can’t sit around waiting for summer; i’m going on vacation

SEATTLEDANCES TAKES A BREATHER

Like all vacationers, I have a few unrealistic hopes. Pie-in-the-sky? I want to come back from vacation with a new system—and funding—so that SeattleDances can accomplish the following:

  1. pay its writers (which will make this a viable platform for professional writers and allow for more shows to be covered)
  2. create an easy-to-use planning calendar for dance companies so there are fewer schedule conflicts
  3. provide a calendar for us audience members

My current system hasn’t held up too well the past few months—months in which I ditched the freelance life for a salaried life. My regrets are numerous—so many shows not covered!—but the joys nonetheless outweigh the regrets. SeattleDances has achieved a lot in its yearlong existence.

  • 235 postings
  • Visits from every state, including North Dakota, which was the hold-out until very recently.
  • Visits from 107 countries
  • 23,000 visits in all (Not record-breaking, but considering the niche audience and the fact that marketing the site had not been part of the original play (I mean plan), the number still blows me away.)
  • A PR Seminar for Dance Companies – This was a fabulous gift to be able to give: three dance writers spoke about what they need from dance companies in order to give good coverage and three PR pros spoke about how they meet dance writers’ needs. Twenty-two people attended this three-hour seminar at City Arts’ headquarters. Many thanks to Sandi Kurtz, Mary Murfin Bayley, Jeremy Barker, Rosemary Jones, Gary Tucker, Jessica Massart, and our venue sponsor Encore Media Group/City Arts Magazine for making that seminar possible.

There is so much more I want to accomplish with this site:

  • More seminars—for dancers, dance companies, writers, audience members
  • More—many more!—interviews with dancers and choreographers
  • More video
  • Thought pieces by dancers
  • More conversation
  • In-depth coverage of dance—especially modern contemporary dance, which we have so much of in Seattle. 

 
We have so much dance in Seattle. It’s important that we record and discuss what is happening here with this ephemeral art. It’s important that we learn from each other ways of seeing or understanding or thinking about dance, here, in Seattle.

I think that our local publications (online and print) do a good job of previewing and reviewing and interviewing. The dance writers I know are passionate about this art form. Here’s the but: Many are limited by time and space and the dictate “write to a general audience.” Sure, some are super-talents who manage to write deep articles start-to-finish in spite of the constraints. But what if we could do away with those constraints? What a luxury it would be! (I know, because I do sometimes write for publications with word limits. Basic, necessary, reporterly facts can easily consume half your word count, even if you’re very, very careful.) Doing away with those constraints would mean more dance writing that delves deep, more dance writing from which folks in the know can learn something, more dance writing that encourage newbies to become interested. SeattleDances could and should be a place that supports such writing.

Yeah.

I’ve left some food in the fridge… (i.e., I’ll keep the links on the left live…and I’ll gladly publish comments for the Fandancingtastic entry…and I’ll start gathering info about October. Have you looked to see what’s coming in October?! There’s going to be a lot going on!)

See you at the other end of summer…

– Rosie
June 21, 2010

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