How to write an artist statement dance
Example of a Dance Artistic Statement
Dane LeAnna is a recipient of the Kenan Excellence Scholarship, the most prestigious scholarship program at UNCSA.
“To the Pointe”
By Dane LeAnna
I am a dancer. I dance to bring meaning, to bring beauty, to bring possibility, and to bring inspiration and hope into a concrete world. I dance for clarity and for charity. I dance because it makes me whole, and when I am whole, I am a better daughter, student, girlfriend, employee and person.
Sixteen years ago when I was a thigh-high, tiptoeing toddler, being a dancer meant I lived in a cozy home without living-room furniture, dressed daily in rummage sale prom dresses and pink tutus, leaped and swirled to the crescendo of Antonio Vivaldi from the stereo, and beamed when my mom glorified my final bow, “Bravo ma petite enfant! Bravo!” before serving lemonade and shortbread refreshments to our make believe audience.
As a child dancer, the love and gift to dance came to me like a birthright. Through my joyful, magical childhood, I danced spontaneously and experienced how creativity occurs in the moment, timelessly and freely. There were no blocks, only building blocks to something new; no competition, only more creation; no fears, only love. To dance was life and it was just what I did. I was yet to understand a big life lesson: the things you need to learn — but resist — first may whisper to you, then shout at you, and finally knock you off your toes to help get you back on the right road.
But what has changed within the course of a recent yearlong injury rehabilitation and more than 8,500 hours of dance training and performing, is not my dream as a professional ballet dancer, but rather, the road taken in pursuit of my dream.Dane LeAnna
The right road, or true north for me, always meant a professional ballet career on stage, being the best of the best, the prima ballerina. It still does. But what has changed within the course of a recent yearlong injury rehabilitation and more than 8,500 hours of dance training and performing, is not my dream as a professional ballet dancer, but rather, the road taken in pursuit of my dream.
Two summers ago I was given an opportunity I had dedicated myself to for years: to join a professional ballet company. When the Artistic Director of the Eugene Ballet Company offered me an apprenticeship I could feel my dream unfolding within my grasp. It took me but twelve seconds to say, “Yes!”
That fall, I left high school and enrolled in an online academic program while dancing seven hours a day with the Company. I felt the joy of the dreamy, tiptoeing toddler within me. Persistence, perseverance, practice, and luck worked! I was dancing the dance of my life. Then, within the year, the dancer’s bane of injury crept its way around my ankles, knees, and hips like invasive ivy. It knocked me off pointe, and I crumbled. But what followed changed me forever.
I weathered the storm and grew, and that is the point. I knew then, and still know now, that the best way to alter the future is to focus on the present. Focusing too much on the big picture can ignore the reality that a dancer’s dance is grounded on many small steps and very few large steps.
The enthusiasm and authenticity of those thigh-high dancing days remain in my core. The sure-footedness of being aligned and on the right path in life is a childlike legacy that I am grateful for, along with my mom’s “Bravo ma petite enfant! Bravo!” playfulness. A performance career is still my true north point. But now, the never-ending process of becoming a dancer rather than just being a dancer has broadened and matured my trajectory. There are smaller pathways to explore along the road of my dream now. As a college-bound dancer, I get to take many small steps in becoming a successful human being, contributing meaning, beauty, possibility, inspiration, hope, skill and stewardship in the world. With this balance I will be able to dance the dance of my life, for a lifetime.
How to Craft a Successful Artist Statement
Most applications—for grants, residencies, teaching jobs, even some performance gigs—ask choreographers for an artist statement. But as common as it is, this kind of writing can feel frustratingly difficult to get right.
At its core, an artist statement offers a short description of what your work is, what it looks like and how it functions within the larger dance field or arts world. “It speaks to what an artist feels their purpose is in creating their work—and what drives them to make that work: what their motivation is, what their goals are, what their mission is,” says Aaliyah Christina, artist programs manager and associate curator at Links Hall in Chicago. “An artist statement lets people engage in the work—and patronize it, too.”
The Dos and Don’ts
• DON’T include biographical details. The awards you’ve won, the residencies you’ve been a part of, the places you’ve performed—those details belong in your resumé, CV or bio. “Those don’t tell us what your work looks like,” says Aliza Shvarts, director of artist initiatives at Creative Capital.
• DO revise—often. “Honestly, I feel like every time you’re making a new work on your own, you should revise your artist statement,” says Christina, who points out that many artists don’t assess their statements until they have to for an application. Keeping your statement fresh (Christina calls it giving it an “upgrade”) ensures its alignment with and application to your current work. “You might forget about it and have it up on your website, and people will read it and think it’s still who you are—when it’s not,” she says.
