The Dance/USA Institute for Leadership Training (DILT) is a mentee-driven national dance mentorship and leadership development program. The overarching goal of the program is to build the leadership and resiliency skills of early-career dance leaders who represent the vast scope of the national dance community. DILT has a specific focus on supporting individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color; as Disabled; and as queer, transgender, agender, gender fluid, genderqueer. All are welcome to apply regardless of one’s membership status with Dance/USA.
DILT emphasizes regular communication between established leaders (mentors) and early-career leaders (mentees) to foster self-direction and self-reflection. Mentors are identified after the mentees have been selected; allowing for thoughtful pairing of mentees with mentors who will truly aid in the mentees’ needs and goals. The relationships between mentors and mentees extend beyond geographic boundaries, explore various areas of interest, foster community and connections, and provide exposure to opportunities available in the field. A limited number of pairs are matched based on experience, area of interest, geography, and/or professional affiliations by the Dance/USA DILT Selection Panel.
The 2024 program will be virtual and will launch in March 2024. From that time forward, participants will engage in a one-on-one mentorship experience for six months, concluding in September 2024.
There are three (3) elements to the DILT Program:
- 2024 DILT COHORT CALLS: The 2024 program will be virtual, and will launch in March 2024 with a kick off call and conclude in September 2024 with a close out call. In addition, Dance/USA will schedule four Zoom check-in meetings, two for mentees and two for mentors to cultivate a sense of community amongst the mentees and mentors, to understand how the mentor-mentee relationship is progressing, to note any common areas of interest among the cohort, and address any questions or concerns. As appropriate, Dance/USA may engage guest speakers to speak on a topic of interest.
- MONTHLY MENTEE-MENTOR MEETINGS: Dance/USA emphasizes consistent one-on-one communication for two hours each month between mentor/mentee pairs for the duration of the program. Dance/USA recommends alternative methods of communication to assist pairs that stretch geographic boundaries (Zoom, Google Meet, etc.). Meetings are expected to be scheduled and driven by the mentee.
- SITE VISITS (OPTIONAL): In addition to the monthly meetings, DILT mentees may have the option to engage in a site visit to where their mentor is based.