THE DANCE INNOVATIONS PERFORMANCE FOUNDATION
When you think of the dance community, it is easy to picture a few things: a perfect ballerina, a broadway dancer, a Rockette, or a competition dancer. Those images are set in the realm of what is thought of as “perfection,” and rarely deviate from that. The exclusivity of these images is clear, and many times drives individuals that do not fit these molds away from this artistic world.
However, the arts and creativity are essential for growth for all, not just those who fit in this mold. Dance is one of the greatest and most universal forms of artistic expression, and can be executed by ANYONE of any ability. The idea that people feel as though they cannot pursue the arts because of who they are, or because the resources needed are not available, is an ever present gap in our society. This is where the Dance Innovations Performance Foundation comes into play.
The Dance Innovations Performance Foundation (DIPF), a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, was founded in 1999 by Artistic Director Susan M Coutts with the mission to create a forum for area communities to experience the healing power of dance. This foundation strives to support children and parents of children with disabilities and special circumstances to not only enjoy, but perform in the arts. This is manifested in multiple facets of the foundation, including 1) our Kids for Kids scholarships for pursuing the arts, 2) sponsorship to performances, 3) Envision Dance Exchange (EDE), our integrated dance company, 4) collaborative performance opportunities for area artists.
Kids for Kids Scholarship Fund
As of May 2023, Dance Innovations Performance Foundation has awarded over 240 scholarships totaling over $147,000! The proceeds from our performances throughout the year support the scholarship fund, and are presented to individuals with disabilities or special circumstances interested in pursuing the arts. We are proud of all of the individuals that we have helped pursue their artistic dreams, and hope that we can continue to build on this incredible sector of our foundation.
DIPF Performance Sponsorship
DIPF has a multitude of performances throughout the year, including a non-traditional Nutcracker, Family Fall Festival, Jr. Musicals, and performances at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and KNJ Theatre at Peridance in NYC. The purpose of these performances is to not only provide a venue for local artists and high school dancers to showcase their talents, but to also provide families from the community including those with special circumstances to enjoy the arts. We have and will continue to sponsor those families with tickets to our performances, because we believe that dance and the arts can provide joy and enrichment to all, and that all deserve to enjoy the love of dance.
Envision Dance Exchange (EDE) and Collaborative Performances
Envision Dance Exchange is our integrated creative movement company celebrating the alliance of all abilities dancers. Under the leadership of Artistic Director, Susan M. Coutts, many of Dance Innovations advanced students are paired with a child or young adult with disabilities to learn to dance and perform together. This group has grown immensely since its inception in 2014. This group is awarded opportunities to perform with area artists in many of the Foundation’s collaborative performances throughout the year. In Susan’s words, “EDE is a blessing for children with developmental disabilities, and to see their faces light up in joy simply warms the heart.” This dance company is all about supporting one another, fostering lifelong relationships between partners, and supporting the idea that EVERYONE deserves to dance and perform.
Check out our video on Envision Dance Exchange Here!
DIPF performers have touched the lives of many children and families through such organizations as:
Morris School, Newmark School, Family Promise, ECLC, Calais School, YWCA Union County PALS, NJ/NY Metro Abilities Expo, Children’s Specialized Hospital, The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, The Morris County Foster Parents Association, Rainbow’s Inc, Light the Night - Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Make A Wish Foundation
We hope that this awareness and information about DIPF reaches all those who want to get involved and spread the love of dance to all of any ability. If you or anyone you know is interested in joining us and our mission, please visit our website (http://www.danceinnovations.org/dipf) or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Below are our first two performances for the 2023-2024 Season! We hope you can join us, and please reach out if you are interested in sponsorship tickets OR purchasing a sponsorship ticket!
1) "Dancing Through the Seasons" 4th Annual Fall Festival - Saturday, October 21st (Rain Date October 22nd) at the Saint Elizabeth's University Amphitheatre. (2 Convent Road, Morristown New Jersey)
1:00 pm-2:00 Show A
2:00-4:00pm Fall Festival- includes pumpkin painting, dance games, an ice cream truck, and airbrush tattoos
4:00-5:00pm Show B
Tickets: $30 for one performance AND festival entry, $50 for both performances AND festival entry
Cash or check accepted, Checks can be made out to Dance Innovations Performance Foundation
2) "The Spirit of the Holidays: A Nutcracker Tale" - a Non-traditional Nutcracker Performance for all Ages. Saturday, December 9th Shows 2:30pm and 6:00 pm at the Dolan Theater at Saint Elizabeth's University (2 Convent Road, Morristown New Jersey)