• DON’T get abstract. Shvarts will often read an artist statement and not get a sense of what the artist’s work actually looks like, or what it even is. “If you get too abstract, it becomes too hard to follow,” she says. She suggests instead stating clearly what kind of artist you are (and if your work is interdisciplinary, identify the specific frameworks you’re working within and/or against).
• DO be brief. “If you can say what you do in two sentences, that’s enough,” says Christina, who admits that a multi-paragraph artist statement can feel busy or redundant.
• DO keep your audience in mind. How you put your artistic practice into language will set the tone for how others enter your work, says Shvarts. That might mean creating several versions, depending on whether you’re writing for, say, a residency application or a grant committee. It might require code-switching, too. “The way you might put something to one constituency is not the way you’d put it to another,” says Shvarts.
• DON’T overuse jargon. Though it might be tempting to stuff in academic language, you risk alienating your reader. “Make sure that the language you use is accessible for the readers you’re intending your artist statement for,” says Shvarts. That’s not to say that all big words are out: “If there’s an idea that really animates your practice, like disidentification, it’s okay to retain that complexity,” she says.
• DO research the way other people write about dance. Shvarts acknowledges that it can be difficult to put movement into language. That’s why she recommends checking out other dance writing. “Read other artist statements. Read critical theory. Read dance criticism,” she says. “People take different strategies—figure out what’s successful for you.”
A Starting Place: 3 Questions to Ask Yourself
When Aliza Shvarts teaches artist-statement writing workshops, she asks participants to answer these three questions, in order:
1. Who are you? That’s not an existential question, says Shvarts. She means for artists to answer the question of what kind of artist they are. “Do you do performance-based work? Large-scale installation?” she asks. “How do you categorize yourself, in a very straightforward sense?”
2. What does your work look like? Is it dance? Moving image? “Remind yourself that people don’t know what your work looks like,” she says.
3. How does your work fit into a bigger picture? What is your work about—is it political? Personal? Historical? Identify the frameworks you’re working within. “Zoom out a little bit,” says Shvarts.
90,000, students' entry for the dance season 2020 9,0001
Announcement of events
The RTS championship
Complexing 200016 Jacks on Artistic danceNovember 08, 20220016
September 21, 2022
Registration for children's dance groups for the 2022-2023 season is open.
September 18, 2022
Dance Weekend 2022. A fairy tale that has become a reality.
Dance Studio "Caramel" opens the enrollment of students for the new dance season 2020-2021
If you want to enroll your child in a studio that not only teaches dance, but also brings up champions - this is your chance.
Depending on the epidemiological situation and government decisions, classes will be held in the dance hall or in a remote format (ZOOM conference).
In our classes:
In the process of learning:
Groups will work for you this season:
You can sign up for classes or enroll your child:
See you in class!
Registration for classes at the Caramel dance studioRegistration for classes at the Caramel dance studio
| || |
You can register your child for classes:
Daughter Daria (6 years old). Group D3. Engaged 4 years.
Caramel dance studio is a big "caramel" family! I am very glad that my daughter got into this family, in this friendly and pleasant atmosphere, where ka •••
Daughter Ekaterina (11 years old). Group D1. Has been studying for more than 5 years
I want to express my deep gratitude to the head of the studio Oleg Anatolyevich and the head coach Natalia Vladimirovna for their contribution to the development of our children. •••
Valery's daughter (12 years old). Group D1. Engaged 5 years.
I would like to thank the Karamel dance studio for the excellent work with our children! For a very friendly atmosphere, for excellent results, we thank you •••
Daughter Alina (11 years old). Group D1. Has been in business for over 5 years.
I would like to say a huge thank you to the head of the Karamel Dance Studio for his contribution to the development of Alina. We really enjoy going to class. Here reigns pr •••
Daughter Nilufar (12 years old). Group D1. Has been in business for over 5 years.
The child gets pleasure from dancing. Many thanks to you, Natalia Vladimirovna, for the fact that your dance lessons are interesting, diverse •••
Daughter Veronica (11 years old). Group D1. Has been in business for over 5 years.
On behalf of our entire family, we thank you for your invaluable contribution to the development of our daughter. For her physical and creative education. Thank you very much for your interest •••
Daughter Vera (6 years old). Group D3. Engaged 3 years.
My daughter has been studying at the Caramel dance studio since 2017. We are happy to be part of the studio.