Thursday, September 3, 2009

Financing Dance Education Worldwide

Imagine if street dancers worldwide could meet up more frequently.

If we're lucky, we may save up enough money to travel once every year or few years to a jam in a foreign country. Many active street dancers are in their teens or early to mid twenties. If they're in school or working, it's hard to have the finances to travel regardless of the current global economy.

So very few of us are lucky enough to travel. Oh, but it would be amazing if this wasn't the case - if more street dancers could meet up, session, and learn from each other. Think of the ideas that would be exchanged. Imagine the level of competition increasing in contests. And picture the wildly creative routines that they'd put together.

How do we make this happen? Do we need a scholarship program to get things started? If there were grants or funds allocated for students who apply, maybe this is a beginning. But the arts are often neglected in state and federal education budgets. Could there be private corporations sponsoring these grants? 

Micro-financing is an interesting concept. It's largely unexplored with dance education. There are examples of private organizations micro-financing small businesses in Third World countries. And some musicians have albums fully funded by donations from their fanbase. So what if donations were collected for a fund supporting dance teachers who teach worldwide? It's an uphill struggle but the possible outcome on the students would be tremendous. If a master popper was funded to teach kids in a Third World country, this might be the best opportunity for these youth to get a dance education. They might not have that chance elsewhere.

Right now, ideas and impressions about street dance styles are transmitted through online videos. This isn't the only way, but it's a popular method since it's accessible. But with the bigger picture in mind, there are millions of young men, women, and children who don't have access to the Internet. In that case, can we justify that dance education can benefit their lives? There are several non-profit organizations providing medical/dental health to people in need as well as basic education support for their children: UNICEF, Invisible Children, etc. Can art education be included in this movement? 

That's definitely part of a larger discussion. Art can empower a young person and give them a voice for their identity. It speaks to their soul. It can heal and bring understanding. We just need a place to start this discussion and move forward. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi I find this interesting but I would like to know more about it. Can you update some information and ahre it on a chat?