In 2011, Dance/USA launched a national professional dance mentorship program as a pilot, proposed by the Dance/USA Emerging Leaders Task Force. In 2012, with generous lead support by the American Express Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the mentorship grew into the Dance/USA Institute for Leadership Training (DILT) to leverage connections between Dance/USA members and to bolster personal and professional development through one-on-one mentoring relationships.
Based on the applicant pool, a limited number of pairs are matched based on experience, area of interest, personality, geography, and/or professional affiliations by a Dance/USA DILT Selection Committee.
In 2015, the program evolved to focus on shifting patterns of inequity in the dance field by recruiting applicants from diverse communities with a specific interest in supporting emerging leaders of color. The program was open to all, regardless of Dance/USA membership.
Participating members of the dance community will engage in the Leadership Training Institute, held during the Dance/USA Annual Conference, and a 6 month one-on-one mentorship experience. DILT emphasizes regular communication between these established leaders (mentors) and emerging leaders (mentees) to foster self-direction, self-reflection, and embracing challenge. The relationships between mentors and mentees can extend beyond geographic boundaries, explore various areas of interest, and provide exposure to opportunities available in the field.
Questions about the Institute should be sent to Kate Folsom, director of programs.
Dance/USA is grateful to the American Express Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their generous support of the 2015 Institute for Leadership Training. Dance/USA is also grateful to its ongoing funders who support the program: Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Shubert Foundation, Capezio/Ballet Makers Foundation, and Harkness Foundation for Dance.