Greetings from TU Dance!
This time has brought to all of us challenges never experienced, yet an opportunity to regenerate, reimagine, rethink, reenvigour, regroup.
It’s inspiring to connect with our students taking online and in-person classes, and witnessing how our teaching artists and accompanists continue to deliver high-quality training and support to our students. The video below is an example of how TU Dance is sustaining the connective power of dance during this new era, where our students find creative ways to communicate with fierce expressiveness.
The School at TU Dance Center programs have been re-imagined to support our entire community as we transitioned to remote and hybrid learning platforms. We are heartened by the courage, passion, and creativity of our staff, teaching artists, and accompanists as they continue to carry out our mission. Below are a few highlights of their efforts as we continue to navigate this new virtual world:
- We continued offering classes for our Pre-Professional, Children & Teen, and Adult programs during the Spring and Summer.
- We continued our contracts with 24 teachers and 11 accompanists.
- Our company dancers were furloughed in April, and we honored, in full, our contractual responsibilities providing them all severance packages.
- The financial aid application process was reopened in April 2020 and additional funds were allocated beyond what was initially budgeted to our TU Dance Access Fund to aid families affected by unexpected financial hardship.
- We reduced the tuition of the Adult and Dancing Together workshops by 33%.
- We developed brand new programming to support the emotional well-being of our community.
- We facilitated three free weekly online classes with an average participation of 30 local, national, and international students.
- We transformed our Spring Student Showcase into a live interactive virtual event, which included performances from all our Pre-Professional and Children & Teen programs.
- In response to yet another killing in the hands of the police, we offered two virtual community conversations Taking time and space to reset, led by Mary K. Boyd, president and CEO of MKB & Associates, an education and human services consulting business and educator who advocates for the recognition, respect, voice, strength and potential of African/African American children, youth and families.
- Our summer programming continued with masterclasses, summer programs, and intensives with TU Dance Center teaching artists and renowned national teaching artists such as Renee Robinson, Maurya Kerr, and Gregory Dolbashian. Additionally, we collaborated with New York-based dance company Evidence, A Dance Company featuring Artistic Director Ronald K. Brown and Associate Artistic Director Arcell Cabuag. The newly designed summer intensive named Intersect attracted students from many US cities as well as from Japan, Uruguay, and Turkey.
- We re-imagined our Fall classes to include a hybrid of in-person and virtual classes which included national and international guest artists Peggy Seipp-Roy (California), Arcell Cabuag (NYC) and Marcus Jarrell Willis (England).
- With the support of Aroha Philanthropies, and considering the state of social, political and economical hardship, we were able to offer National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) workshops for all of our staff, teaching artists, accompanists, students and parents. www.namimn.org
- We have been participating in local and national conversations about reopening with Dance/USA and IABD (International Association of Blacks in Dance), and other local art groups.
TU Dance reaches through diverse dance traditions to uncover the connective power of dance for audiences, students, artists, and the community.
We’ve continued to fulfill our mission with imagination and remain steadfast and uplifted by our community’s resilience. TU Dance Center will continue to be a space for our community to express the unwavering belief that black and brown lives matter and our hope for the future that we imagine is possible. This season, we are planning a series of community conversations, creating the space for continued reflection and learning.
From Nov 1-19, TU Dance joins the GiveMN’s #GiveMN campaign. We invite you to participate in continuing to build this new chapter of our story. Your contribution to TU Dance will help us maintain and create new and needed programming while we support all of those who make TU Dance’s mission a reality.
Together we will get through this!Please consider making a donation to TU Dance by visiting: www.givemn.org/organization/
Together we got this!
All of us at TU Dance