Congratulations Noelle Tolbert

Noelle Tolbert is the new Dance Department Chair for Chesapeake Arts Center – Congratulations!

Previously noted, Chesapeake Arts Center is hiring dance instructors.

Classes start in September, so if you’re on the south side of Baltimore, there’s a new place to move. With the class schedule, Chesapeake Arts Center gets a new slot here in the Learn Something list.

Announcement follows:

Continue reading “Congratulations Noelle Tolbert”

MSAC Touring Artists Roster

A deadline approaches, so I want to give everyone some clues about this opportunity. The Maryland State Arts Council Touring Artists Roster is an application-based list of Maryland-based artists, selected by their peers and clients.

Important: New applications are due September 16, 2016 (If you’re already on the roster, you probably already know, but renewal applications are due earlier – September 2, 2016).

This is good company. If you make it through the application process (details available at the link above), you join a very fine group of dance producers:

Ballet Theatre of Maryland
The Barnstormers and RockCandy Cloggers
Christopher K. Morgan & Artists
Devi Dance Company
Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble
Naoko Maeshiba
Sankofa Dance Theater
Silk Road Dance Company
SOLE Defined
Word Dance Theater

(one tip – at the MSAC website, don’t filter for “dance” or you’ll miss some…)

So, if you have a performance dance organization, and some track record of performing (they will want to talk to people you’ve worked with….), take a few minutes to review the MSAC Touring Artists Roster criteria and application process. It could get you some meaningful work.

The Calendars Go Live

In the Dancer’s Studio is now live with two calendars – one for regional performance and one for regional training opportunities.

After some debate, but for the sake of sanity, we’re excluding regularly-scheduled classes from the training (“professional development”) calendar (the one displayed on the side). Regularly scheduled classes get their own (bigger, full-screen) calendar (a third, not-yet-live calendar).

If you have a dance company with a performance schedule to share, or you host master classes or other irregularly-scheduled dance training events, please let us know

If you have a school/studio with a regular class that is not closed (i.e., drop-ins are allowed), please let us know so we can get the class calendar populated and live.

If you’re interested in curating a calendar, DEFINITELY let us know


MFA Geography

This is a basic map showing the institutions in the United States that offer an MFA degree in Dance. I am the first to say that you do NOT need a degree to be a serious dancer. That said, this map shows where people are going to spend years of their lives and tens of thousands of dollars specifically to be a serious dancer. Also, only the United States is covered. If I get terribly motivated, I’ll take this to the next level and add graduation rates, but for now…. enjoy.

Base data from Life as a Modern Dancer

Ethan Mollick’s Crowd-Funding Economic Impact Study

A few weeks ago, Ethan Mollick of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania published Containing Multitudes: The Many Impacts of Kickstarter Funding. In the crowd-funding era of arts economics, Kickstarter isn’t the only game in town, and each site (or system) has its own quirks. But, let’s start with the paper’s abstract:

Using a survey of 61,654 successful Kickstarter projects, I examined the various long-term impacts of crowdfunding. I found that every dollar given to projects via Kickstarter resulted in a mean of $2.46 in additional revenue outside of Kickstarter (95% Confidence Interval (CI): $1.82 to $3.09), though these amounts were much higher in categories such as food and product design and lower in film. From inception to May, 2015, Kickstarter projects resulted in around 5,135 ongoing fulltime jobs besides those that went to creators (95% CI: 1,188 to 9,082), and led to the hiring of around 160,425 temporary workers (95% CI: 145,330 to 175,518). Over 50% of projects were reported as being innovative by both backers and creators, and projects produced over 2,601 patent applications. Creators also reported significant positive impacts on their careers, and suggested that many projects helped a community or society in some way.

A couple things to note – this is only Kickstarter data and the survey instrument is not available. Kickstarter projects cover a lot of things besides art, and a lot of art stuff that isn’t dance. For this paper, dance and theater are combined.

Still, an important bit of data emerges. Included in the paper is a graph of “dollars generated to dollars pledged” which suggests that, on average, for each dollar pledged in a successful, completed Kickstarter-backed dance/theater project, about $5 of additional revenue is generated. That’s close to double the Kickstarter-wide average of $2.46 generated per dollar pledged and the most efficient non-product category discussed in the paper. It’s easy to imagine this has a lot to do with non-pledge-benefit ticket sales in the dance/theater world, but that’s just speculation on my part.

It’s not something you can take to the bank (every crowd-funding exercise is different and this particular metric is highly variable), but if you are planning to do some crowd-funding for a dance project, keep that 5-to-1 multiplier in mind. That’s real leverage.

Akimbo 2016

Congratulations, class of Akimbo 2016! You have just a bit over a month to discover these artists, so… let me help you with that.

