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Visions and Voices: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Professional Associations

A guide to research on dance to accompany the Visions and Voices program featuring Alvin Ailey Dance Theater.

Professional Associations

This is a select list of professional and affiliated organizations dedicated to serving the needs of dance professionals. Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from organization websites.

  • California Dance Educators Association -- a non-profit professional organization dedicated to supporting and promoting quality dance instruction and promoting opportunities and access to in-depth professional development towards that aim. The Association also works to establish dance as an integral part of the curricula for preschool though post secondary education and develops content standards for California schools.
  • Career Transition for Dancers -- a nonprofit organization that enables pre-professional to mid-career and mature dancers to define their future career possibilities and develop the skills necessary to excel in a variety of disciplines. The organization offers programs in career counseling, financial assistance, and informational resources.
  • Classical Dance Alliance -- provides educational and learning support resources and services intended to enrich dance instruction and training of classical dance and ballet students.
  • Dance Critics Association -- founded in 1973, the Dance Critics Association consists of  freelance and full-time writers for newspapers, magazines, and websites across the United States, Europe, and Asia who discuss issues that impact the world of dance in general, and the art form of dance criticism in particular.
  • Dance Educators of America -- a non-profit professional organization established in 1932 dedicated to improving the quality and teaching abilities of its member teachers and enhancing their education of students, as well as furthering the professional and ethical standards in the performing and stage arts and of dance in all its forms.
  • Dance Films Association -- a non profit membership organization devoted to encouraging choreographers to enter the world of filmmaking, for filmmakers to discover the rich history of dance, and for audiences to engage with the broad spectrum of these films. The Association serves the global community of dance and film artists, academics and critics, as well as students and established professionals by providing membership opportunities, connecting artists and organizations, fostering new works for new audiences, and sharing essential resources.
  • Dance USA -- a national service organization devoted to addressing the needs, concerns, and interests of non-profit professional dance organizations, dancers, choreographers, and anyone affiliated with dance instruction and staging. Site includes information about advocacy, building audiences, research resources, and promoting leadership opportunities within the dance profession.
  • George Balanchine Foundation -- an organization that sponsors a broad range of activities and programs in support of research, ballet reconstructions, publications, lectures and videos, and other projects that further the Balanchine legacy and advance the development of dance and its allied arts in the United States and throughout the world.  For a list of Balanchine ballets in active repertory, visit The George Balanchine Trust's website.
  • Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance -- a registered educational charity based in London, the mission of this agency is to educate the public in the art of dancing in all its forms, to promote knowledge of dance, to maintain and improve teaching standards, and to provide up-to-date techniques for members through a wide variety of courses, summer schools and congresses, updated teaching syllabi and techniques upon which to train dancers for the profession.
  • International Dance Council -- a non-governmental organization founded in 1973 within the UNESCO, the Council serves as the official umbrella organization for all forms of dance by bringing together international, national and local federations, associations, schools, companies and individuals in 155 countries. the most important organizations, as well as select individuals active in dance. It offers an International Certification of Dance Studies and sponsors World Dance Day each year.
  • International Tap Association -- founded in 1987, the Association works to educate dance professionals and the public about tap as an art form, encourages the creation of new performance venues and touring circuits and the informed presentation of tap dance, helps to preserve tap an American art form, and establishes support mechanisms and communication networks for tap dancers and affiliated groups.
  • National Association of Dance and Affiliated Arts -- began in 1949, this is a non-profit dance teachers organization dedicated to serving the pedagogical needs of dance professionals and students of dance through special programing and workshops for both instructors and students. The programs focus on the latest teaching tips and insights into what is new in the dance profession.
  • National Dance Council of America -- a consortium of seventeen membership organizations making up the Official Governing Council of Dance and Dancesport in the United States. More than 25,000 dance professionals and over 110 sanctioned competitions and championships are supported through the establishment and maintenance of high standards in dance education created and accredited by the organization.
  • National Dance Education Organization -- a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and promotion of high quality dance education by providing the dance artist, educator, and administrator a network of resources and support, a base for advocacy, and access to programs that focus on the importance of dance in the human experience. The organization does this, in part, by forging alliances with over 150 federal and state agencies and arts and education associations at local, state, and national levels in the United States and in select international communities.
  • Regional Dance America -- an organization of five regional associations made up of mostly pre-professional dance companies that sponsor dance festivals, provide training opportunities through annual scholarships, and help choreographers create new dance works. The purpose is to inspire the growth and development of the dancers, choreographers, directors, and companies throughout the United States and Canada.


Below are directories listing information about dance. Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.

  • Gale Directory Library -- provides access to a wide range of directories of research centers, interest groups, educational programs, professional associations, and other groups. Basic search lets users quickly look up entries by name or keyword, or use Advanced Search to search specific fields of information.
  • -- web directory of resources and services for ballet, ballroom, modern, folk, jazz, tap, and other types of dancing and dancers.