Dance/USA has initiated regional evaluations or censuses of the dance field to help dance communities
• Create a clear picture of what [dance-making] looks like.
• Identify ways to strengthen the dance field.
Each regional evaluation of a dance community provides a
• Comprehensive listing of dance-making entities.
• Written report identifying trends and areas for support.
The completion of a census results in better understanding about the
• State of dance artists.
• Support structures.
Every regional census has illuminated understanding about the national dance community.
Six Benefits of a Regional Evaluation
Quantified information. Within the dance field, “everyone knows” certain things. A census can measure these aspects of the dance population often only asserted, estimated, or guessed. The result is factual data that can be shared with parties outside the field.
Unexpected findings. The dance field is accustomed to operating without data. Experience shows that a census is likely to disclose important findings previously unknown.
Perspective and the big picture. A census provides a basis for rigorous comparisons within the dance community and other communities. Artists and managers can identify their place in the dance ecology and inform strategic planning choices. The media and funders obtain the big picture.
New connections. The process of taking a census and publishing findings stimulates communication both within and about the dance field.
Baseline data. A regional evaluation can serve in the future as an historic baseline.
Reliable future research. By establishing boundaries and key parameters in a census for a regional dance community, any subsequent research gains credibility because it draws on a documented and well-defined population.