Strategic Plan 2013-2015

Dance/USA's three-year strategic plan is the result of extensive exploration and discussions among Dance/USA trustees, staff and stakeholders, guided by our work with Helicon Collaborative and the Nonprofit Finance Fund. After eight months of planning, the outcome is a much needed place of clarity and focus for the organization as we look to the future.

Read an overview of the strategic plan below and access the full strategic plan here. 

VISION 2013-2015

Dance/USA will lead the professional dance industry by providing value to a strong, diverse membership base and encouraging the membership to be responsive to current economic, demographic and participation realities.


In order to make the vision a reality, Dance/USA has identified the following strategic priorities:

  • Provide valuable services to the full professional dance field, in all of its diversity, through a membership structure that is accessible to the entire field.
    • Assess the needs of current and potential members, with a focus on the companies on the National Company Roster.
    • Determine the best method to provide benefits, whether through partnerships with national or local organizations; additional tiers of memberships; and/or as fee-based premium level services.
    • Focus core member services on convenings, research, and advocacy.
    • Strengthen Dance/USA’s technology capacity to become and serve as a vital information hub for dance groups related to research, programming and information germane to the field.

  • Embrace strategic partnerships and collaborations with local, national and international service organizations working in the dance sector to leverage Dance/USA’s effectiveness, deepen its reach into non-national areas, reduce overlap, and enhance Dance/USA’s ability to effectively serve its constituency.
    • Explore strategic partnerships to create value for the membership through stronger content development, increased access to partner programs and reduced overlap in services.
    • Consider dual memberships with fellow dance service organizations, particularly nationally and internationally, which might allow for cross-member benefits, research collaborations, coordinated visibility campaigns, and cross-cultural sharing within the membership.
    • Create strategic partnerships with universities, think tanks and research experts that can expand Dance/USA’s research capacity and support Dance/USA’s ability to oversee proactive national dance research.
    • Implement partnerships and collaborations through technology.

  • Increase Dance/USA’s visibility as the national voice for professional dance.
    • Visit and present to members’ Boards and their stakeholders on the national state of the field and the importance of supporting dance.
    • Oversee proactive national dance research to collect and maintain data on the state of the industry.
    • Represent professional dance before the White House, federal government agencies and Congress, communicating to the membership the outcomes and impact of these activities.
    • Strengthen Dance/USA’s online presence (website, e-communications, social media) to support national communications and marketing plans.


The Programs and Services Model is an outcome of the dialogue between Helicon, the Nonprofit Finance Fund, and Dance/USA staff.

Core Services

Core services provide direct benefit to all Dance/USA members. Dance/USA will focus on dance groups to ensure all core services provide direct benefit evenly across budget size and genre.

Information gleaned from core services sparks ideas for future special initiatives. Current financial goals include streamlining expenses of core services to bring cores services closer to a breakeven budget.

Special Initiatives

Dance/USA engages in a variety of special initiatives which may not serve all Dance/USA members directly, but which ultimately gather important research and best practices, test programs in specific regions, and experiment with local dance service activities.

The information and best practices learned from the special initiatives help inform the programming and activities of Dance/USA’s core services. Special Initiatives are overseen and managed by Dance/USA staff with additional coordination by branch staff, consultants, partner organizations and/or volunteers. Special Initiatives are required to break-even.

Read the full strategic plan here.