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 local 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. The application cycle will open on January 31, 2018 must be submitted electronically to danceinitiative@gmail.com by March 15, 2018.  2017 Development Grant Application

The Promise Scholarship awards financial support of $1,000 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 awarded as often 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 are due on Applications are due on March 15, 2018 and must be submitted electronically to danceinitiative@gmail.com.  2017 Promise Scholarship Application


The Launchpad, co-facilitated by Dance Initiative and Carbondale Arts, is a community 'Space for the Arts' and provides affordable and accessible studio space for performance and movement-based artists to teach, create and rehearse. The Launchpad houses two affordable, professional grade studios, Studio C & the Open Studio as well as Carbondale Art's offices, fine art gallery and Artique Gift Shop. For more information or to reserve space at The Launchpad, visit launchpadcarbondale.com.


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 by local community dancers, CoMotion creates repertoire that educates and inspires a passion for the art of dance while also providing a transformative performing arts experience for patrons.  

Annual CoMotion projects include Dance Initiative’s Regional Artists in Residences, Dance Initiative Commissions, Carbondale Art’s Green Is The New Black Fashion Extravaganza and projects that CoMotion Company members choose to present independently of Dance Initiative. Because CoMotion’s core focus is creation and collaboration, CoMotion dancers are encouraged to initiate and implement choreographic projects. These projects can be submitted for commission to Dance Initiative or completed independently in consideration of CoMotion’s yearly calendar. 



Dance Initiative had the privilege of hosting NYC dance artist Melissa Toogood The Launchpad on May 13, 2017. Toogood is a New York Dance and Bessie Performance Award winning performer and has performed with Kimberly Bartosik, Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, Pam Tanowitz Dance and many more including Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener (recent Dance Initiative Artists In Residence, 2016). Melissa was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, has taught Cunningham Technique since 2007 and is 2013 & 2015 Merce Cunningham Fellow. During her time here, Toogood taught an All Levels Workshop, a CoMotion Company Class and performed a solo by Pam Tanowitz. 


Rujeko Dumbutshena joined Dance Initiative for its 5th Annual Spectrum Dance Festival in 2016 to teach an Zimbabwean inspired dance workshop. Rujeko was an original ensemble member of FELA! The Broadway Musical as well as a teacher of West African, Congolese, modern and ballet techniques. It was a privilege to watch her teach and her class was packed!


Dance Initiative is pleased to announce the 2017 Promise Scholarship and Development Grant recipients, David Gabriel & Shannon Jones! Fourteen year old David Gabriel is a serious student at The School at Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and has set a goal to become a professional dancer. He will use the Promise Scholarship to attend the Summer Course at  Pacific Northwest Ballet's School. Shannon Jones is a Movement Artist and Educator who teaches classes and creates community projects throughout the Valley. She will use the Development Grant to attend a training course at the Tamalpa Institute and will receive a Level 1 certification for Expressive Arts Therapy upon completion. Congratulations David & Shannon!


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


danceinitiative@gmail.com   |   970 963-8681