Dance/NYC 2019 Symposium




Friday, February 22, 2019, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 23, 2019, 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Hunter College, 695 Park Ave, New York, NY 10065
Find directions and accessibility features here.





Time Activity Location
6:00 p.m.       Registration The Kaye Playhouse Lobby   
7:00 p.m. Opening Keynote: Conversation on Dance in a Changing United States The Kaye Playhouse
9:00 p.m. Opening Reception The Glass Cafe



Time Activity Location
9:00 a.m. Registration: Open All Day The Kaye Playhouse Lobby
10:00 a.m.               Morning Keynote: From Abstraction to Studio, Page to Stage, Being MANY in the World of Dance The Kaye Playhouse                             
11:30 a.m. Legal Clinic & SmART Bar Consultations      Thomas Hunter Hall,
Room 605
12:00 p.m. Networking Lunch & Service Fair Thomas Hunter Hall,
Room 609
12:45 p.m. Breakout Sessions Thomas Hunter Hall,
4th – 7th floors
6:30 p.m. Closing Keynote: Building a Legacy in Dance The Frederick Loewe Theatre



Opening Keynote
Friday, February 22, 2019
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., The Kaye Playhouse 

Conversation on Dance in a Changing United States moderated by Professor Thomas F. DeFrantz with Dance Artist Ayodele Casel, Founder & Artistic Director of Ananya Dance Theatre Ananya Chatterjea, and Managing Director of Full Circle Souljahs Ana "Rokafella" Garcia

Including a performance by Hunter College Dance Department
UNNOTICED is about the underrepresentation of Asian-Americans throughout history. 
Featuring: Kiefer Ken, Nam Hui Kim, Glen Lumentut, Camille Torres, Fiona Tsang, Sophia Tsang, Emily C. Wong
Choreography by: Fiona Tsang, Hunter College Student, BA Candidate in Dance and Childhood Education

Morning Keynote
Saturday, February 23, 2019
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., The Kaye Playhouse 

From Abstraction to Studio, Page to Stage, Being MANY in the World of Dance moderated by Writer, Curator, Cultural Educator Eva Yaa Asantewaa with Performer, Writer and Visionary Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Dancer and Choreographer Miguel Gutierrez, and Dancer and Choreographer Emily Johnson

Closing Keynote
Saturday, February 23, 2019
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., The Frederick Loewe Theatre, Capacity: 120

Building a Legacy in Dance moderated by Founding Executive and Artistic Director, Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX) Marya Warshaw with Artistic Director of BAAD! Arthur Aviles, Principal Dancer & Development Director of Heidi Latsky Dance Jerron Herman, and Artistic Director of the feath3r theory & New Brooklyn Theater, Raja Feather Kelly


Dance in a Changing United States

This series of discussions grapples with the role of dance artists and their artistry in impacting spheres of national urgency.  

Dance and Dance Making As Sanctuary
2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., Thomas Hunter Hall, The Peggy Studio, Room 601, Capacity: 100

This session will consider the role of dance artists and cultural institutions in resisting the policing and incarceration of immigrants. How can dance makers apply the concept of "sanctuary" to create safe and welcoming spaces for immigrant communities while undoing the criminalizing narrative of immigrants in the U.S.? What actions can the dance field take to advocate for reform of immigration policy and thus better supporting immigrant artists in NYC?

Featured Speakers:

  • Sonia Guiñansaca, Managing Director, CultureStrike (moderator)
  • Despina Sophia Stamos, Dancer and Choreographer 
  • Maira Duarte, Dancer, Choreographer, Director of Dance to the People
  • Pearl Bhatnagar, Dancer, National Freedom Cities Coordinator

Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Artists in Dance
3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., Thomas Hunter Hall, Room 700, Capacity: 50

There are many ways to be boundary-defying. Do our lived experiences as people resisting and transgressing gender binaries inform and infuse our artistic vision and practices? Aimed to be a rich, multi-vocal conversation, this long table session spotlights the brilliance, practices, and needs of transgender and gender non-conforming artists working in/outside and through dance.

For more resources and information on what a Long Table is, check out these resources: What is a Long Table and Long Table Etiquette.

Featured Core Participants:

  • Zavé Martohardjono, Artist (moderator) 
  • Aye Eckerson, dancer
  • Ita Segev, Performance Maker, Writer, Performer, and Advocate
  • IV Castellanos, Artist

Advocating for Vibrant Dance Environments
5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Thomas Hunter Hall, Room 408, Capacity: 40

Policies made at the local, state, and federal level have a profound impact on dancers and dance groups in the U.S. What legislation is currently in motion that could shift the landscape? How can artists and organizations lend their voices? Come learn about key issues facing the dance and arts communities and find out how you can get involved.

