Dance St. Louis, dance service organization member

With 46 years of experience in making the full spectrum of dance accessible to St. Louisans, Dance St. Louis continues enriching the city’s cultural landscape and artistic reputation through dance performances and educational opportunities under the direction of Artistic and Executive Director Michael Utoff.

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

Quality, Creativity, and Accessibility
Quality. We look for a commitment to excellence from all the groups we present.
Creativity. Our programs, Spring to Dance Festival and New Dance Horizons, encourage creativity while ensuring that invited artists are not afraid to show us new work.
Accessibility. We ensure our programs are priced in a manner that all can attend while continuing to provide network opportunities from the visiting artists to St. Louis’ youth as well as peer artists.

2.    What inspires the work of your organization and why?
We have a strong belief in dance as an art form that can help change the world and establish strong lines of communications. We believe in the risk taking 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?

Our on-going presentations of known groups have strongly continued. The immense effect that Dance St. Louis’ Spring to Dance Festival and the focus on inner city school education has surprised and overwhelmed us.

4.    Where do you see dance in the future and how does your organization fit within that vision?

I think dance is treading to shaky territory. The advent of the “45 second satisfaction” has definitely affected how we are seen and even how performers attack their roles. Dance St. Louis is committed to remain true to the soul of dance by offering a variety of possibilities for audiences to attend. We hope to continue blending the audiences, strengthening them, and building a larger base of supporters, attendees, and participants.

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

To be a conduit for peoples’ creations and ensure audience enlightenment and enjoyment while strengthening the knowledge in dance for generations to come.