Dance Initiative was organized in 2009 to serve and support the needs of local dancers in their pursuit of professional and artistic development, projects and careers.


Dance Initiative was organized in 2009 to promote the art of dance in the Roaring Fork Valley and neighboring counties of Colorado. The organization serves and supports the needs of local dancers in their pursuit of professional and artistic development, projects and careers. Dance Initiative also strives to cultivate community appreciation for dance by bringing unique and inspiring performance and educational opportunities to the area.

Dance Initiative provides in-school creative dance education to public schools, hosts an Artists In Residence Program for dance artists all over the  country, produces an annual Spectrum Dance Festival, provides scholarship and grant funding for local dance artists & students, arranges numerous workshop series, sponsors of the performing art studios at The Launchpad, supports the creation dance through commissioning local choreographic work, and sponsors the rehearsals and performance of local dancers of CoMotion: a conscious movement project. 


The Development Grant of up to $2,000 provides financial support to experienced dancers, choreographers, and teachers of dance to further their education and development in dance and is awarded once a year to one selected applicant. Applicants are not required to demonstrate financial need but rather to select a dance program to attend that has demonstrated a standard of excellence. All applicants must detail what they expect to accomplish in the program and provide concrete details on how they will share their professional development with the Roaring Fork Valley community. Applications are due on March 15, 2017 and must be submitted electronically to danceinitiative@gmail.com.  2017 Development Grant Application

The Promise Scholarship is to provide financial support for serious students of dance in the community who have exhibited determination, commitment and passion for dance and have been recommended by their teachers as having significant "promise" of achieving a professional dance career. The scholarship is $1,000 and will be awarded as ofter as the Grant & Scholarship committee deems appropriate, but applications will be considered once each year in April. The award, if made, will be given in May. Demonstration of financial need is not required. Applications will submit an essay describing their commitment to dance and giving examples of their determination to achieve a professional career. Each application must be accompanied by recommendations from two teachers. Applications are due on Applications are due on March 15, 2017 and must be submitted electronically to danceinitiative@gmail.com.  2017 Promise Scholarship Application


The Launchpad is a community 'Space for the Arts.' In 2012, Dance Initiative recognized a growing need for affordable and accessible space for movement-based artists and musicians to teach, create and rehearse. Two years later, after dedicated search,  the performing arts in Carbondale have found an inclusive home. In addition to a fine art gallery, promenade and small shop, The Launchpad houses two affordable, professional grade studios for dance artists and other performing arts organizations to teach, create, and share their work: Studio C and The Open Studio.

Studio C is a state of the art enclosed space that includes 680 square feet of spring-loaded Harlequin dance floor, ballet barres, and mirrors--designed by and for professional dancers. The Open Studio features 1150 square feet of spring-loaded Harlequin dance floor, rigging for aerial silks and other aerial arts, is open to the public for viewing classes and rehearsals in progress, and can be converted to be a small, intimate performance space.

For more information or to reserve space at The Launchpad, visit launchpadcarbondale.com.


Photo credit: The School of American Ballet

Photo credit: The School of American Ballet


In August 2014, Dance Initiative sponsored a Ballet Master Class taught by Suki Schorer, a former Principal of the New York City Ballet and currently the Brown Foundation Senior Faculty Chair at the School of American Ballet. The class was structured for intermediate and advanced students and teachers of ballet. Suki danced with George Balanchine's New York City Ballet from 1959 to 1972 and is a Balanchine Trust répétiteur. In addition, Suki Schorer taught at Scuola di Ballo del Teatro alla Scala in Milan and Ecole de Danse de l'Opéra National de Paris. This class proved to be an exceptional opportunity for teachers and students in the Roaring Fork Valley, with one promising young dancer receiving a scholarship as a result of the class.

Dana Ganssle Ellis photographed by Austin Lottimer

Dana Ganssle Ellis photographed by Austin Lottimer


CoMotion is a contemporary dance project, produced and supported by Dance Initiative, that strives to develop multidimensional works and explore creative boundaries through collaboration. Founded in 2013, CoMotion creates repertoire that educates and inspires a passion for the art of dance while also providing a transformative performing arts experience for patrons. 

Photo credit: ahh!

Photo credit: ahh!


King Charles, an international dance star, is known for his his unique style, Chicago Footwork. His world-renowned dance company, The FootworKINGZ has been featured on America’s Got Talent & America’s Best Dance Crew. He has worked with many top artists including Madonna & Will.I.Am and continues to show the world why he is one of a kind and can blow audiences away with his energy and creativity. K.C. recently performed to a standing, cheering, sell out audience at the Vail International Dance Festival and was called “Brilliant” by the NY Time critic, Alistair Macaulay. King Charles will teach a master class and perform during the 2014 Spectrum Dance Festival's Battle to The Drums.

Jaden Grimm, photographed by Jordan Matter

Jaden Grimm, photographed by Jordan Matter


Jaden Grimm is a dedicated ballet student who has trained with The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet School since she was 8 years old under the direction of Melanie Doskocil. Grimm, now thirteen, was highly recommended by her teachers, Doskocil and Melissa Paul Gorst, for not only her physical and artistic talent, but also her uncommon determination and discipline. In addition to her dedication, Grimm has also been recognized for her skill through Denver Ballet Guild and Youth America Grand Prix. She has auditioned for several highly competitive summer intensive programs including Ellison Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Saratoga Summer Dance Intensive, Vail Valley Dance Intensive and Master Ballet Academy and was accepted into each of these programs. She will be using the Promise Scholarship to attend the world-renowned Master Ballet Academy in Scottsdale, Arizona. This program is a rigorous 8-week intensive that offers Vaganova training in ballet technique, variations, pointe, leaps and turns, pas de deux/partnering in addition to contemporary ballet, stretch and strengthening, jazz and modern, neo classical, flamenco, ballroom, character, yoga, musical theatre, tumbling, repertoire and more.


The Launchpad at 76 S. 4th Street, Carbondale, CO


danceinitiative@gmail.com   |   970 963-8681