Miami's Forward Motion Dance Festival is Back March 23-24

Miami’s Forward Motion Dance Festival is Back March 23-24

South Florida is gearing up for the much-anticipated Fifth Annual Forward Motion Dance Festival and Conference of Physically Integrated Dance (FM5). This unique event on March 23 and 24, 2024 is a celebration of physically integrated dance, featuring a dynamic mix of performances, workshops, and community engagement. Produced by Karen Peterson Dancers (KPD) annually, Forward Motion is one of the first festivals and conferences anywhere in the world showcasing physically integrated dance companies and choreography.

FM5 is proud to collaborate with The Spirit of Goodwill Band, a unique group of inclusive musicians with a wide range of musical abilities joined through the power of music. Established in 1987 by Goodwill Industries of South Florida with the aim of enhancing the social and recreational skills of individuals with disabilities, the band, comprised entirely of Goodwill SF employees, exemplifies the nonprofit’s commitment to broadening access to employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment — standing as a powerful embodiment of what’s possible when the emphasis is placed on ability rather than disability.

Karen Peterson, Artistic Director of KPD, expressed her excitement, “This festival is not just about dance performances; it’s a movement that showcases the transformative power of art. We are bridging gaps and bringing together diverse talents to celebrate dance in its most inclusive form. I am excited to showcase some of the best inclusive dance from Poland and from around the US. Miami audiences are in for a treat!”

The festival kicks off on Saturday, March 23, 2024, with two distinct performances at 2 PM and 7:30 PM at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium. The first show at 2 PM features a live collaboration with The Spirit of the Goodwill Band, showcasing the choreography and performances of renowned artists including Polish international dance champions Pawel Karpinski & Magdalena Matusiak; California’s Julie Crothers, guest choreographer Miami-native, Atlanta-based Mark Travis Rivera; and Karen Peterson Corash in her latest work with KPD. The performance program includes a unique set featuring 6 dance artists with disabilities, exploring the intersection of music and dance, showcasing the resilience and diverse talents of artists with disabilities, all while addressing themes of cultural identity, memory, and the impact of gentrification. 

Program 2 at 7:30 PM, called New Voices, New Dance Makers, presents an encore of the afternoon program, this time accompanied by studio recordings offering a different auditory experience. This set list performed without live accompaniment offers a more grounded approach to the choreographies in their original forms. That is, what is improvised in program 1 to blend with the live accompaniment is a more fixed version of each piece in program 2 with studio recordings. Each program offers a different experience.

“Our collaboration with the Forward Motion Dance Festival is a testament to the unifying power of music and dance. It’s an honor to be part of a platform that elevates the artistic expressions of all individuals,” said Lourdes de la Mata-Little, Chief Marketing Officer, Goodwill Industries of South Florida.

On Sunday, March 24, 2024, the FM5 festival moves to the Miami Dade College Koubek Center offering an immersive experience from 12 PM to 6 PM. The day will be filled with workshops including physically integrated ballroom dance, improvisation, and a thought-provoking discussion titled “Physically Integrated Dance Through my Lens” led by Mark Travis Rivera. The day concludes with a community reception featuring light bites and providing an opportunity for attendees to mingle and reflect on the enriching experiences of the festival. Performances and workshops promise an exploration into the vast potential of dance, challenging perceptions and celebrating diversity. 

FM5 performances are scheduled for Saturday, March 23, 2024 at 2 PM & 7:30 PM at Miami-Dade County Auditorium (2901 West Flagler Street). Conference workshops are on Sunday, March 24, 2024 from 12 PM to 6 PM at Miami Dade College Koubek Center (2705 SW 3rd Street). Tickets for the performances and workshops are priced between $20-$25. Tickets for Saturday’s performances are available for purchase starting March 1, 2024 here. Tickets for Sunday’s conference are available now at For additional information, please contact Karen Peterson Corash at 305-298-5878, or go to

FM4, Sun Young Park, Shawn Buller, Piece by Victoria Marks, KPD, Photo by Lisa Nalvin