Featured Speakers:

  • Brandon Gryde, Director of Government Affairs, Dance/USA (moderator)
  • Lucy Sexton, Executive Director, New Yorkers for Arts and Culture



Transformative Justice

This series of discussions will grapple with some of the intersections of dance and transformative justice and expand conversations around the practices, strategies, and challenges present when dance tackles systems of criminal justice, spaces of healing, mental health, and survival.

Mental Health and Dance
2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., Thomas Hunter Hall, Room 407, Capacity: 40

As we continue to strip away stigmas surrounding mental health, what issues live at the forefront of the conversation? What resources are available and how can we show up for each other? How are wellness practices being incorporated into art practices and how does it shape the way we see ourselves?

This session will be a long table discussion. For more resources and information on what a Long Table is, check out these resources: What is a Long Table and Long Table Etiquette.

Featured Speakers:

  • Heather Robles, Dancer, Choreographer, Managing Director of The Bessies (moderator)
  • Leal Zielinska, Artistic Associate at Gibney
  • Sydney Magruder Washington, Dancer and mental health advocate

Consent in Today's Dance Landscape
3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., Thomas Hunter Hall, Room 407, Capacity: 40

What does consent mean for us today?  What do dancers need to feel safe on stage, in rehearsal, and at institutions across all dance forms?  Who defines a "safe space" and how?  Whohas the power to make consent possible?  What does accountability look like when it comes to consent?  What are the roles of choreographers, dancers and institutions in building a consent culture?  This session will be a direct dialogue about tangible practices, challenges, suggestions, and questions regarding a wide range of consent based conversations.

Featured Speakers:

  • Remi Harris, Multidisciplinary Artist, Educator (moderator)
  • Stephanie Acosta, Interdisciplinary Artist, Curator (moderator)
  • Ayano Elson, choreographer and designer
  • Emma Kaywin, Consent and Safety Consultant, House of Yes
  • Jacqui Rabkin, Co-Director, Consent Program, House of Yes


Justice and Healing Practices in Dance
4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Thomas Hunter Hall, Room 700, Capacity: 50

How do healing practices manifest in dance making and performance? How is dance as an art form uniquely positioned to reimagine justice? How does healing and care and in turn function as a key element of grassroots community organizing? Who gets to heal?

Featured Speakers:

  • Jill Sigman, Interdisciplinary artist and agent of change, founder of Jill Sigman/thinkdance and Body Politic (moderator)
  • Melanie Greene, Movement-based artist and dance writer
  • Mayfield Brooks, Movement-based performance artist, urban farmer, writer
  • iele paloumpis, Dance artist, educator, intuitive healer, and death doula


Funding for Social Justice
5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Thomas Hunter Hall, The Peggy Studio, Room 601, Capacity: 100

 This session will explore the variety of ways philanthropy can support and partner with arts organizations that play vital roles in advancing social justice movements.

Featured Speakers:

  • Brandi Stewart, Program Officer for the Arts, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (Moderator)
  • Edwin Torres, President and CEO, Grantmakers in the Arts
  • Leah Krauss, Senior Program Officer for Dance and Special Projects, The Mertz Gilmore Foundation
  • Maurine Knighton, Program Director for the Arts, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
  • Tom Finkelpearl, Commissioner, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs



Voices on Race and Dance

This track will consist of four roundtable discussions, panels, and workshops that bring together leading national voices in order to explore and foster solutions that address racial inequity and advance an equitable dance ecology.

Working Together for Racial Equity
12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m., Thomas Hunter Hall, Room 700, Capacity 50

Walk away from this interactive workshop with deeper insights into experiences around race, an understanding of racial equity core concepts, and a systems-thinking framework to assess and transform your organization. Come ready to share your wisdom and co-create! 

Facilitated by:

  • Alia Lahlou, Facilitator, Trainer, and Consultant

Embodied Land Acknowledgment - A Call to Kinship
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Thomas Hunter Hall, The Peggy Studio, Room 601, Capacity: 100

What is the role of land acknowledgment in dance and performance venues? How can we move into acts of reconciliation as part of our acknowledgment practices? How can dance spaces and practices lead us past rhetoric into action? How can we respond and carry this responsibility in our practices and spaces?

