Dance Advocacy and Activism Across the Region

Massachusetts Cultural Council: Join their email list!

MassCreative: Arts advocacy throughout the Commonwealth

Artists Under the Dome/MALC: Advocacy at the State House for artists, by artists including their new recommendations for improving the working conditions of artists across the sector

New England Foundation for the Arts and CreativeGround

Americans for the Arts  Lobbying and news at the federal level, especially good on arts education

Proceedings of Configurations in Motion: Performance Curation and Communities of Color

Coalition of Diasporan Moving Scholars

Webinars on artistic activism – how do you know your work creates change?


Dance Education

National Dance Education Organization and its local affiliate MADEO 

Dance Teachers Club of Boston

Creative Youth Development, a consortium that includes the  Massachusetts Cultural Council and has an email list

Online course for teaching artists

Arts/Learning, support for arts in Massachusetts public education

Amazing digital representations of human anatomy useful for dancers, body workers and more


Rights and Business Information You Can Use

Pentacle Next Steps has compiled an amazing and comprehensive series of free business-oriented webinars and documents

Pay Rate Calculator for teaching artists.

FormsPal provides free high-quality legal templates and information online

Standards for touring contract negotiations for touring dance groups

  • Dance/USA Standardization Document
  • General Tech Rider Prototype
  • Hotel Questionnaire
  • Sample Tour Book

A Life in Dance, new book. by Rebecca Stenn and Fran Kirmser. While most of the artists are based in New York, there’s clear applicability to the topics they cover (got student debt? teach in the schools? live project to project? ) with personal narratives by artists.

Soft Skills in Dance, a guide to practice by a European consortium

Legal advice from our partners the Arts and Business Council, say BDA sent you.

Massachusetts Society of CPAs (Find a CPA for your needs/in your area)

Art and Taxes is a site developed to address the tax needs of artists of all disciplines. Great resources for free!

Artists in the gig economy: what’s right for you?

Artist2Artist production cost calculator

401 (k) retirement programs for small (<20) nonprofits.

Music rights demystified, from Dance/USA

Royalty free music, especially good for virtual events, is at Pond5 and Freemusicarchive

Copyright and fair use for dancers, from Dance/USA

Work of Art tool kit  from Minnesota based Springboard for the Arts

Determining your artist fee, from Creative Capital

Getting over your fear of Wikipedia, from Creative Capital

Writing a realistic grant budget, from Creative Capital

Choosing the best work sample for your application, from Creative Capital

Crowdfunding ideas from Leeway Foundation

CreateEquity podcast on issues of business and arts careers

Courses from Creative Study

Example of a good technical rider, from American Dance Abroad

Need health insurance for yourself or your dancers? In Massachusetts, contact the helpline at the advocacy organization  Healthcare for All   and Healthcare for Artists

Information on insurance in this guide. Insurance for Nonprofits — competitive rates (but remember you don’t need to go to a specialized broker for most things)

Some BDA members have dance teacher’s liability insurance through  Alternative Balance  or Philadelphia Insurance

Artists Rights  primer on issues of censorship, privacy and more

With the Artist Legacy Toolkit and new Ask an Archivist free phone and online service from Dance/USA and the Dance Heritage Coalition, you have a road map to preserving your dance-related materials from paper records to videos (including in obsolete formats).

Estate planning for artists in all disciplines

Design Your Personal Brand in 3 Steps Artists & Creatives  and Your Personal Brand as an Artist webinar from Americans for the Arts

Making Your Life as an Artist from Artists U

Podcast on budgeting for artists from the College Art Association, information pertinent to dancers too

Marketing for Artists 101 from National Arts Marketing Project

Dance jobs self-assessment (consider many elements to create your dance job portfolio, since almost none will provide a full-time income)

Presenting Art in the City of Boston including rules for public events. You can also schedule time to meet with the city’s Artist Resource Manager.

Putting together a work sample to go with your application? Review this helpful guide from Creative Capital. 

Dance and Eating Disorders

An overview article describing warning signs and resources.  Don’t be too proud to get the help you need.

Dance and Disability  (check out our page)

A huge bibliography by BDA Executive Director Debra Cash and Jo Verrant of Unlimited in the UK, currently managed by AXIS Dance Company

National Endowment for the Arts 2017 report on career opportunities for artists with disabilities

Links from Midatlantic Arts

VSA ART of MA serves individuals with disabilities by creating opportunities for participation in the arts and integration into the cultural and educational mainstream of our communities.

Resources to Help Ensure Accessibility of Your Virtual Events for People with Disabilities  to help you create inclusive classes, workshops, performances, and more during the pandemic when so much is being shared over digital devices and to create the foundation for inclusive practices going forward.

The Communications Network has also created an accessibility checklist to make sure your virtual event is accessible.

Planning a special performance for audiences with sensory sensitivities? Share the information on the BDA website here  and also send the information to our friends at the The Asperger / Autism Network (AANE so that they can share this information with potential audience members!

Resources on Sexual Harassment, Abuse & Discrimination in Dance (National services)

Disrupting Dance is a free online self-directed course offering information and tools for dancers, performers, and adjacent professionals to work more safely together. This toolkit was designed to support dancers and dance institutions in addressing sexism, exploitation, abuse, ableism, white supremacy, toxic capitalism, and more in the workplace.

The Actors Fund   New York: 917-281-5919 Provides free, confidential counseling, support, and legal referrals to all professionals in performing arts and entertainment.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission  1-800-669-4000
Responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an
employee based on their protected class. File a complaint against an employer online or over the phone.
The website also contains information on the law and employee rights.

