So you have no trouble locating Malaysia and Malawi on a map. But would you know a fouetté if you saw one? How about a barrel turn? And could you do a standard plié-chasse-pas de bourrée if your life depended on it? D.C. has plenty of political know-it-alls, but there’s another world just beneath the surface, one of sweaty strivers who work as hard but spend their days in dance studios perfecting tricky choreography. This weekend offers the perfect opportunity to get a sense of that other Washington. Some of the area’s best dance companies—CityDance Ensemble, the Washington Ballet, and nearly 20 others—are performing in VelocityDC, an annual curated sampler designed to give locals who haven’t been exposed to much dance—that’s you, right?—a chance to rectify things.

VELOCITYDC DANCE FESTIVAL TAKES PLACE AT 8 P.M. (2 P.M. AND 8 P.M. SATURDAY) AT SIDNEY HARMAN HALL, 610 F ST. NW. $18. (202) 547-1122. 

More from WCP