DANC began with focus groups of freelance dancers hosted by Griff Braun and Evvie Allison at the American Guild of Musical Artists in 2018. After attending one of the focus groups, Alex Rodabaugh asked if AGMA would host monthly meetings for freelance dancers to discuss unionizing on a regular bases in February 2019. These meetings continued and after attending meetings regularly David Gonsier, an AGMA member and freelance dancer, joined Evvie and Alex to form Dance Artists’ National Collective as Steering Committee members. After a year of meetings, in February 2020, the Steering Committee invited Antuan Byers and Megan Wright to join the committee as well. When the COVID-19 crisis became apparent in the US in March, we began virtual weekly meetings to address issues arising for dancers suddenly shut out of employment. In July 2020, the Steering Committee expanded again to include Catherine Kirk.
In late 2020, the Steering Committee opened and evolved to consist of a circulating group of active DANC members who continued to show up. At the same time, DANC members voted to shift the organization’s focus and center the needs of its BIPOC and disabled members. In December 2020, DANC began to reassess its tenets and operational logistics. A committee called “Core Documents” formed to draft a new Mission Statement and Guiding Principles for DANC. Simultaneously, a committee called “Internal Structure Review” formed in order to reevaluate DANC’s leadership structure and decision-making processes. In April 2021, DANC voted to adopt its first Mission Statement and Guiding Principles. And in September 2021, DANC voted to try a new Leadership Committee structure on a trial basis. DANC’s Leadership Committee is a fluctuating group of 7-10 people who are paid modest stipends for their work.
In fall 2022, DANC will again engage in a process of reevaluating its leadership and decision-making structures.