About Diversity, Inclusion, and the Role of Men in Dance

As society evolves, we too are evolving with it. 2019 brings about changes for MEN IN DANCE.

First of all we are dropping part of our name: “Against the Grain.” When this organization was founded we sincerely felt that pursuing a career in dance was a major uphill battle for a man. That is not true in the same way today, though there are still far fewer men in the dance field as a whole. We still acknowledge, and believe in, the unique dynamic and viewpoint that men can bring to the art and want to continue to celebrate that uniqueness in our Festivals and Adjudicated Showcase events. We have also adjusted our mission statement to better reflect that goal:  

“MEN IN DANCE is committed to seeking, supporting and presenting cutting edge male-identified dance in all of its colors.”    

We have always welcomed all gender identities and sexual orientations to our events and to work with this organization but we are taking the step of updating verbiage so that everyone feels acknowledged and accepted as well. We know that diversity only helps to strengthen the art that we present—with that we want artists to feel comfortable and supported and for our patrons and contributors to embrace this diversity with their support and participation in our events. Together, let’s make MEN IN DANCE an even stronger entity!  

Read SeattleDances' review on our updated mission!

On a related note MEN IN DANCE strongly objects to Lara Spencer’s comments on Good Morning America and state that boys who love ballet and take it at Prince George’s young age should be supported, celebrated, and revered. This is precisely why MID exists: to combat this ignorance and to illuminate the beauty and power that men who dance show, and the courage that it takes for a man to dance in this world! I have never met so many impassioned people as I have in the world of dance. Good for Prince George, and for his Royal parents, for supporting him and importantly for saying so!

Read more about it HERE

Congratulations to our 2019 Adjudicated Choreographer Showcase Artists!

For the third biennial year the Company is presenting and adjudicating five new choreographers, carefully selected from applicants around the country.  The showcase will be held October 4 and 5 at the Velocity Founders Theatre on Capitol Hill in Seattle. This year features a range of styles, experience, and background, and will again bring two professional panels to the table who will give feedback to the choreographers following the performance of the new pieces. Audiences will also be providing live observations by way of feedback cards. In this process, the goal is to start a conversation about the art and science of what it takes to make a successful dance piece and to continue to explore the uniqueness of setting pieces on male-identifying dance artists! Tickets will go on sale September 1st. For more info, or to help to support the MEN IN DANCE mission, please visit our website at menindance.org.

This year all five Choreographers have strong ties to Seattle and are making it their home base at least part of the time home base.  They and their pieces are:

Daniel Ojeda who works both in Seattle and Boise, ID where he performs and choreographs for Ballet Idaho. He has also recently created works for The Treefort Music Festival, and ARC Dance in Seattle. Daniel will be creating a small group piece, dealing with toxic masculinity, and its role in contributing to bullying.

Beth Terwilleger who has had pieces produced in London, NYC, and at 12 Minutes Max and The Converge Dance Festival in Seattle. Beth was also the Creative Director of The Califa Arts Collaborative in Austin, TX. She is creating a quartet, playing with the differences and similarities, of the energy of men and boys in our society.

Elise Meiners Schwicht who has worked with the SALT II Contemporary Company, and has also created work for the Converge Dance Festival.  Elise has also performed roles for the Utah Valley Civic Ballet Company. She is exploring how a single man is affected and changed by a group of men who surround him and are interacting with him.

Nahshon Marden who recently appeared with The Sensible Theatre Company in Seattle, and participated in the GSBA’s Equalux Fundraiser. He has also appeared with the Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre, and California’s Bare Outlines. Nahshon is creating a duet for the Showcase dealing with the themes of what it is to be a male witness of the victim/enabler/perpetrator in our society.

Joel Hathaway, a freelance artist, who has served as a Company Performer and Resident Choreographer for the Missouri Contemporary Ballet company. Joel also danced with the Milwaukee Ballet II Compan and is creating a group piece about finding the courage to "make a change" in one’s life.

The MEN IN DANCE Board of Producers look forward to bringing these pieces to the Velocity Space and to helping these artists strengthen their choreographic works while educating the audience in the creative process and getting the community engaged in conversation around choreography

Please contact Kince de Vera at kince@verumcreative.com or reach MEN IN DANCE by emailing menindancesea@gmail.com.

Applications are now open for the 2018 Men In Dance Festival!

Against the Grain/Men in Dance is seeking proposals for its 12th Anniversary Festival to be held September 28, 29, 30, 2018  (Program 1) and October 5, 6, 7, 2018 (Program 2) at the Broadway Performance Hall on Capitol Hill in Seattle.

Choreographers may be male or female, but all performers must be male-identifying. Selected choreographers will be programmed to show work in either Program 1 or Program 2. Choreographers and dancers will also be paid an honorarium. Depending on the success of our grant applications and box office returns the payments may increase. We encourage group pieces but will also consider solos and duets. Please advise us if you have a preferred performance weekend.

Application Deadline is Sunday April 29, 2018.


Men In Dance Festival 2018

Dates for the 2018 festival have been confirmed and will commence at Broadway Performance Hall

Performance Dates are:
September 28-30th & October 5-7th, 2018

Stay tuned for further annoucements including audition opportunities, Artist annoucements, and rehearsal schedules!