An art reception Friday in downtown Roanoke will double as a dance showcase.

Organized under the theme “Dancing into Healing,” the gala in Gallery 202 will begin with a display of paintings from the Group 202 Figure Painters, a group of artists who have been meeting in the gallery to do figure studies since 2014. The group made paintings of the dancers as they rehearsed for Friday’s performance.

Three dance groups will perform: Mental Health in Motion, led by Roanoke dancer and mental health advocate Lisa Linger; City Modern Ensemble, led by Roanoke Ballet Theatre instructor Liza Deck; and Durham, North Carolina-based company ShaLeigh Dance Works, founded by Hollins University graduate ShaLeigh Comerford.

Before the performances begin, Comerford will offer a brief class in ShaGa dance techniques, which are geared toward meditation and physical recovery.

Mike Allen writes the Arts & Extras column for The Roanoke Times. The beat he covers includes visual art, classical music, opera, theater, dance, literature, museums and other arts and cultural nonprofits, and things even more eclectic.

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