Wondering why we created FurtherDance Fort Worth? Read on!
Dance, particularly contemporary dance, has a small following in Fort Worth, Texas, disproportionate to the number of dance professionals (choreographers, teachers, artists, performers) that call the city home. Though there are many companies, performances, and renowned schools in the area, dance has little impact on the greater Fort Worth community, and support for dancers and their art is minimal. The outlook is slightly more positive in Dallas, but still not representative of the caliber of talent that trains, lives, and creates in the Metroplex.
When we met to discuss creating what would become FurtherDance, it was clear that one thing is not lacking in all of DFW (and the mid-cities): training for students. No matter where you live you are within 20 minutes of quality dance instruction either in a studio, conservatory, public or private school, or college or university. But once the training goes beyond the collegiate level, opportunities are much more scarce, unless you dance with a larger company or are solely interested in ballet. There are many working to change this, but development of dance professionals (be they performers, teachers, or choreographers), particularly those working independently in the contemporary field, is hard to come by.
It is our belief that, due to this lack of development and training opportunities, DFW dance professionals are limited in their impact on the greater community. An all too familiar story is that of a dance company opening in DFW to great fanfare and folding within a few years.
Dance, and all art, is meant to inspire, communicate, enrich, and engage. But without adequate professional development opportunities, a sense of community among dance artists, and heart for serving the greater community through our art, we are not able to make such an impact.
With that in mind, FurtherDance seeks to equip our dance community to better serve Fort Worth.
Why Fort Worth?
Why are we FurtherDance Fort Worth, not FurtherDance Dallas or FurtherDance North Texas?
It seems that the level of support for dance is somewhat higher in Dallas that it is in Fort Worth, and while Dallas does have the edge in size and population, we believe the two cities have equal opportunity for sustaining a professional dance community and building an audience that supports and participates in contemporary dance. As an organization we also believe in starting small and building slowly. Focusing on Fort Worth helps us start responsibly while we develop and grow as a community.
But we also believe that Fort Worth shouldhave an impactful contemporary dance community and audience. We look to cities like Nashville, the Twin Cities, and Boise; cities smaller than Fort Worth where contemporary dance thrives. Why not Fort Worth too? It boasts world-class museums, theaters, and performance spaces. The Fort Worth food and music scene is booming, and local and small businesses abound. Though we are the 16th largest city in the nation, we have such a unique western heritage and culture that the atmosphere is similar to a smaller community. Fort Worth tops the lists of the best cities to find a job or begin a new career, best housing affordability, and dwindling unemploryment rates.