The Creative Process in Action

Dear Dancers and Dance Curious,

Wow, what a summer. The world is evolving, shifting, and moving, are you keeping up? If things still feel chaotic, don’t worry. This is what the creative process feels like! I remember one time my mom came to an early rehearsal for an aerial show I was in. After rehearsal, she exclaimed, “Wow, I didn’t realize that’s where you start from!” (Geez, thanks mom.) But I understood what she meant. She usually only sees the polished performance with costumes, makeup, lighting, and the palpable energy of the audience. In this early rehearsal, she saw us in the awkward experimentation phase, where things looked and felt hard. We weren’t yet familiar with the music, we were trying new moves, we spent a bunch of time troubleshooting things like how to navigate the choreography while spinning!

The first stage of the creative process is opening the box and letting all the ideas out. The past few months have been precisely that for Dance Wire. The performing arts world turned upside down, and dancers, companies, studios, and teachers are all trying to troubleshoot what to do next, while (metaphorically) spinning! With all ideas on the table about how we can help, we have begun crafting them further, prioritizing, and taking factors of time and staff energy into account.

It is at this stage that we need YOUR help to get the following items performance-ready!
One exciting discovery that came out of our exploration process is some fun new technology that will enable us to build an app for dancers and dance organizations. It is relatively simple to create and maintain, but it will be invaluable for the dance community once it’s developed. The goal of this app is to support connection, collaboration, and visibility for our dance artists and companies during these physically distanced times.
Early this summer, we developed a partnership with Teresa Koberstein of Assembly Arts to do one on one financial consulting with companies who run or manage a space. Space is one of the most valuable assets in dance. Already, amid a space crisis in Portland, and with a few companies tragically not making it past the first 6 months of the pandemic, it is critical to keep our spaces alive for everyone – dancers, teachers, students, audiences, independent choreographers – that benefits from them.
Social justice – with a particular emphasis on racial justice – is making its way into the collective consciousness on a whole new level this year. What has become more apparent than ever, is that we must work on this as individuals, as businesses, and as industries as a whole to move towards a more equitable future. We are actively working on ways that we, as a hub for Portland dance, can facilitate and keep the conversation going within the dance world.
An ongoing photoshoot collaboration with Shabu Studios to develop a photo library of Portland dancers for our website (so we are genuinely representative) and for our THIS is What a Dancer Looks Like campaign. We refuse to abide by old-school stereotypes of what a dancer is “supposed” to look like. We want room to look like our dance-loving selves precisely as they are.
You can help us make these things happen by donating. Whether it’s a one-time or monthly donation and whether it’s a significant amount or a small amount, your dollars will have a lasting impact. Dance Wire needs your investment in our work to get out of this awkward stage of creation so we can spin the dance community into a brighter, more inclusive, more welcoming, more diverse, and happy-dance worthy future!

There are many ways to donate:
via our website:
Venmo: @dancewire
via our Facebook fundraiser
or support the post office and mail a check to:
Dance Wire
3121 S Moody Ave
Box 8 Suite 135
Portland, OR 97239

Happy Dancing, Emily Running