The Dance Enthusiast, service organization member

Founded by Editor Christine Jowers, The Dance Enthusiast works to unite performance artists with a supportive community, helping ideas and discussions of dance live beyond the stage.

1. Describe your organization’s mission and its work in 3 adjectives. Please explain the adjectives you selected.

Engaging: The Dance Enthusiast is a dance communication platform for all voices. We believe everyone brings value to the table. Professional dance critics have a place here, as well as dance students and audience members. Established artists and dance companies are invited to communicate with us, as are emerging companies and artists. We value engagement and interaction and believe that developing varied conversation around dance work will educate audiences and strengthen the field.

Enthusiastic: Dancers inspire us to be enthusiastic! We believe by sharing the stories of dancers we can remind the world why dance is the most wonderful art form.

Creative: How many ways can we bring audiences to dance? We love to explore different ways of covering dance using social media, video, photography, and writing beyond criticism. We are currently developing our Audience Review Initiative. We want to empower dance-goers to communicate about the work they see and help them find a language for speaking about dance. Audience reviews are an unexplored area in dance communication. Information about the audience experience, collected in one place, can be valuable to artists, presenters, and educators. Why shouldn’t we get the audience more involved?

2. What inspires the work of your organization and why?

It is a deep love and respect for artists and a belief in the necessity of dance.

3. What accomplishment from the past year is your organization most proud of and eager to share with Dance/USA’s membership and the field at large?

As the founding editor, I am most proud of transitioning from being a performer to becoming a communicator and advocate for dance. In the beginning The Dance Enthusiast was an experiment, and I had no idea where it could go. After five years it is moving to realize that this website is helpful to artists. This means the world to me.

I am proud of the team I have developed. I like to know that I have a hand in helping artists become clear communicators outside of physically dancing. The dance world needs articulate, dynamic voices to support its growth.

I was thrilled when Brittany Beyer received great feedback for her article “A Dancers Retort.” It was first published on our site and then reposted in the Huffington Post’s Culture section due to our recent partnership. I helped Brittany edit her article and it was wonderful to see the conversation it drummed up. I like knowing that this site supports and encourages the dance advocates of the future.

But there is still so much to be accomplished. I have a dancer’s sensibility; I like to work and am never satisfied with anything.

4. As an organization, what do you hope your dance legacy to be?

It is a bit early in the game to start talking legacy and about the dance of the future.
As with all arts organizations, The Dance Enthusiast is working to make it through the next year… and then the next five years.

In the meantime we are all busy learning how to be better writers and communicators; finding new ways to share dance on and off-line; learning more about our field and how all of the arts relate to each other; and discovering how to be leaders and inspire.

Today, we are creating the future by working with curiosity and passion.
The Dance Enthusiast hopes to instill the idea that dance is essential—not out-of-this-world, not decorative or insubstantial, and not only for an artistic elite. I hope we will bring new audiences to dance and enhance appreciation for the field.