The Dance Council Turns 40!

Dallas Black Dance Theater performing at the 2011 Dance Council Honors. Courtesy of the Dance Council

Celebrating 40 years of Community Impact

For the past 40 years the Dance Council of North Texas has been working hard to bring dance to the forefront of the North Texas arts community. The Dance Council has accomplished this through free dance events, publications, social media, scholarships and awards as well as through the organization’s dedicated members.

We have asked some dance studio owners in North Texas to share how the Dance Council has impacted their businesses, how the dance industry has changed over the years and their thoughts on the future of dance in North Texas.

“At Gotta Dance we love the resources that the Dance Council provides for North Texas,” says Cindi Lawrence Hanson, owner of Gotta Dance in Plano, TX.  “It helps our school in two ways: by promoting our programs and performances and by giving us availability to other dance activities we can enjoy,” Hanson adds.

Kelly Lannin, director of the Ballet Conservatory in Lewisville, TX, says she views the Dance Council as a lifeline for all of those in the dance profession. “It gives our students and companies a forum to communicate what we are working on and provides a network of professionals to work with and support,” Lannin says. “The Dance Council also provides opportunities for our dancers and dance companies to perform and receive scholarships which have a very positive impact on our businesses and students,” she adds.

These studio owners couldn’t talk about their businesses without reflecting on some of the changes they have witnessed within the dance community over the last few decades.

“The Dallas dance community has experienced many ups and downs throughout the past 35 years I have been in business,” says Kathy Chamberlain, owner of Chamberlain School of Performing Artsin Plano, TX. “I am thankful that there is a renewed interest in dance i.e. The Bruce Wood Dance Project, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Texas Ballet Theater, the incredible dance TITAS brings to Dallas, local cultural dance performing companies, outstanding university  and college dance performances as well as the local pre-professional and civic dance companies.”

Teresa Espinosa, the 2012 recipient of the Natalie Skelton Award for Artistic Excellence, at Dance Planet 16. Photo: Fermaint Photography

Many studio owners say they are optimist about the future of dance in North Texas. “The future of dance is bright with more people embracing both classical and contemporary; traditional and abstract dance forms as well as movement to music,” Hanson says. “As more people realize the enjoyment value of this art form I expect it will continue to find a healthy share of viewers in our community.”

Chamberlain adds that she is hopeful for the future especially with the AT&T Performing Arts Center being a place to present world class dance. “As the economy continues to strengthen more companies will be able to expand their company roster creating more jobs and opportunities,” Chamberlain says. “With the Dance Council’s presence and current leadership we are on solid ground for the future of dance.”

Celebrate 40 years with the Dance Council at this year’s 40th birthday celebration August 26, 2012 from 2p.m. to 4p.m. at Gocha & Shorena Center of Dance in Dallas .

The piece was originally published in the Aug.-Oct. 2012 issue of DANCE! North Texas.

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About kddance

I am a dance fanatic living in Dallas, TX. Not only do I teach dance but I also love writing about it. My love for dance started at the age of six when my mom signed me up for my first dance class. I have training in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern and acrobatics. In college I minored in dance and majored in journalism. I have had articles published in Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher and the Dance Council of North Texas' DANCE publication. Let me share my stories with you.
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