vikki Sloviter


Funny Memory 

We did a piece, maybe six or seven years ago, that Brian Sanders choreographed and Tara Keating performed. She was in this big, plastic blow up ball, and I was on stage behind her holding the ball so it wouldn’t move. She was supposed to do a solo in it, cut her way out of it, and then dance again.

She was in there, and it came time to get out, and she couldn’t get out! She was cutting the ball spastically and fighting her way out… and at the last second made it!  After she got out she did her thing, and everything was okay. But I’d say that’s something that doesn’t happen everywhere!

Needless to say, they performed that idea that night and never did it again.”



“Motivation [for the dancers] comes from wanting to help out and contribute, as well as people who really want an opportunity to choreograph on their friends and dancers they really admire. Maybe they get the opportunity to do a solo or something they might not have done otherwise.

People do humorous pieces as well, things that are really far off the beaten path that they might not get a chance to do any other time!”



“Shut Up & Dance was very small the first couple years, not raising much money. A very small, homegrown event. Then, for years it was strictly dancers of the Pennsylvania Ballet, choreographing on each other, maybe bringing back old pieces. And then over the years it developed into bringing on other local dancers, other choreographers, special guests, and bands.

So that side of the crew has evolved and the sheer size of the show has quintupled.

After the show you see how much money you raised and what a great cause it is and how much that money actually helps real, every day people in such a practical way. It’s a great thing for us to be involved in.”