Featured Speakers:

  • Emily Johnson, Dancer and Choreographer (moderator)
  • Ali Rosa-Salas, Director of Programming, Abrons Arts Center/Henry Street Settlement
  • Jackson Polys, multi-disciplinary artist

Behind the Label: The Words We Use To Talk About Race
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Thomas Hunter Hall, Room 700

Programmed by Dance/NYC's Junior Committee, this long table invites attendees to consider the various terms used to discuss race, as well as the underlying assumptions behind these words. We do not expect attendees to speak on behalf of any group they belong to. Rather, we welcome all to share their own knowledge, opinions, experiences, and feelings surrounding different race-related terms, and to fill in gaps in their own understanding of race (and the words surrounding it). While we hope that attendees will reconsider the terminology they use to discuss marginalized racial groups in their organizations, the goal of the session is not to agree on a single unproblematic term. Rather, we hope to use terminology--and its failings--as a starting point to acknowledge the people, histories, and complexities often excluded from discussions of race in the dance field.

For more resources and information on what a Long Table is, check out these resources: What is a Long Table and Long Table Etiquette.

Featured Participants:

  • Brittany Wilson, Administrative Coordinator, Bridging Education & Art Together; Company Manager, ModArts Dance Collective; Dance/NYC Junior Committee Member (moderator)
  • Nadia Khayrallah, Dance Artist and Writer, Dance/NYC Junior Committee Communications Coordinator (moderator)
  • Charmian Wells, Ph.D. in Dance, dances with Forces of Nature Dance Theatre
  • Shiyam Galyon, Syrian American Writer, and Organizer
  • J. Bouey, Founder and co-host of The Dance Union Podcast 


A Dance of Race and Representation
3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., Thomas Hunter Hall, The Peggy Studio, Room 601, Capacity: 100

Dance in America functions as a mirror to society. Who is on stage? Who is interviewed? Who are the overwhelming majority? And Who is given access? This conversation will explore racial inequities in dance by examining popular dance genres.

Featured Speakers:

  • Denise Saunders Thompson, President and CEO, International Association of Blacks in Dance (moderator)
  • Dawn Marie Bazemore, Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance, Rowan University
  • Joan Myers Brown, Founder, Philandanco!
  • Jonathan Stafford, Ballet Master, New York City Ballet; Faculty Member, School of American Ballet
  • Robin Dunn, F.A.C.E. Coach, Ailey Extension Faculty, former adjunct/Hunter College

Dance Education

This series of sessions bring together leading national and local voices to explore and foster the role of dance education in creating an equitable dance ecology.

Shaping a New Generation of Dancers and Choreographers through Higher Education
12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m., Thomas Hunter Hall, The Jody Dance Studio, 5th Floor, Capacity: 65

Colleges and universities train some of the best young dancers and choreographers on the scene today. How is their work through BFA and MFA degree work setting, changing, or shaping the current NYC dance scene? How do graduates innovate new genres, methodologies, and diverse practices to the dance field? How does innovation and inclusion transform and invigorate our dance world without higher education at the helm? Is our dance world better because of these programs?

Featured Speakers:

  • Carol K. Walker, Professor, and Chair of Dance, Hunter College (moderator)
  • Katie Langan, Professor of Dance and Chair, Dance Department, Marymount Manhattan College
  • Dr. Layla Zami, Visiting Assistant Professor, Pratt Institute; Artist, Oxana Chi Dance; Dance/NYC Immigrants. Dance. Arts. Task Force
  • Michael Leon Thomas, Adjunct Lecturer, Dance Department, Hunter College


Dance Education in a Changing United States: Building a Thriving Career
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Thomas Hunter Hall, The Jody Dance Studio, 5th Floor, Capacity: 65

How can higher education and training programs prepare dancers and students for an ever shaping landscape of professional dancemaking? Is it time to reconsider what it means to have a professional dance career? What does that look like in a changing economy? What skills are programs not yet giving their students?

This session will be a long table discussion. For more resources and information on what a Long Table is, check out these resources: What is a Long Table and Long Table Etiquette.

Featured Speakers:

  • Edisa Weeks, Dance Faculty at Queens College, choreographer, videographer, director of DELIRIOUS DANCES (moderator)
  • Carlo Antonio Villanueva, Company Member, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company
  • Mari Meade, Artistic Director of Mari Meade Dance Collective and Teaching Artist for New York City Ballet and Dancing Classrooms
  • Tara Nicolas, Dancer, Choreographer, Actor, Wellness Advocate, and Filmmaker


Decolonizing Syllabi
3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., Thomas Hunter Hall, The Jody Dance Studio, 5th Floor

How do dance education syllabi shape artistic aesthetics for emerging dance artists? How has colonization manifested in within these? Who are the colonizers and the colonized? How can syllabi reflect a decolonial practice and in turn inform our definitions of “technique” both within single genres or across genres?  

This session will be a long table discussion. For more resources and information on what a Long Table is, check out these resources: What is a Long Table and Long Table Etiquette.

