Dance/USA Announces the 2019 Institute for Leadership Training Participants

February 21, 2018

CONTACT: Johanna Tschebull

Washington, DC – February 21, 2018 – Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance, is accepting applications for its seventh annual Institute for Leadership Training (DILT), a national dance mentorship and leadership development program. Mentor-mentee pairs will be selected for the 2018 Institute for Leadership Training, which runs from June 2018 through March 2019. The deadline to apply is Sunday, March 18, 2018. Selected participants will be notified in mid-April. Apply for the program here.

Dance/USA is seeking emerging leaders from all corners of the professional dance field. The DILT selection panel will create a diverse cohort of participants and will have a specific focus on supporting individuals of African, LatinX, Asian, Arab, and Native American descent; individuals with disabilities or working in physically integrated dance; and gender diverse individuals (including transgender, transsexual, gender fluid, genderqueer, etc). All are welcome to apply regardless of Dance/USA membership. The overarching goal of DILT is to build the leadership and decision-making skills of emerging dance leaders who represent the diversity of the national, professional dance community.  Learn more about the 2018 DILT guidelines, the program timeline, applicant criteria, and more here.

The Institute for Leadership Training will commence during Dance/USA’s 2018 Annual Conference in Los Angeles, CA, June 6-9, with a group seminar. Following the launch of the program in June, members of the 2018 DILT cohort will engage in a nine-month, one-on-one mentorship experience involving monthly meetings between mentors and mentees and site visits where the mentee will travel to the mentor’s organization. 

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.

In 2017, the one-to-one mentorship pairs discussed a variety of topics including audience and community engagement, strategic planning, goal setting, fundraising, communication best practices, and more. Participants described the program as “empowering” and an “invaluable opportunity to grow and connect.” 

A 2017 participant commented on the significance and impact of the program: “[The Institute for Leadership Training] has afforded me the opportunity to network with peers and leaders from across the U.S.  Our field is so generous and collaborative. Everyone is just a phone call, email, or seat away.” 

Learn more about the 2017 mentees here and 2017 mentors here.

For more information about the program, please feel free to contact Director of Programs, Sydnie Liggett, 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 2018 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. 

About Dance/USA
We believe that dance is essential to a healthy society, demonstrating the infinite possibilities for human expression and potential, and facilitating communication within and across cultures. We are committed to honoring, nurturing and advancing dance through the lens of diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity in all aspects of our programming, services and organization.

Dance/USA is the national service organization for the professional dance field. Established in 1982, Dance/USA sustains and advances professional dance by addressing the needs, concerns, and interests of artists, administrators, and organizations. By providing national leadership and services, Dance/USA enhances the infrastructure for dance creation and distribution, education, and dissemination of information. Learn more about Dance/USA by visiting our website,

Skip to content