2018 Dance Journalism Project

Dance Metro DC’s 2018 Dance Journalism Project is a professional development program for dance writers in the DC metropolitan area. Participating writers will work in a cohort environment through a series of 10 professional development sessions aimed at building critique skills focused on writing reviews for dance performances.

Dance Journalism Project cohort participants will be asked to attend local dance performances (ticket costs are included in registration fee) and write critical reviews of the performance work. The cohort will meet to discuss ways to develop and enhance their writing to include historical perspectives, unique viewpoints, and a heightened general discourse about dance in the DC area. Participants will receive individual feedback on their writing from the project director.

Primary goals for Dance Metro DC’s Dance Journalism Project include: 

  • To increase competency levels and experience for pre-professional dance journalists.
  • To heighten the general public discourse about the professional field of dance in the DC area.
  • To provide competent dance writers for the regional dance community over time.


January 8, 2018 – Participant Application is open and online
February 1, 2018 – Participant Applications Due
February 9, 2018 – Applicants notified
February 19, 2018 – 1st session begins


Cohort Meeting Dates:

February 19, 2018
March 12, 2018
March 26, 2018
April 9, 2018
April 23, 2018
May 7, 2018
May 21, 2018
June 4, 2018
June 18, 2018
June 25, 2018

Meeting times: 6:30pm-8:30pm


Registration Information
Registration for the 10-class session is $100 and covers performance tickets fees.

* Following participation in this program, writers may be invited to continue writing reviews for local dance performances on behalf of Dance Metro DC. These articles will be published on the Dance Metro DC website and a small honorarium will be provided for published articles. There is no guarantee that this program will lead to job opportunities.


About the Project Director: Lisa Traiger

An arts journalist and dance critic since 1985, Lisa Traiger writes frequently on the performing arts for Washington Jewish Week and other local and national publications, including Dance, Pointe, and Dance Teacher. She also edits From the Green Room, Dance/USA’s online eJournal. She was a freelance dance critic for The Washington Post Style section from 1997-2006, where she also contributed a column on dance to the Weekend section.

Over the years she has interviewed many dance luminaries, among them Merce Cunningham, Anna Sokolow, Alicia Alonso, Paul Taylor, Arthur Mitchell, Suzanne Farrell, Bill T. Jones, Ohad Naharin, Savion Glover, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and Misty Copeland. As arts correspondent for the Washington Jewish Week, she has reported on Jewish drum circles, Israeli folk dance, Holocaust survivors, Jewish Freedom Riders, and Jewish American artists from Ben Shahn to Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim to Y Love, Tovah Feldshuh to Wendy Wasserstein. Her now occasional dance writing can be read on DC Dance Watcher.

Lisa Traiger has written for Washingtonian, The Forward, Moment, Dance Studio Life, Stagebill, Sondheim Review, Asian Week, New Jersey Jewish News, Atlanta Jewish Times, and Washington Review. Lisa received two Simon Rockower Awards for Excellence in Arts Criticism from the American Jewish Press Association; a 2009 shared Rockower for reporting; and in 2007 first-place recognition from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association. In 2003, Traiger was a New York Times Fellow in the Institute for Dance Criticism at the American Dance Festival in Durham, N.C. She holds an M.F.A. in choreography from the University of Maryland, College Park, and has taught dance appreciation at the University of Maryland and Montgomery College, Rockville, Md. Traiger served on the Dance Critics Association Board of Directors from 1991-93, returned to the board in 2005, and served as co-president in 2006-2007. She was a member of the advisory board of the Dance Notation Bureau from 2008-2009.