Dance Wire PDX Portland Oregon's Dance Community

Equity Progress

Advancing equity requires constant work and reflection. Dance Wire as led by our board and staff, are committed to making progress and being open to new ways of thinking. We are not afraid of the growing pains that come with this work and hope that we can serve as a platform for constructive discourse within the dance community. Below are our beliefs which represent core principles that guide our work, and our actions which are the baby steps we have implemented so far. To share your own ideas on how Dance Wire can advance equity in the dance world, please email our Founder & Director Emily Running.


Our Beliefs

We believe... movement is a universal language that crosses cultural barriers.
We believe... visibility is power and there is a need for increased visibility, particularly for underserved populations.
We believe... a centralized network facilitates connectivity while reducing isolation between groups.
We believe... everyone should have access to participation in the dance whether it be as a student, patron, or artist.
We believe... dance artists, dance administrators, dance content and dance audiences should all be reflective of the community to create true access.


Our Actions

The Dance Wire hosts an inclusive network of over 100 dancer and company members representing 39 different styles of dance. Membership is open to all dance-centered artists and organizations and currently includes people of various ages, races, sexual orientations, gender identities, ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic status', and disability status'.

Each year we select a new Ambassador Committee which features 10 different artists from various genres and backgrounds as part of our ongoing commitment to listening, learning and staying connected to all pockets of the dance community. Among other things, we do a StoryCorps interview with each Ambassador about the challenges they have faced pursuing dance, the resources and people that have helped them the most, and how they would like to see the dance community evolve. These interviews are an opportunity to both listen and to archive the progression of the dance community over time, giving Dance Wire valuable insight on how to design and develop our programming to truly meet the needs of the community we serve.

Our Resources for Everyone, including the Calendar, Find a Class, Artists' Stories, Features, and Performance Previews, gives artists and organizations visibility while exposing both new and existing audience members to the wide array of dance happening in Portland.

Our quarterly Buzz Builders provide a space where dancers, company directors, community members, even funders are invited to meet, mingle, and network in a casual setting. These events are rare opportunities to dissolve the fourth wall between performers and audiences and break barriers between different dance genres. We call them buzz builders because those who attend usually leave buzzing with inspiration!

We added a Fundraiser category on our Calendar page. Until the arts are better funded, the risk associated with pursuing a career with very little income potential limits the ability to advance as an artist to those of higher socioeconomic status. We added this category to give a little boost to all those artists out there who rely on individuals like YOU to get started! Even a small donation or your attendance goes a long way!


If you support any of the statements or actions above, consider a DONATION TO DANCE WIRE to help us advance our services to the dance community and the public.

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