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

March 17, 2015

Contact: Johanna Tschebull

Washington, DC – Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance, is accepting applications for its fourth 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 2015 Institute for Leadership Training which runs from June 2015 through December 2015. This year, Dance/USA is seeking applicants from underrepresented communities with a specific interest in supporting emerging leaders of color. The program will be open to all, regardless of Dance/USA membership. The deadline to apply is Friday, April 3, 2015. Selected participants will be notified by Friday, April 24, 2015. Apply here.

The Institute for Leadership Training will commence during Dance/USA’s 2015 Annual Conference in Miami, FL, June 17-20. Program participants will receive travel assistance to attend the Leadership Seminar and Conference. Following the Leadership Seminar, program participants will conduct a site visit either to the mentee or mentor’s organization and connect through their one-on-one matched mentoring relationships through December 2015.

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, 2014 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”.

Past DILT participants have praised the program: “The timing of this mentorship program has been perfect – helping me identify and shore up weaknesses while building on strengths. My work with [my mentor] is helping me take a serious look at what I have to offer my company and the field, and to envision a future for myself in dance. If my feelings are any indication, I would say this program is directly addressing the professional skills and vision needed to develop dance infrastructure in the field.” – Karl Cronin, AXIS Dance Company

Another former DILT mentee said, “This [DILT] mentorship was exactly what I hoped it would be. It has given me some clarity of thought and direction. I am elated that I was paired with [my mentor], an artist/educator/woman who I truly respect.”

For more information on the program, contact Kate Folsom, director of programs, at  For more information about Dance/USA membership, please contact Kellee Edusei, director of member services, at Kellee Edusei.

Dance/USA is grateful to the American Express Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their generous support of the 2015 Institute for Leadership Training. Dance/USA is also grateful to its ongoing funders who support the program:  Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Shubert Foundation, Capezio/Ballet Makers Dance Foundation, and The Harkness Foundation for Dance.

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.

Dance/USA is the national service organization for the professional dance field. Established in 1982, Dance/USA serves a diverse national membership of dance groups working in the genres of aerial, ballet, contemporary, culturally-specific, hip-hop, ice, international, jazz, liturgical, single-choreographer, and tap, dance presenters, dance service organizations, dance agents, dance educators, independent dancers, freelance choreographers, students of arts administration and/or dance and business in service to dance, and individuals related to the field. Learn more about Dance/USA by visiting our website,

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