Featured Speakers:

  • J Dellecave, Performance maker, Scholar, Educator
  • Rachel Watts, Director of Teen Programs, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at ArtsConnection
  • Pearl Marasigan, Teacher at Bard High School

Dance Education in a Changing United States: K-12 Dance Education for Every Child
4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Thomas Hunter Hall, The Jody Dance Studio, 5th Floor

Given the rise of youth activism, how are dance education and arts instruction key in the creation of civically engaged youth? What is the role of culturally responsive educators in shaping the leaders of tomorrow through dance instruction? How is dance education impacted by geography (zip code) in terms of access to funding, genre, and culture?

Featured Speakers:

  • Kathleen Isaac, Director of Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program (moderator) 
  • Clara Bello, Dance Educator, Arts Liaison, Educational Leader 
  • Sabrina Jaafar, Director of Fort Hamilton High School Joffrey Ballet Program and Contemporary/Jazz
  • Zakiya Atkinson, Founder/ Director of Zaman Dance Theatre Collective and the Essex County MetroWest Dance Festival


Business of Dance

This series of workshops and resources features key strategies for the development and sustainability of dance practice for individual artists, companies, and organizations. Sessions will discuss tools for increasing inclusion and advocacy within organizations, resources for artists, and fundraising and more.

Legal Clinic
11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Thomas Hunter Hall, Room 605

The Legal Clinic, organized by Dance/NYC Board Chair Elissa D. Hecker offers 30-minute individual consultations with arts and entertainment attorneys who are volunteering through the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law and Intellectual Property Sections of the New York State Bar Association. Attorneys are prepared to discuss legal issues concerning entertainment, intellectual property (i.e. copyright and trademarks), licensing, corporation/incorporation, and collaboration agreements, sexual harassment policies and investigations, among other issues.

Attendees who wish to participate in the Legal Clinic should sign up for a slot through our online form at

Featured Attorneys include:

  • Amy A. Lehman, Director of Legal Services, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
  • Angela R. Dean, Esq., Senior ERISA Counsel|Legal Department, HealthNow New York Inc., HealthNow Administrative Services
  • Anne LaBarbera, Law office of Anne LaBarbera
  • Ashley Tan, Assistant General Counsel, BuzzFeed
  • Ben Natter, Partner, Haug Partners, LLP
  • Camille Y. Turner, Associate, Haug Partners, LLP.; Board of Directors, Dance/NYC 
  • Caroline Keegan, Associate, Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP
  • Cheryl L. Davis, General Counsel in The Authors Guild
  • Christopher Wellington, Esp., Attorney, Wellington Law Group PLLC
  • Dana Nelson, Principal Attorney, D.F. Nelson, Esq. PLLC
  • Diane Krausz, Attorney, The Law Offices of Diane Krausz
  • Elissa D. Hecker, Esq., Law Office of Elissa D. Hecker Esq.; Chair of the Board of Directors, Dance/NYC
  • Giuditta Giardini, Esq., Attorney, Wellington Law Group PLLC
  • George Gilbert, Partner, George T. Gilbert LLC
  • JoniKay Johnson, Claims Specialist, Nationwide
  • Julie N. Samuels, Esq.
  • Kimberly M. Maynard, Attorney, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz
  • Kyle Koemm, Attorney, Haug Partners, LLP
  • Lou Fasulo, Fasulo Braverman & Di Maggio LLP
  • Madeleine Nichols, Attorney, Retired
  • Mansi Parikh, Attorney, Schumann Hanlon Margulies LLC
  • Robert Reicher, Lawyer, Law Offices of Robert J Reicher
  • Sophia Sofferman, Fasulo Braverman & Di Maggio LLP


SmART Bar Consultations
11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Thomas Hunter Hall, Room 605

SmART bars are individual strategic consultations that follow the National Performing Arts Convention model. Drawn from the Arts and Cultural Consultants Network (ACCN), Nonprofit Finance Fund’s Advisory Services, and other partners, SmART bar tenders will respond to any range of questions—from board and fundraising issues to fresh business and marketing ideas—providing tailored recommendations and direction to further resources. Financial topics covered include better budgeting techniques, crafting your financial story, communicating with and through financial reports, balancing money with a mission, effective capitalization, investment strategy, and more. Sign up available at the event.

