Updated: Jan 12, 2021
You know what I'm totally doing once I have the money? I'm starting my own dance company and school. All the money I'll earn from online classes will go toward starting it--specifically, to obtain a studio. I'm planning on setting up a Kickstarter sometime in the near future to raise money as well. (Bonus points if I can raise enough to get a studio custom-built!)
Now, here’s the cool thing about this company:
All the dancers will be the ones who feel like their teachers aren’t paying them any attention.
The ones who didn’t have an opportunity to get the benefits of a professional ballet academy, for whatever reason.
The ones who work hard, but get nothing in return.
The ones who dream of a professional dance career, but know that in the current dance culture, they'll never get it.
The purpose of B+ Dance is to give these dancers a place where they’ll belong.
They’ll be given the excellent training and attention they deserve, and they will soon rival those favorite academy students in skill.
I have never met a bad dancer in my life. Just dancers who people gave up on.
They’ll probably be happier than those academy students, too. It’ll be a positive, fun, low-pressure, judgement-free zone. Successes will be recognized. There will be no favoritism. Students will be encouraged to speak up if they feel they’re being discriminated against, and we’ll work as a team to find solutions.
Tuition will be as minimal as possible. In addition, I want to have a “pay it forward” system in place, where students/families/whoever can donate to cover expenses for students who can’t afford it.
Ideally, the studio will have its own black box theater for performances, because performing is the best part. (The college I went to had a 300ish-seat black box theater that could be converted into two studios when there were no shows. If I get the money to build a studio, I'm totally looking into doing that!)
Even though there will be a physical studio eventually, online classes will continue to be a thing. I want to reach out to as many victims of the perfectionist dance culture as possible. And guess what: I'm going to try and make sure they'll be able to perform, too! We're gonna make so many cool dance films! (Filmmaking is expensive, though, so we'll see.)
There will be two companies--a pre-professional and professional. There will be auditions to get in, (just the companies, not the school), but the selection criteria would be more about potential than skill. I would probably end up picking dancers more from interview responses than how they perform at auditions.
I really want a group to set all my choreography ideas on. I’m sure a lot of the dancers on said company want to choreograph, too, so most or all or our works will be our own creations. It won’t just be classical ballet, either. We'll also choreograph and perform contemporary ballet, contemporary/modern, jazz, and hip hop.
Heck, why not let some of the students teach a class or two (or more) if they want? Especially members of the pre-professional company, since it's meant to give students the boost they need to have a career in dance. Let’s give them all the resume-boosting experiences we can! Maybe we could have optional workshops on writing resumes and building portfolios, too.
Ideally, I'd have a real, legit, professional company as well. I want to have a professional dance company for dancers that other companies/teachers gave up on or wouldn't give a chance.
I think in order for the harmful aspects of dance culture to change, there's a need for traditionally-labelled "imperfection" to be presented on stage, in a professional setting. We need to remind people that realism is okay--good, even.
I want to show people the talent and artistry they're missing out on. Then, maybe they'll become more accepting.
This is the kind of company/school I wish existed. There are a lot of dancers out there who would benefit from a welcoming, all-inclusive school/company that gives them opportunities they couldn’t get otherwise.