Press Releases

ANNOUNCEMENT: January 3, 2017

The Maura Garcia Dance Development Residency is now underway! From January to April, Maura Garcia will be reworking and developing Aniwisgo'i and They Are Still Talking. Activities include critique sessions, working with other choreographers as part of NACHMO! (National Choreographer's Month), open rehearsals in outdoor spaces and workshopping choreography with people at the Kansas City Indian Center. Activities are listed on the EVENTS page as "Development  Residency Events" and include free-to-the-public activities in Lawrence, KS, Topeka, KS, Kansas City, MO, Chapel Hill, NC and Durham, NC.

ARTIST STATEMENT:  December 1, 2017

I was asked to dance before The Sarah Play, one of five plays created as part of The In[HEIR]itance Project: “Five plays. Three years. One book. Each performance is inspired by a patriarch or matriarch from the first book of the Bible and created collaboratively with local communities through text study, workshops, and online art projects.” In particular The Sarah Play “is an exploration of sacred text in conversation with real stories of yesterday and today. This is a play about women in love, hate, rivalry, faith, and Kansas City.” The starring relationship is between two women, Sarah and Hagar.

What is my take on this story from another tradition? I am drawn to themes of how women treat one another and how we "should" behave contrasted with how we ultimately behave in the face of loss, jealously and inequity. Throughout most of their story, it seems that Sarah and Hagar are at odds with one another and/or mistreating one another. However there are a few precious moments of agreement and respect. The well-being of their household and children is inherently linked to the women's ability to recognize the humanity of the other. Though the stories are short in written form, I imagine the days and weeks in between the strife when the two women were able to cooperate with one another for the greater good of their family. In response to this potential, I have chosen to present a small segment from a dance exploring collective harvest. In Cherokee country, before the influx of Amer-opean culture, the crops and fields were the realm of women. Women oversaw all aspects of planting and harvest. My performance is an acknowledgement of the unrealized and realized potential of Sarah and Hagar, and all women, to work together.

It is also an acknowledgement of the presence of Indigenous peoples in Kansas. While I love the generosity of spirit that allowed for people of different faith traditions to share their holy people and  and texts to create a wonderful play, I also note that Indigenous people are completely left out of the narrative.

PRESS RELEASE: Dance/USA Announces 2017 DILT Mentees

May 22, 2017

Contact: Johanna Tschebull

Washington, DC –  Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance, is pleased to announce the selection of eight emerging leaders for the 2017 Dance/USA Institute for Leadership Training (DILT), a national dance mentorship program. The 2017 program has a specific focus on supporting individuals of African, Latino(a), Asian, Arab, and Native American descent and individuals with disabilities or working in physically integrated dance. The 2017 DILT mentees work within a broad range of genres and communities across the country.  

“Now in its seventh year, we are thrilled to celebrate a new cohort of mentees in our Institute for Leadership Training,” said Dance/USA Executive Director Amy Fitterer. “These individuals are the future of the dance field and we look forward to supporting them on their journey.”

DILT was piloted in 2011 at the recommendation of the Dance/USA Emerging Leader Task Force to facilitate one-on-one relationships for networking and leadership development for dance professionals. The program was designed to enhance and refine the skills of emerging leaders within the dance field so that they may guide dance organizations through the future’s challenges and shifting landscapes. With the guidance of an established, qualified mentor, mentees hone their management skills, as well as recognize and learn from personal strengths and weaknesses.

Dance/USA is grateful to the American Express Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their lead support of the 2017 Institute for Leadership Training. 

About Dance/USA
We believe that dance is essential to a healthy society, demonstrating the infinite possibilities for human expression and potential, and facilitating communication within and across cultures. We are committed to honoring, nurturing and advancing dance through the lens of diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity in all aspects of our programming, services and organization.

Dance/USA is the national service organization for the professional dance field. Established in 1982, Dance/USA sustains and advances professional dance by addressing the needs, concerns, and interests of artists, administrators, and organizations. By providing national leadership and services, Dance/USA enhances the infrastructure for dance creation and distribution, education, and dissemination of information. Learn more about Dance/USA by visiting our website,