Space for Tennis

A [un]fun fact from a geospatial analysis of recreation in Baltimore…

Baltimore is home to over 230 outdoor tennis courts (about half of them operated by the city).  A tennis court takes up 7200 square feet. About 2800 square feet of that is the in-bound area, and there’s some overlap outside the lines where courts are adjacent.  This means that tennis players in Baltimore have access to more than 1.2 million square feet of dedicated, purpose-built space.

That’s enough space for one thousand 30×40-foot dance studios.

About 5% of Americans play tennis.

The Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks lists 40 recreation centers, 120 playgrounds, 170 athletic fiends, 110 tennis courts, 101 basketball courts, and 29 aquatics facilities in its inventory. Of these, dance classes are listed in 6 of 40 rec centers.

BRDS2020 is Live

The Baltimore Regional Dance Survey (BRDS) 2020 Edition is now live. This year, it’s January 1st!

The purpose of the Baltimore Regional Dance Survey is to gather sufficient information on dance and the dance economy in the Baltimore region to identify gaps and opportunities, help direct resources to address those gaps and opportunities, make informed and credible policy recommendations when questions impacting dance in and around Baltimore arise, and to help dancers throughout the region understand and work with each other to create a more constructive and productive environment for dance.

The only major change from last year is a question about current (well, 2019) dance habits, in contrast to your life-long personal dance history. This will address situations for dancers that started in (for example) ballet, but moved on to something else later in their career.

The Baltimore Regional Dance Survey is anonymous and entirely voluntary. All questions, except the first couple (which determine the parts of the survey that are relevant to you), are optional. You can share as much, or as little information, as you want. You do need a valid email to register, but your answers are anonymized and not associated with the email.

2020 is the most important year for the Baltimore Regional Dance Survey. There are several real “brick and mortar” opportunities in and around Baltimore. Broad, representative participation in the BRDS is the most convincing data I can offer when someone asks why they should do something for, with, or about dance in Baltimore. I’ll be making that case for some people as early as late January, so please be counted! Everyone that learned or taught dance, choreographed, performed, worked with or supported dancers in the Baltimore region during 2019 is encouraged to participate. We really do mean everyone – the experience of the newest, just-had-my-first-class dancer is just as relevant as in-business-for-decades studio owner.

Please participate yourself and share this page ( ), the direct registration link
( ), and the tag #BRDS2020 with your dance colleagues, students, teachers, mentors, coworkers, and friends.

March 1 2020 Update: I’ve fixed a field-length problem with one of the performance-block questions. I don’t think this will impact results (I think we can figure out the abbreviations used so far), but you now have more than 5 characters to describe your preferred performance venue.

BRDS2019 is Live

The Baltimore Regional Dance Survey 2019 Edition is now live. This year, much, much closer to the period of interest (calendar year 2018) – it’s still January! So, memory is a bit fresher, and hopefully that will make things go faster and easier.

Major changes in the 2019 survey include a few new questions about dance competitions, and a greatly expanded structure for dance spaces.

Several comments about the 2018 survey expressed frustration with the “one size fits all” nature of the site-specific questions. So, for 2019, you don’t have to generalize your answers across all the spaces you’ve been in during 2018 (but you are limited to 12 different spaces for each kind of use). Hopefully this will work out better for everyone.

It’s been a busy time, and I’m grabbing as many windows of opportunity as I can, but there’s a lot to do. I decided to prioritize the BRDS launch, so that put the analysis of the 2018 results on a back burner [again]. Still working, I promise!

To be meaningful, BRDS still needs to reach a wider audience. Any suggestions or help you can provide is most welcome. Please share this page ( ), the direct registration link
( ), or the tag #BRDS2019 with your dance colleagues, students, teachers, mentors, coworkers, and friends. Everyone that learned or taught dance, choreographed, performed, worked with or supported dancers in the Baltimore region during 2018 is encouraged to participate. We really do mean everyone – the experience of the newest, just-had-my-first-class dancer is just as relevant as in-business-for-decades studio owner.

Also coming in 2019, we’ll begin studying the impact of dance performance on the audience. If you’d like to participate, please get in touch.

Speaking of getting in touch, several people expressed specific challenges in BRDS2018, and I have [potential] solutions for some of you, but… I don’t know who you are. I’m happy to share what I know with anyone that can benefit, but please remember that the BRDS surveys are anonymized, so you have to reach out and let me know how to get back to you. Please don’t hesitate. You are the reason I’m doing this.

BRDS2018 Analysis begins – Baltimore City Respondents

A little later than I had hope, and this will take longer than last year, but I’ve begun digging through the BRDS 2018 responses.

A bit less than half of respondents provided their zip code, but of those that did, BRDS is still having trouble reaching people in Baltimore City –

This is pretty different than the 2017 responses (obviously, some people did not come back for the survey this year):

It’s a been a lot of months since the end of 2017, but in the interest of filling in gaps, I’ll leave the survey open. If you have any suggestions about reaching into those parts of the city, please let me know.

Dance company wordcloud

As you might imagine, I’ve been trying to find (or make) good data on the business of dance. This is no small challenge, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a little fun along the way.

Some people like graphics, so this is a little fun for today. From a collection of 2639 dance company names, dropping “dance,” “ballet,” “company,” and “theater” (both variations), what do dance companies call themselves? Something like this:

2047 Apologue – Weaving Machine

About one year ago (June 2017) director Zhang Yimou presented 2047 Apologue at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing.

2047 Apologue consisted of eight performances prepared by 20 international and local teams, culminating with the performance of “Weaving Machine.”

Weaving Machine was developed by Wu Shuxiang (China – weaving), Rose Alice (co-director of the International Arts Collective in London – dance), CPG-Concepts (Hong Kong – choreography), Radugadesign (Russia – video elements), and WHITEvoid (Germany – lighting elements). Technology includes 640 motorized LED spheres from Kinetic Lights.

Being human, in olden days we sat down and talked face to face, our face turns red with embarrassment, but we can feel each other’s emotions close up – fears, anger, sadness and happiness. Will we still have these feelings in the future?
In this dialogue between ancient culture and modern technology, we experience puzzles that comes with the rapid progression of technology, and reflect on it – what will be the future relation between human and technology?
The most difficult task for this show is getting the audience to accept and acknowledge that their lifestyle, the way they communicate and the way that they work might not be the best

–Zhang Yimou

2047 APOLOGUE – Weaving Machine from Radugadesign on Vimeo.

More information at Behance.

2012 Dance attendance rates – About 150,000

It’s hard to find current data – 2012 research released in 2015 seems to be about as close as we can get. The 2012 NEA States of Engagement report includes this bit of information – Baltimore is part of this, but the Washington, D.C. region probably biases the results a bit (still looking for more granular or current data, if you have any tips).

The percent of adults who attended a dance performance in 2012 in the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) was about 9.2% (range 7.0-12.0%).

If we use the lower-bound (7%), and apply that to the Baltimore region, dance attendance could be…

Region Total pop Adult pop Dance attendance
Anne Arundel 573,235 444,830 31,138
Baltimore City 611,648 483,202 33,825
Baltimore County 832,468 652,655 45,656
Carroll 167,781 131,037 9173
Harford 252,160 195,424 13,680
Howard 321,113 242,119 16,948
Total 2,758,405 2,149,267 150,449

Add this all up and it suggests a dance attendance population of about 150,000 people in and immediately around Baltimore.