PRESS RELEASE: Dance/USA Announces Fifth Annual Institute for Leadership Training

March 3, 2016

Contact: Johanna Tschebull

Washington, DC – Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance, is accepting applications for its fifth annual Institute for Leadership Training (DILT), a national dance mentorship and leadership development program. Up to nine mentor-mentee pairs will be selected for the 2016 Institute for Leadership Training which runs from May 2016 through December 2016. Dance/USA is seeking emerging leaders from all corners of the professional dance field. The DILT panel will select a diverse cohort of participants including but not limited to individuals of African, Latino(a), Asian, Arab, and Native American descent. All are welcome to apply regardless of Dance/USA membership.  The deadline to apply is Friday, March 18, 2016. Selected participants will be notified in mid-April. Learn more about the 2016 DILT guidelines and apply for the program here.

The Institute for Leadership Training will commence during Dance/USA’s 2016 Annual Conference in Austin, TX, June 8-11. Following the launch of the program in June, participating members of the 2016 DILT cohort will engage in a six-month, one-on-one mentorship experience. The two other main elements of the 2016 DILT program include: monthly meetings between mentors and mentees and site visits. Mentees will be awarded a travel stipend to participate in at least one site-visit where the Mentee will travel to the Mentor’s organization. Learn more about the program timeline, applicant criteria, and more here.

DILT was piloted in 2011 at the recommendation of the Dance/USA Emerging Leader Task Force to facilitate one-on-one relationships for networking and leadership development for dance professionals. The program was designed to enhance and refine the skills of emerging leaders within the dance field so that they may guide dance organizations through the future’s challenges and shifting landscapes. With the guidance of an established, qualified mentor, mentees hone their management skills, as well as recognize and learn from personal strengths and weaknesses.

Through the one-to-one mentorship pairs, 2015 participants discussed a variety of topics including board engagement, strategic planning, goal development, fundraising, career paths, work/life balance, and more. Participants report the program gave them “increased confidence” and a valuable “cohort of peers.” Learn more about the 2015 mentees here.

A 2015 participant commented on the meaning and influence of the program: “The Dance/USA Institute for Leadership Training has done a fine job in pairing emerging leaders with notable forces in the field, and the experience has proven to be a rewarding one toward my own authentic career in artistic and executive leadership. Words from my Mentor have turned into actions and have allowed me to reflect upon my leadership style, standards and boundaries. I can only hope that more emerging leaders who demonstrate a certain commitment and passion may get such an opportunity as I have enjoyed these past few months. Without question, the Institute has helped shape me to become the leader I am in today’s ever changing and robust professional dance field and I will remember the many lessons learned from my Mentor as I continue to move forward on my leadership journey.”

For more information about the program, please feel free to contact Director of Programs, Kate Folsom, via email or at 202.833.1717.

Dance/USA is grateful to the American Express Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their generous support of the 2016 Institute for Leadership Training. Dance/USA is also grateful to its ongoing funders who support the program: Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and National Endowment for the Arts. 

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