Baggypantsrich and mrsuaidi
Baltimore Dance Project
Blue Shift
The Collective
darlingdance [Warning: Facebook]
Deep Vision Dance Company
FlamencoSole Experimental
Full Circle Dance Company
Maggie Jones & Tiffany Spearman
Moveius Contemporary Ballet
Noelle Tolbert and Alex D’Agostino
Peter Redgrave & Khristian Weeks
Prakriti Dance [Warning: Facebook]
Public Operations / Noa Heyne
ReVision Dance Company [Warning: Facebook]
Sarah Smith
Vaught Contemporary Ballet [Warning: Facebook]
Zoe Cleous & Artists

If you’ve got link tips for the ones that don’t have links, please let me know

Millimetre, Sofiane Tiet x Nathalie Fauquette

Production : Great Plains Pictures [Warning: Facebook]
Director : Brahim YAQOUB
Dancers : Sofiane Tiet [French] x Nathalie Fauquette [Warning: Facebook]
Choreographer : Sofiane Tiet
Music : BOARCROK – Eulogy
Special Thanks : West Films – Ville de Nantes

This deserves more than 9000 views. The ripped versions elsewhere on YouTube are doing better.

Baltimore’s Future Fitness and Wellness Centers

A little while ago, I mentioned the Baltimore City Recreation and Parks Department Recreation and Aquatics Facility Analysis and Plan July 2015, which is a 100-page document that describes some interesting stuff for the future of dance in the city of Baltimore. If you’ve got a lot of time on your hands, please, dig in. Funding for this plan (more than $135 million) is controversial and political. But this plan is important, just keep in mind that this is a planning document, which means it’s not real until it’s real.

Why is this a big deal for dance in Baltimore? The Rita Church and Morrell Park Community Centers are the first new stand-alone community centers in Baltimore in a decade and follow a dramatic series of closings. The city wants you involved.

Why is this a big deal for In the Dancer’s Studio? Because these facilities will be designed and built over the next 10 to 15 years (give or take, subject to funding availability, etc.), and dance is already part of the equation. The dancers of Baltimore can get involved in the design and allocation of space. I keep asking… What does Baltimore need to make dance work?

Here’s the language used in the plan. Baltimore describes “Fitness and Wellness Centers” as:

…recreation facilities that are located in or near parks, other recreational facilities, and athletic fields. These larger (30,000+ s.f.), full-service centers will provide multiple programs and activities for all ages, extended hours of operation in the mornings and afternoons, and 6 – 7 day operations. The centers will include spaces such as fitness areas, dance and multi-purpose rooms, a gymnasium, and men’s and women’s locker rooms. Several of the new facilities will include indoor pools. The wide variety of programming will be designed for individuals, teens, youth, adults, active older adults, and families and will attract residents citywide.

and “Community Centers” as:

…recreation facilities that located in or near parks, other aquatics facilities, and athletic fields. These smaller centers (less than 30,000 s.f.) will provide a range of programs and activities for all ages with extended hours of operation. The facilities will vary in size and programming depending upon location. Expanded spaces may include a fitness room, dance spaces, multi-purpose rooms, lobby and circulation areas, and men’s/women’s changing rooms/bathrooms. Programming will likely serve more local residents.

These two classes of facilities both specifically include dance. Since we’re about the business of dance here, I’m going to ignore the “Seasonal Athletic Centers,” “Outdoor Aquatic Centers” and “School-Based Recreation Spaces” (even though this will necessarily ignore the nice people at Fluid Movement).

The planned Fitness and Wellness Centers are:

  1. Cahill, $12 million, in design, 32,000 square feet, includes a performing arts space.
  2. Carroll Park, $12 million, funding to be identified, includes a dance space
  3. CC Jackson, $4.22 million, under construction
  4. Cherry Hill, $11.5 million, under construction, includes a dance space, estimated completion Spring 2017
  5. Chick Webb, $12 million, funding to be identified
  6. Clifton Park (Rita R Church), $3.5 million, phase 1 completed 2013. $4.54 million, phase 2 under construction
  7. Druid Hill, $8 million, funding to be identified
  8. Farring-Baybrook, $12 million, funding to be identified
  9. Herring Run, $15 million, funding to be identified, includes a dance space
  10. Lillian Jones, $12.5 million, funding to be identified
  11. North Harford, $12 million, funding to be identified, two phases

The planned Community Centers are:

  1. Edgewood-Lyndhurst, $1 million, funding to be identified
  2. Locust Point, $2.5 million, funding to be identified
  3. Morrell Park, $4.5 million, completed 2014, 18,000 square feet.
  4. Patterson Park (Virginia S. Baker), $6.3 million, funding to be identified

Baltimore Rec Facilities 2016 Plan
If there’s a link to a facility in the list above, it goes directly to the city’s “Destination Active Baltimore” website, where you can engage directly and share your thoughts on what happens. Previously, I mentioned that the Cahill facility was particularly interesting for the Baltimore dance community. This is why:

The existing center located in Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park will be expanded or newly built. Presently in the early stages of design, the form of the new facility is yet to be determined. The center will be 32,000 square feet and will include performing arts facilities, an indoor pool, fitness area and provide a new focus on outdoor recreation and environmental programming. Project completion is anticipated for Fall 2017. Cost: $12 million

Cahill brings 32,000 square feet of facility, some of which is already designated for performing arts. Is your particular kind of dance a performing art? Got any special requirements to make a performing arts space work for you? Cahill is also adjacent to Gwynns Falls Park, which suggests a question… Is an outdoor stage interesting?

Cherry Hill’s plan includes a dance studio, scheduled to open in Spring 2017. Anyone out there need a dance studio space in south Baltimore?

Locust Point has two “multipurpose” rooms in its plan – anyone want to make the case to put a sprung floor in one of them?