Core Values + Equity

We recognize that dance in America has been steeped in Eurocentric and ablist values. Dance Wire was founded on the belief that dance is for everyone.

Advancing equity requires constant work and reflection. Dance Wire as led by our Executive Director, staff, and board are committed to making progress and being open to new ways of thinking. We are not afraid of the growing pains that come with this work and hope that we can serve as a platform for constructive discourse within the dance community. Below are our beliefs which represent core principles that guide our work, and our actions which are the baby steps we have implemented so far. To share your own ideas on how Dance Wire can advance equity in the dance world, please email our Founder & Executive Director Emily Running.


Our Core Beliefs + Values

We believe in the intelligence of the body.
The body is underestimated, underused and undervalued as a way to express, communicate and process.

We unify cultures through a common language.
Movement is a universal language that crosses cultural barriers.

We demand inclusivity.
All ages, races, sexual orientations, gender identities, ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic status', and disability status' are given respect and a voice in our network.

Visibility is power.
We help all artists and organizations shine.

We reduce isolation between groups.
Our centralized network facilitates connectivity and collaboration.

We take representation seriously.
Dance artists, dance administrators, dance content and dance audiences should all be reflective of the community to create true access.


Our Actions


Our Executive Director has been an active member of a group of white anti-racist arts leaders since 2015. In January 2020 the group began working with a facilitator and convening monthly. The group includes consistent personal reflection, reading, research, and discussions coupled with group learning, visual pattern mapping, and deep dives on anti-racism as it shows up in the arts.

Each year we select a new Ambassador Committee which features 10 different artists from various genres and backgrounds as part of our ongoing commitment to listening, learning and staying connected to all pockets of the dance community. Among other things, we do a StoryCorps interview with each Ambassador about the challenges they have faced pursuing dance, the resources and people that have helped them the most, and how they would like to see the dance community evolve. These interviews are an opportunity to both listen and to archive the progression of the dance community over time, giving Dance Wire valuable insight on how to design and develop our programming to truly meet the needs of the community we serve.


It's worth noting that every programmatic discussion we have includes consideration of equity and inclusion. Dance Wire does not have unique program that addresses equity, rather, it's built into the fabric of everything we do in many ways, from small to substantial.

The Dance Wire hosts an inclusive network of over 140 dancer and company members representing 39 different styles of dance. Our network is inclusive of all dance-centered artists and organizations and currently includes people of various ages, races, sexual orientations, gender identities, ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic status', and disability status'. See our THIS is What a Dancer Looks Like campaign on Instagram

Visibility that isn't based on budget. Our Resources for Everyone, including the Calendar, Find a Studio, Artists' Stories, Features, and Performance Previews, gives artists and organizations visibility while exposing both new and existing audience members to the wide array of dance happening in Portland.

We added a Fundraiser category on our Calendar page. Until dance is better funded, the risk associated with pursuing a career with very little income potential limits the ability to advance as an artist to those of higher socioeconomic status. We added this category to give a little boost to all those artists out there who rely on individuals like YOU to get started! Even a small donation or your attendance goes a long way!

If you support any of the statements or actions above, consider a DONATION TO DANCE WIRE to help us advance our services to the dance community and the public.
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