The Kennedy Center

UpRooted Dance


UpRooted Dance is currently based in Montgomery County Maryland and the Greater Washington DC Metro Area. In 2012 UpRooted Dance was awarded a Montgomery County Maryland Arts and Humanities Grant for small arts organizations. 

UpRooted Dance began as part of Keira Hart-Mendoza's vision to create a contemporary dance company that could easily be uprooted and taken with her wherever she travels in life. Uprooted is interested in exploring performance and dance settings apart from the proscenium stage. UpRooted's first creative season began outside at a barn in the beautiful Madison County Virginia on cold December night in 2007. Since that first cold December night UpRooted has presented work in other a-typical settings including the Harlowe-Powell Auction Gallery in Charlottesville, the Charlottesville Community Design Center, Lexington's Lime Kiln Theater, and the Capitol Skyline Hotel Swimming Pool in DC. Our more traditional performances have been held at the Dance Exchange in Takoma Park, Dance Place DC, Greenberg Theater in DC, MLK Performing Arts Center in Charlottesville, Live Arts in Charlottesville, McGuffey Art Center in Charlottesville, Lenfest Center of Lexington VA, and the Jack Guidone Theater in Washington DC. In 2009 the company traveled to Mexico to perform in PERFORMATICA, a dance festival at the Univesity de las Americas in Cholula/Puebla Mexico. 

Uprooted's work can best be described as a visual feast of color, shape, and design, and places emphasis on the presentation of dance. The works created are complete microcosmic worlds of any particular idea choreographer Hart-Mendoza may come up with~ whether it be the behavioral patterns of birds, or the forces of technology on our movement and relation to one another in space, or an individual's relation to a group of people. All of the work metaphorically explores various aspects of the human condition. With the help of costume design, set design, and video Keira often creates rich visual worlds in which her dances live. Keira's goal is to make her work accessible for audience members to enjoy and/or evoke an emotional reaction.

Keira has worked as a guest artist at James Madison University, University of Virginia, and at Arizona State University creating new work on dance students in the university setting. She has also worked with pre-professional dancers in Harrisonburg at Dance & Co. In her graduate studies Keira was the rehearsal director for DART (Dance Arizona Repertory Theater) which was comprised of a large group undergraduate students who performed and worked with outreach partners. As an educator, Keira has taught at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville VA and at Coppin State University in Baltimore MD. She also teaches as a guest artist in and around the DC area at the Dance Exchange and Joy of Motion Dance Center. 

Watch Past Performances

Video 4/9/2015: Mark H Rooney, Kristen Koyama, & UpRooted Dance

This collaboration is a program of visually striking images and storytelling through taiko (Japanese percussion instruments) and dance. Presented with the support of the Embassy of Japan and the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Video 2/28/2014: UpRooted Dance

Led by artistic director Keira Hart, the D.C. troupe offers an evening of contemporary dance that explores various aspects of the human condition.

Uprooted Dance