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

Febuary 7, 2017

CONTACT: Johanna Tschebull

Washington, DC – Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance, is accepting applications for its sixth annual Institute for Leadership Training (DILT), a national dance mentorship and leadership development program. Mentor-mentee pairs will be selected for the 2017 Institute for Leadership Training, which runs from June 2017 through December 2017. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 3, 2017. Selected participants will be notified in mid-April.  

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.  Dance/USA is seeking emerging leaders from all corners of the professional dance field. The 2017 program will have a specific focus on supporting individuals of African, Latino(a), Asian, Arab, and Native American descent; individuals with disabilities or working in physically integrated dance; and individuals from a diversity of gender identities including transgender, agender, gender fluid, genderqueer, etc. All are welcome to apply regardless of Dance/USA membership.  Learn more about program here.

The Institute for Leadership Training will commence during Dance/USA’s 2017 Annual Conference in Kansas City, MO, June 7-10, with a group seminar. Following the launch of the program in June, members of the 2017 DILT cohort will engage in a six-month, one-on-one mentorship experience. The two other main elements of the 2017 DILT program include: 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 2016 the mentorship pairs discussed a variety of topics including dance leadership in academia, strategic planning, goal setting, fundraising, career paths, work/life balance, and more. Participants report the program gave them “increased confidence” and a valuable “cohort of peers.” Learn more about the 2016 mentees here and the 2016 mentors here.

A 2016 participant commented on the impact and the influence of the program: “It was definitely beneficial to get to meet so many new people through attending [DILT and the Dance/USA Annual Conference] and then those contacts have led to new contacts since. The questions I had about the dance world and my place in it have evolved as I have learned more about how the business of dance works. It has made me more confident in pursing learning and leadership positions in my city as a result.” Another 2016 participant said, “I am so grateful and honored to be recognized as an emerging leader in dance.  Being paired with my mentor was the re-energizing experience I needed.  Her wisdom, experience, and legacy were inspiring and to have her guide me during this time…was incredibly helpful.  We look forward to continuing our relationship.”    

For more information about the program, please feel free to contact Director of Programs, Kourtney Ginn, 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 2017 Institute for Leadership Training. Dance/USA is also grateful to its ongoing funders who support the program: Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Harkness Foundation for Dance, National Endowment for the Arts, and The Shubert Foundation.

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, 

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