RAINN 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline and provides resources
and advocacy for sexual assault victims.  Call the main number and they will connect you to a confidential provider in your community.

Better Brave Online guide to help targets of sexual harassment understand their rights and options for addressing issues
with an employer. Provides a template for recording incidents of sexual harassment.

Dance Scholarships (and a few grants)

Dance Scholarships primarily for training at associated institutions; US listing is mostly at college level.

Dance History and Dancing Personalities Today

Virtual Pillow An online treasury of dance performance clips filmed at Jacob’s Pillow in the Berkshires from 1930s to today.

Jacob’s Pillow digitized archive, a treasurehouse of resources including a complete set of digitized programs from throughout the Pillow’s 84-season history.

Danza Organica’s Dance Research Online Forum for video interviews in Boston and beyond

Luminarium’s Backlight monthly web video series from the Boston dance scene

Hub Dance Narrative project, a timeline of Boston area dance history by Eugenia Kim

Congress on Research in Dance

Kathleen Breen Combes’ blog Artistic LeadHERship  with initial focus on ballet

Space for Dance Artists

Check our website 

Artists Space including tips on developing a space to support your practice
This list of artists’ Co-working spaces also includes some suitable for dancers and choreographers

Assets for Artists has a Space Finder with resources that can help artists secure affordable rental housing or homebuying opportunities, and affordable workspace.

Dance in Media

Dance Tech: International site for technology-enhanced dance activity and its Vimeo site

Dance Films Association: while most of their activity is in New York, check for regular competition submission guidelines

On The Boards TV Great contemporary dance film site from the leading presenter in Seattle

On Facebook (postings may overlap)

  • Boston Dance Alliance
  • Boston Dance Community
  • Boston Dancers & Choreographers
  • MADEO Massachusetts Dance Education Organization
  • Dance Research Online Forum moderated by Marsha Parrilla
  • Dance Entrepreneurs Funding Think Tank moderated by Kat Nasti
  • Boston Flash Reviews moderated by Kelley Donovan
  • Kinebago
  • International Women’s Artist Salon Meeting, Boston Chapter, meets 15th of every month, all types of artists welcome
  • Dance Teachers of NH MA & ME

Dance Action Network subscribe to this listserve at!forum/DAN-Boston/join

You should see a link to “Join Group” click on that and read the instruction, do what it says!
Alternately, send an email to (this works best if you do NOT have a google account)
You will receive a reply from google within 10 minutes. You must hit reply to that message in order to confirm subscribing.

Local Dance Coverage Online

Original features and reviews

Arts story aggregators

Inspiration for Artists — and Everyone Else!

Our colleague Rachel Boggia at Bates College asked her Facebook network to recommend resources about artistic practice for her students. Here’s the list, in no particular order; BDA is not including the names of the original recommenders since we did not have their permission.

Please add your favorites by sending them to and let us know if we can identify these as your contribution to the discussion.

Boston dancer Carl Alleyne on motivation

The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura

Anna Deveare Smith’s work, Letters to a Young Artist.

Are We Here Yet? by Meg Stuart,

Drafting Interior Techniques by Steve Paxton

The Courage To Create by Rolo May

Liz Lerman — Hiking the Horizontal

Local Acts, by Jan Cohen-Cruz

Paulus Berensohn’s Finding One’s Way with Clay

Carol Lloyd’s Creating a Life Worth Living

Simon Callow’s Being an Actor

Annie Lamott’s Bird by Bird

Susan Rethorst A Choreographic Mind

Writing Down the Bones Natalie Goldberg

Six Memos for the Next Millennium by Italo Calvino

“My Body the Buddhist” by Deborah Hay

Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art  by S. Nachmanovitch

Peter Handke, The Weight of the World.

And Then You Act by Anne Bogart

Twyla Tharp’s books The Creative Habit and  The Collaborative Habit

Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel

Elizabeth Gilbert Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Steven Pressfield: “Do The Work!”

Miranda Tuffnel’s Body Space Image

Andrea Olsen’s The Place of Dance

Danny Lewis’s The Illustrated Dance Technique of Jose Limon

Jeanette Winterson’s Art Objects (first chapter)

Misty Copeland’s Life in Motion, an Unlikely Ballerina, recommended by Reme Gold

Baroque dancer Ken Pierce suggests a number of European treatises, including  Pierre Rameau, Le Maître a Damser, Kellom Tomlinson, The Art of Dancing,Thoinot Arbeau, Orchesography, Fabritio Caroso, Il Ballarino, and to a lesser extent: Fabritio Caroso, Nobiltà di Dame, Cesare Negri, Le Gratie d’Amore,  John Weaver, Anatomical and mechanical lectures upon dancing and Gennaro Magri’s, Trattato teoretico-prattico di ballo

How much do you need to live in Boston?

Boston, Cambridge, and the surrounding communities are expensive places to live. This is an especially significant issue for dancers and choreographers, whose rehearsals are often unpaid and performances are compensated at an average of $100 per performance. This is a problem across  the dance field: in fact, many dancers feel Boston is a more equitable community for artists than many in the United States.

BDA is working with our cultural colleagues to try to expand budgets and opportunities. We can report that our community is better served now than just a few short years ago. But we still have much work ahead.

As you settle here, check out this handy tool:


Food insecure? Don’t wait until you are desperate, the community is coming together to help everyone. Call 1-800-645-8333.