Dance/USA Releases New Study on the Impact of COVID-19 on the Dance Field

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 9, 2021

CONTACT: Johanna Tschebull

Washington, DC – As a result of the current pandemic, the arts and cultural sector, especially the dance field, has been one of the hardest hit industries. Dance organizations were among the first to shutter performance venues and will be among the last industries to resume operations and recover. Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance, today released a new report, The Impact of COVID-19 on the Field of Dance: Part II, examining the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the dance sector in the United States.

In March 2020 Dance/USA launched a survey to assess the initial impact of the pandemic on the dance field. Today’s follow-up study measures the actual effects of COVID-19 and reflects the experiences of dance organizations and individuals working in dance.

“This new report reflects just how devastating COVID-19 has been on the dance field,” commented Dance/USA Executive Director Kellee Edusei. “The results also show that federal relief programs were vital and financially sustained many in the dance community during the height of the pandemic. Additionally, the report demonstrates just how resilient and creative the dance field is. Many took this opportunity to reimagine new pathways forward, and this is why the performing arts sector will recover renewed and refreshed.”

“While dancemakers and dance organizations are hanging on and will rebound, it will take time to recover,” said Dance/USA Director of Research Shakira Segundo. “As the field recovers, I am excited to see what will come and how dancemakers evolve to reach new audiences.”

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Field of Dance: Part II is divided into two sections. The first focuses on dance organizations including dance companies, presenters, dance schools, and dance service organizations; and the second examines individuals working in dance such as dancers, choreographers, and independent arts professionals. Key findings include:

  • The majority of dance company respondents reported a decline in ticket sales of more than 74%.
  • The number of pre-recorded and virtual productions increased by more than 250%.
  • The areas of greatest concern for dance organizations include re-opening, regaining or achieving financial stability, and bringing employees and audiences back safely.
  • The impact of the pandemic has been exceptionally critical on individuals in the dance field.
  • The most urgent need as expressed by individuals working in dance was access to mental health resources. That was closely followed by support for their physical health and maintenance, and access to IT equipment and resources.
  • 46% of individual respondents reported that they applied for unemployment.
  • Approximately 80% of individual respondents reported they were unemployed during the pandemic and 50% of individual respondents are still not back to work yet.

Dance/USA’s goal in administering this survey and analysis of the field is to be able to make the necessary connections between individuals and organizations in the field, to provide access to needed resources, and continue to advocate on behalf of the field for much needed relief.

To access both the initial study and the follow-up findings, please find the materials on the Dance/USA website here.

About Dance/USA
Propelled by our belief that dance can inspire a more just and humane world, Dance/USA will amplify the power of dance to inform and inspire a nation where creativity and the field thrive.

Established in 1982, Dance/USA champions an inclusive and equitable dance field by leading, convening, advocating, and supporting individuals and organizations. Dance/USA’s core programs are focused in the areas of engagement, advocacy, research, and preservation. Learn more about Dance/USA at danceusa.org.