Dance Matters: Strength and Support
Our national advocacy organization turns 30.
For 30 years, Dance/USA has been a stalwart advocate for the field, providing resources like job listings and grant opportunities, research on trends, and assistance with professional development and obtaining visas. Its big moment is the annual conference, this year June 27–30 in San Francisco, which brings together dance artists and administrators from across the nation.
During her first year and a half at the helm, executive director Amy Fitterer has been implementing programs that benefit a broad range of dance professionals, including more than 450 Dance/USA members. One of her initiatives is the Institute for Leadership Training, which pairs a working choreographer, dancer, or administrator with a veteran for a seminar as well as a one-on-one mentorship.
The Taskforce on Dancer Health continues to compile data on 30 companies in order to improve dancers’ well-being. The companies include Ailey, Houston Ballet, Hubbard Street, San Francisco Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, and Boston Ballet. Through a screening process, medical professionals track risk of injury through physical aspects like turnout, flexibility, and nutrition. The taskforce has put out guides on first-aid basics for stage managers and tips on navigating the U.S. health insurance system.
Dance/USA coordinates projects with its two branch offices, in Philadelphia and NYC, as well as local organizations such as Dancers’ Group in San Francisco, Boston Dance Alliance, and Audience Architects in Chicago, to host roundtable discussions and gather audition postings.
Among the speakers at this year’s conference are Ken Tabachnick, dean of School of the Arts at SUNY Purchase; Marc Kirschner of Tendu TV; retired San Francisco Ballet star Muriel Maffre; choreographer and technology maven Sydney Skybetter; and Chicago dance writer Zachary Whittenburg. Hot topics will include using technology in marketing, archiving, and audience development; diversity; and best practices for collaborating—with the community, within an organization, and among professionals.
Boston Ballet dancer Sarah Wroth with Shaw Bronner, PT, part of the Taskforce on Dancer Health. Photo by Ernesto Galan, Courtesy BB.
Social media has made the dance world a lot smaller, giving users instant access to artists and companies around the world. For aspiring pros, platforms like Instagram can offer a tantalizing glimpse into the life of a working performer. But there's a fine line between taking advantage of what social media can offer and relying too heavily on it.
If you think becoming a trainee or apprentice is the only path to gaining experience in a dance company environment, think again.
The University of Arizona, located in the heart of Tucson, acclimates dancers to the pace and rigor of company life while offering all the academic opportunities of a globally-ranked university. If you're looking to get a head-start on your professional dance career—or to just have a college experience that balances company-level training and repertory with rigorous academics—the University of Arizona's undergraduate and graduate programs have myriad opportunites to offer:
Yes, we realize it's only August. But we can't help but to already be musing about all the incredible dance happenings of 2019.
We're getting ready for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we want to hear from you about the shows you can't stop thinking about, the dance videos that blew your mind and the artists you discovered this year who everyone should know about.
On August 19, 1929, shockwaves were felt throughout the dance world as news spread that impresario Sergei Diaghilev had died. The founder of the Ballets Russes rewrote the course of ballet history as the company toured Europe and the U.S., championing collaborations with modernist composers, artists and designers such as Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso and Coco Chanel. The company launched the careers of its five principal choreographers: Michel Fokine, Vaslav Nijinsky, Léonide Massine, Bronislava Nijinska and George Balanchine.