• How To Specify Show-Stopping Performance Flooring


    For performing arts professionals, particularly dancers, one of the most important aspects of a venue is the flooring. Not only does the stage surface contribute to performers’ safety, but it also significantly enhances the overall aesthetic of a space.

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  • First Lady Michelle Obama Expands the White House Dance Card


    The White House billed it as the first dance event. Yet, the gilded East Room has hosted its share of dance over the years, including performances by American Ballet Theatre and Jerome Robbins’ Ballets: USA during the Kennedy Administration; Patricia McBride and a chandelier-grazing Mikhail Baryshnikov during the Carter Administration; and a strut-worthy cast of alumni from “A Chorus Line” glammed it up during Reagan’s Administration. In 1998, under the Clinton Administration, tap dance savant Savion Glover brought a band of rhythm tappers, old school hoofers like Jimmy Slyde, and Broadway legends Karen Ziemba and Bebe Neuwirth. Then in 2006 President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush honored Arthur Mitchell by showcasing Dance Theatre of Harlem.

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  • Where Are Women Leaders in the Ballet World?


    With all the women in professional companies, why do more women not find themselves in the top positions of leadership of our nation’s larger companies? Women have founded many of the country’s top regional ballet companies, so what keeps them from the role of artistic director? Has progress been so slow in our country since women’s suffrage 90 years ago? I was stunned to find out that currently in the U.S. only four women direct ballet companies with budgets of more than $2.5 million.

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  • Dance Civics 101: Being a Good Dance Citizen


    What if all of us involved in the dance field started acting like citizens of the dance world instead of just participants? And I mean everybody: dancers, choreographers, dance writers, dance studio owners, university department heads, competition companies, presenters, costume, set and lighting designers. Did I forget anybody? As the least funded of the art forms, we have neither the resources nor the energy to do a lot more, but add together many people doing a little more, and you end up with a lot.

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  • Dance Advocacy: Tips for Organizing People


    ORGANIZING PEOPLEIf your advocacy campaign involves organizing a group of people, you’ll need to consider what makes a good experience for a volunteer. If your advocacy campaign involves organizing a group of people, you’ll need to consider what makes a good experience for a volunteer. On the Presidential campaign, I was responsible for organizing and deploying about 2,000 volunteers. Many of them volunteered over and over. I asked them why, and here is what I learned: • Respond quickly: Volu...

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  • An Advocacy Primer: Tips From an Accidental Advocate


    I am something of an accidental advocate. I spent most of my adult life disengaged from anything that seemed like politics. I could list the reasons, but you probably already know them – quite possibly, you already share them. But in 2004, when Barack Obama made his famous convention speech, I said to myself, if that guy runs, I’m in. Long story short, I started by collecting signatures to get him on the ballot in New York State in October 2007, and ended up in charge of a 2,000-person volunt...

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  • Dance Advocacy: Three Ways You Can Get Started Right Now


    Idea #1: Public PerformanceThe goal: Create visibility for your community, raise awareness about the impact of the arts, or ask people to take a specific action.The action: Organize as large a group of people as you can — anywhere from ten to a hundred. Create a short, easy-to-learn phrase that can be repeated. Create a short list of rules that can vary the performance of the phrase — change of facing, change of speed, etc. Participants learn the phrase in advance. (Maybe through a YouTube vi...

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  • Dancing Beyond Genres


    To talk about dance in the 21st century, one must reach far beyond the genres of Western concert dance. Ballet, modern, jazz and contemporary dance are merely starting points for current discourse.

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  • Welcome to From the Green Room


    I am proud of the long history and legacy created by Dance/USA Journal; I’m equally excited about the new opportunities for discourse that will be available to us in this online format.

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