Attendees who wish to participate in the SmART Bar should now sign up as a walk-in

Featured Consultants include:

  • Alex Goleman, Director of Fiscal Services, Pentacle
  • Clarissa Soto Josephs, Director of Programming, Pentacle
  • Elizabeth Jones, Senior Associate, LG Capital For Culture, LLC
  • Jennifer Edwards, Founder, JenEd
  • John Lim, Co-Founder, Ansel Marketing 
  • Kimberly Marcotte, Program Administrator, Pentacle
  • Lauren Gibbs, Founder and Director, LG Capital For Culture, LLC
  • Marc Kirschner, Head of Content, Marquee Arts Ltd
  • Nathalie Matychak, Program Administrator, Pentacle
  • Richard J. Caples, Executive Director, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company

Social Media for the Misinformation Age
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Thomas Hunter Hall, Room 407, Capacity: 40

How, in this cluttered and confusing political climate, can we successfully write marketing copy for our work? How can we wield that writing via social advertising to authentically build varied but relevant communities around advocacy and art-making? In this action-oriented lab, we’ll playfully peel back dense layers of human psychology and data-driven social media advertising to reveal humans that can be empowered or manipulated. Together, we’ll innovate new systems for creative audience engagement that resist misinformation and establish meaningful relationships with fans and collaborators. The workshop will include quick-and-dirty tutorials, brainstorming exercises, and on-the-spot community building. Expect to walk away with a flood of new ideas, a small army of allies, and take-home tactics to activate your audience. Please note space is limited, this session typically fills up fast.

Featured Speakers:

  • Jamie Benson, Rebel-Clown Choreographer and Consultant,

Individual Giving: Fundraising for Artists
1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., Thomas Hunter Hall, Room 408, Capacity: 40

Artists who aren’t afraid of hearing "no" are great at asking donors for support. Learn how to tenaciously ask for and get the support you need whether you are making an in-person ask, developing solicitation materials, or running a crowdfunding campaign. You can raise money confidently and meet your goal. Come get some sound advice on how to get your campaign started off on the good foot!

Featured speakers:

  • Shawn René Graham, Deputy Director, Programs and Services, The Field


Beyond Accessibility
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Thomas Hunter Hall, Room 408, Capacity: 40

What does it take to make your organization and its programming truly inclusive of disabled patrons and artists? Arts advocacy leaders Christine Bruno and John McEwen will go beyond accessibility to impart key principles and practices that promote full inclusion in the performing arts. In this 60-minute deep dive, arts administrators, dance makers, and facilities managers will come away with the tools to promote an inclusive culture at their organizations.

Featured Speakers:

  • Christine Bruno, Disability Inclusion Consultant; Disability. Dance. Artistry. Task Force Member, Dance/NYC
  • John McEwen, Executive Director, New Jersey Theatre Alliance

Sanctuary Space Workshop
3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., Thomas Hunter Hall, Room 408, Capacity: 40

Join Art Space Sanctuary and Make the Road to learn how we can help provide sanctuary and support to immigrant and refugee artists and colleagues. This one-hour workshop will provide background on immigration policies and practices, legal framework and strategies on knowing your rights and security protocols, and approaches beyond legal rights to form community and build solidarity.

Featured speakers:

  • Abou Farman, Assistant Professor, New School; New Sanctuary Movement, Artspace Sanctuary; Immigrants. Dance. Arts. Task Force Member, Dance/NYC
  • Luba Cortés, Immigrant Defense Coordinator, Make the Road New York


#BBHMM: Understanding the Artist’s Body as Business Conversation Teaser
4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., Thomas Hunter Hall, Room 407, Capacity: 40

How can artists be paid a living wage for meaningful work? How do we transform places of lack in our lives to places of abundance? How do we re-imagine compensation?

The #BBHMM workshop is inspired by Sydnie L. Mosley Dances’ Body Business, an interactive production that re-envisions economic practices in the arts world and encourages greater transparency of the artist’s experience. The Teaser Session will offer a framework and testing ground for compensation negotiations between artists and institutions. The negotiation strategy focuses on equitable agreements rooted in needs assessments and continuous, clear communication. Facilitators will guide a dialogue that engages artists, administrators, and community members in a creative exploration of resources and responsibility through the Body Business process and practice supported by the values embodied in the work of Sydnie L. Mosley Dances, STooPS, and PURPOSE Productions. Participants will depart with strategies to deepen transactions between artists and their community in a way that sustains long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships.

This Teaser is an introduction to a longer workshop which the facilitators will provide detailed information about during the session. The full workshop includes more in-depth dialogue, brainstorming, and practice towards reasonable and equitable compensation for artists supported by strong institutional partnerships.

Featured Speakers:

  • Sydnie L. Mosley, Artistic Director, Sydnie L. Mosley Dances
  • Kendra J. Ross, Founder/Director, STooPS
  • Nia Austin-Edwards (ANAE), Founder PURPOSE Productions

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