Choreographers’ Commission Grants

Application Deadline:
Dance Metro DC is not currently accepting applications for this program.

Please review these guidelines before beginning the application process.
Application link is at the bottom of this page.

Dance Metro DC’s 2016 Choreographers’ Commission Grants program exists to support the creation, development and presentation of new dance works by regionally based choreographers. The program will provide two $5,000 commission grant awards for the purpose of developing new dance performance works. Commissioned choreographers will be provided with opportunities to receive critical feedback throughout the duration of the Commission Grant program. The program will culminate in a shared weekend concert during the 2017 spring season at Dance Place in Washington, DC. The award will also include free participation in professional development sessions throughout 2016 and 2017.

Dance Metro DC’s 2016 –2017 Choreographer’s Commission Program is made possible with funding from Lumberyard (formerly American Dance Institute) to support new works by Dance Metro DC-selected choreographers from the DC area. 

Commission Grant Program Goals:

  • To support the creation, development and presentation of new dance performance works from DC area based choreographers through direct artist support and partnership with a presenting venue.
  • To enhance the professional capacity of DC area choreographers through engagement with Dance Metro DC’s 2016 professional development program series

Commission Grant Program Objectives:

  • To provide direct resources to choreographers in the DC area in order to support the development and presentation of an original dance performance work.
  • To partner with two professional dance presenting venues in the DC area in order to co-present a original dance performance works by DC area choreographers.
  • To provide a DC area choreographer with professional development training and capacity building strategies through engagement with Dance Metro DC’s 2016 Professional Development workshop series.

Commission Grant Program Partners:

  • American Dance Institute provides lead funding for the Choreographers’ Commission Grant program during the 2016-2017 season.
  • Dance Place serves as co-presenter for performances in March 2017.


  • Applicants must be dance-makers, current members of Dance Metro DC and reside within the Dance Metro DC service area (the District of Columbia; Montgomery County and Prince George’s County in Maryland; Fairfax County, Arlington County and the city of Alexandria in Virginia).
  • A majority (more than half) of dance artists/company dancers performing in the proposed works must reside within the Dance Metro DC service area.
  • Applicant choreographers must ensure that all dance artists associated with the proposed works will be available and commit to perform (including technical / dress rehearsals) in a shared dance concert during the weekend of March 18 & 19, 2017. Technical rehearsals will be scheduled in partnership with the presentation venue for the week of March 14-17.
  • Former program recipients are eligible to apply, however, the adjudication panel may give preference to artists/companies who have not previously received support from Dance Metro DC.


Commission Grant Program Impact:

Since its inception in 2013, this program has provided direct commissioning support for the creation, development and presentation of eight new dance performance works. In addition to direct support, this program provides professional development training, creative feedback for artistic development and individualized consulting services to commissioned artists. This program addresses the identified need of direct support to dance-makers throughout the DC metropolitan area; and provides opportunities for new dance work to be presented in public performances.

Commission  Grant Award Details:

Dance Metro DC will award 2 (two) commission grants at $5,000 each towards the development of new dance work by DC area choreographers.

  • Commission recipients will receive direct support in the amount of $5,000 payable in 3 installments:
    • 50% ($2,500) paid upon receipt of signed Commission Contract;
    • 40% ($2,000) paid on January 9, 2017;
    • 10% ($500) paid at the receipt of a final report form due April 15, 2017.
  • Commission recipients will agree to create and develop a new work of at least 30 minutes in duration and no longer than 50 minutes total running time.
  • Commission recipients will agree to present a new dance work during a shared evening concert at Dance Place on March 18 & 19, 2017.
  • Commission recipients will receive one technical/dress rehearsal in the Dance Place theater on Friday, March 17, 2017. (Additional technical time will be scheduled in partnership with Dance Place as available).
  • Technical support will be provided throughout the program and will include:
    • Lighting Design
    • Stage Management
    • Running Crew
  • Commission recipients will agree to engage in post-performance audience dialogue sessions following each performance.
  • Commission recipients will agree to make themselves available for brief pre-show meet-and-greet receptions on each performance date.
  • Dance Metro DC will provide marketing and promotional support to include a series of media releases, dedicated eblasts, social media campaigns and print postcards.
  • Commission recipients will agree to complete a final report form due no later than April 15, 2017.
  • Commission recipients may participate in Dance Metro DC’s Professional Development workshops through the 2016-2017 season at no cost.
  • Commission recipients may request assistance and advice from program mentors (subject to mentor availability).

Adjudication Process:

An independent panel consisting of dance professionals from the regional dance community will select recipients based on artistic merit, professional capacity and appropriateness of the proposed work to be presented at Dance Place.

Review Criteria:
Applications will be reviewed using the following areas of professional inquiry:

Artistic Merit

  • Does the applicant demonstrate a commitment to artistic rigor, professional discipline and a unique artistic aesthetic?
  • Does the applicant demonstrate an understanding of the artistic significance of their work within the larger context of the field of dance?
  • Does the applicant’s work reveal compelling artistry, creative inquiry and technical proficiency within their self-identified genre?
  • To what extent does the applicant demonstrate creative innovation?


  • Does the applicant demonstrate the ability to carry out the project towards the development of a new dance work with a duration between 30-50 minutes?
  • Does the applicant demonstrate a commitment to building their professional skill set and strengthening their position in the field of dance?

Appropriateness for Venue

  • How appropriate is the applicant’s proposed work for public presentation at Dance Place?

Program Timeline:

July 5, 2016 — Application is Open
August 5, 2016 @ 5:00pm — Application Deadline
September 12, 2016 — Commission Recipients Announced
September 30, 2016 — Commission Contracts Due / 1st payment released (50%)
January 9, 2017 — 2nd payment released (40%)
March 17, 2017 — Technical rehearsal for shared evening performance
March 18 & 19, 2017 — Shared Evening Public Performance
April 15, 2017 — Final Report Due / 3rd (final) payment released (10%)

In addition to the above dates, 2 (two) critical feedback showings for each recipient will be scheduled in partnership with the recipients choreographers.


List of 2016 Commission Panelists:

Meg Booth
Dance Programming Director
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Simone Baskerville
Theater Manager
Dance Loft on 14

Alison Waldman
Marketing & Communications Manager
Dance Exchange
Freelance Creative Consultant

Kate Folsom
Dance Specialist
National Endowment for the Arts

Denise Saunders
Executive Director
International Association of Blacks in Dance


List of program artist recipients:

  • 2013
    • Sarah Ewing
    • Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig / PEARSONWIDRIG DANCE THEATER
    • Janaki Rangarajan
    • Erica Rebollar / RebollarDance
    • Laurel Victoria Grey / Silk Road Dance Company
  •  2015
    • Adrienne Clancy / ClancyWorks Dance Company
    • Hayley Cutler / darlingdance company
    • Sarah Beth Oppenheim / Heart Stuck Bernie
  • 2016
    • Chandini Darby
    • Kyoko Ruch