For most of us, our entry into the dance world – and the place where we spend the most time dancing, learning, and connecting with others – is in our local dance community. To discuss some of the issues around local dance communities and what it takes to build, grow, and run a community, we sat down with three community organizers – Hieu Le of Swingesota, Jesse Lopez of Evolve Your Dance, and Kyle LaPatin of Dancing Feats. In the first part of this two-part conversation, they tell us about how their communities got started, how they became community leaders, and how they approach running their venues. We also discussed some of the things that work well for them in building their communities and some of the challenges they face. It’s a great discussion for anyone and everyone who is involved in a local dance community!