Parallel Dance Careers: Arts Administrators

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SE_administration_featuredDo you love to organize things? Do you get a charge out of putting things in order? Do you naturally take a leadership role at school or at your dance studio? These traits are special and valuable to you as you pursue a dance and parallel career. You can have them both.

Your dance training has given you skills that will service you well as an arts administrator. Here is just a short list of other important characteristics of a good administrator. If you see yourself when you read this list consider going to college and studying both dance and arts administration.

  • The ability to balance priorities
  • Having an understanding of shared leadership and fostering it
  • Effective communicator
  • Understands and welcomes accountability

Many dancers have followed this path from performer to administrator, sometimes as successive careers and sometimes as parallel careers. Often dance companies like Gibney Dance offer their dancers full time work. In order to afford to do that, the company dancers are required to also do administration tasks in support of the company mission.

So, even if performing is your primary goal, it will pay for you to develop administrative skills and be able to market yourself as a dancerpreneur.

Here are some highlights of how others have navigated their dance and management skills to great success, along with links for you to read more about these role models.

Charles Santos, Executive Director of TITAS, Dallas Texas: http://www.thedancecouncil.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=752324&module_id=42381

  • Dancer for over 10 years with Sharir Dance Company, Austin Texas
  • Arts administrator and producer – Austin and NYC

Denise Hurlin, Founding Director of Dancers Responding to Aids : https://www.dradance.org/staff

  • BFA – Dance SUNY Purchase
  • Dancer: Parsons Dance, Paul Taylor

Arlene Shuler – President and CEO of New York City Center: http://www.rbf.org/people/arlene-shuler

  • Dancer: Joffrey Ballet
  • Arts administration: Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, National Endowment for the Arts and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
  • BA and JD – Columbia University

Rachel Moore – Executive Director, American Ballet Theatre: http://www.abt.org/insideabt/news_display.asp?News_ID=77

  • Dancer – American Ballet Theatre
  • BA – Brown University, MA – Columbia University
  • Arts Administration: Boston Ballet

Amy Fitter, Executive Director Dance/USA https://www.danceusa.org/amyfitterer

  • Former Ballet dancer and classical pianist
  • Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts, BS Piano Performance Indiana University School of Music, MA Columbia University

Read more of Susan’s articles on Dance Pathways!

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