The 92nd Street Y invites applications and nominations for this important leadership position. The Director of Dance is responsible for the strategic vision and execution of all programs of the Harkness Dance Center at 92Y including public performance and presentations, the School of Dance, as well as the Dance Education Laboratory (DEL), the 92Y’s ground-breaking professional development program for dance educators. The full position description may be found here: https://mcaonline.com/searches/dance-director-92nd
The 92nd Street Y is among New York City’s – and indeed, the nation’s – signature arts institutions – all the more remarkable, given that 92Y’s programming spans so many areas. Since its founding in 1935, 92Y’s Dance Center, named the Harkness Dance Center (HDC) in 1994, has been a focal point of American modern dance and a pioneer in dance performance, education and professional development. It is a place where dance history is made. The very first dance program at 92Y featured Martha Graham, Louis Horst, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman and Hanya Holm. Graham, Humphrey, Weidman and Holm, the “Big Four” of modern dance, were the founding faculty members of the Dance Center’s education department. Doris Humphrey became the first director of the Center in 1945. Subsequently, a teacher training division was established in 1954, demonstrating HDC’s commitment to the dance education profession. In 1987, a Space Grant program was established, providing rehearsal space to dancers each year for the creation of new work.
In 2009/10, the 92nd Street Y Dance Center celebrated its 75th Anniversary. As one of New York’s founding institutions supporting contemporary dance and as the oldest U.S. dance institution still in its original location, 92Y’s Harkness Dance Center is intent on retaining its leadership role in dance and dance education.
Much information may be found on HDC’s website: https://tinyurl.com/92Y-Harkness
HDC is comprised of a panoply of programs which fall into these three primary areas:
- Dance Education Laboratory (DEL)
- School of Dance
Public performances including the Harkness Dance Festival, Dig Dance weekend performances, Fridays at Noon, and the Mobile Dance Film Festival combine to offer a broad array of dance experiences open to the public. The Space Grant program, which provides emerging artists with the resources to explore and create new work, continues alongside the Artist-in-Residence program where HDC invests in selected promising choreographers and companies to incubate new work. Recent MacArthur “Genius” Award winners Kyle Abraham and Michelle Dorrance were presented at 92Y, and a number of artists at various stages of their careers can claim 92Y as an early supporter of their new works.
Dance Education Laboratory (DEL)
Founded by Jody Arnhold, The Dance Education Laboratory (DEL), is an innovative training and professional development program for dance educators of children and teens. It was established in 1995 and is the gold standard of professional development for dance educators. DEL partners with universities and colleges to provide graduate and undergraduate course credit to participants and with the public schools to create an ecosystem where talented dance educators are identified, supported and placed into the workforce. 92Y’s Dance Therapy Program is another interdisciplinary professional development program which offers dance therapists, psychologists, social workers and educators with America Dance Therapy Association-approved training to enhance their practice.
School of Dance
92Y’s School of Dance provides instruction and performance opportunities to thousands of children, teens, adults and professional dancers and educators in a variety of genres from modern, ballet, tap, and jazz to hula, Duncan Technique, flamenco, and other forms. The faculty are all committed to 92Y’s philosophy of dance education and many have professional performing experience and advanced degrees in dance.
The 92nd Street Y is comprised of two buildings (joined) – nearly one-half of a city block – on NYC’s upper east side. The Dance Department uses five studio spaces for the many classes it offers; all of the studios are shared spaces with other 92Y programming arms. Performances are presented in the Kaufmann Concert Hall, a 905-seat venue as well as in Buttenweiser Hall, a flexible-use space with a capacity of up to 280 (but generally about 100 for dance performances).
Position and Responsibilities
The Director is the principal leader of HDC, reporting to Alyse Myers, Deputy Executive Director. It is useful to articulate the expectation that the individual in this post will be engaged a majority of the time in artistic and programmatic matters but, as HDC’s Director, will also be aligning dance programming internally both inside HDC and more broadly within 92Y. The primary roles of the Director are as follows:
- Set overall vision and direction for HDC by providing strong organizational leadership and keen strategic planning.
- Oversee HDC’s public presentations, dance classes (curriculum and pedagogy), DEL, and community programs in ways that deepen the 92Y / Harkness brand that is defined in part as diverse, accessible, and welcoming.
- Take responsibility for P&L of all HDC programs, making choices that continue to build audience numbers, student enrollment, donor breath, and ultimately revenues.
- Serve as the public face of HDC.
- In concert with 92Y’s development office, engage in donor cultivation.
- Create a working environment in which the staff and faculty can do their best work and HDC’s artists and audiences enjoy rich experiences of dance.
- Lead all HDC administrative and business operations, effectively aligning and managing resources and creating a culture of productivity, inclusivity, creativity, and innovation.
Strong candidates will have the following experience and capabilities:
- 10+ years’ experience of working within a high-profile dance or creative arts organization.
- Active network within the New York and global dance community along with knowledge of different kinds of art and educational issues, resources and the New York City school system.
- Proven effective leadership skills with the ability to engage and inspire team members to consistently strive to meet challenging goals.
- Ability to manage the demands of a diverse group of people with ease and diplomacy.
- Demonstrated project management experience with the proven ability to manage detailed projects from conception through to delivery and evaluation.
- Analytical problem solver with the ability to identify and solve problems creatively, quickly and effectively.
- Effective time management skills accompanied by a focus for detail and the capability to coordinate projects successfully across departments.
- Strong organizational, verbal, written and interpersonal skills accompanied by effective and diplomatic communication skills.
The ideal candidate will also have the following characteristics:
- A passion for dance in all its manifestations.
- An articulate, compelling, and engaging presence, effective in representing HDC.
- A collaborative nature and ability to work effectively with a diverse population.
- At minimum, a bachelor’s degree in dance, education, or fine arts.
Compensation, Application Procedure and Start Date
The hiring of the Director will be determined by search committee comprised of these members:
- Alyse Myers, Deputy Executive Director;
- Jody Arnhold, Founder of the Dance Education Laboratory;
- Christine Chen, Director, Strategic Programming;
- Sharon Luckman, former Executive Director, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Application materials include the following:
- Cover letter of no more than 1½ pages;
- Résumé or CV;
- Salary requirements;
- Four professional references, including name, email, phone and relationship.
The salary will be competitive with other dance positions of comparable stature and size. Finalists will be asked to provide permission for background checks as necessary. Benefits include:
- Health, vision and dental insurance (largely employer-funded);
- Basic life/disability insurance (employer-funded);
- Paid vacation, sick time and holidays;
- Enrollment in UJA pension plan (employer funded at 3% of your annual salary);
- 403b eligibility;
- Flexible pre-tax spending account;
- Free gym membership at 92Y’s May Center for Health, Fitness and Sport.
92Y hopes to make its decision by spring 2019, with the candidate onsite as soon as possible thereafter. Recommendations of candidates are welcomed and may be submitted to the consultants leading this search, David Mallette or Jason Palmquist through this email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested candidates are invited to confidentially send a résumé, cover letter, and at least three professional references (name, work relationship, email, phone). All materials must be in Word or .pdf format with the applicant’s name included as part of the document file name. Please provide materials through this link: