Upping the ante on dance coverage and conversation

Open Call for tD Writers!

by Kalila Kingsford Smith

thINKingDANCE is a collective of independent writers who produce media about dance in its broadest sense. Founded in 2011, we publish a digital journal focused on the Philadelphia area. Our mission is to:

  • Meaningfully contribute to the creative ecosystem by marking the presence of dance and movement-based arts
  • Innovate and foster the practice of dance writing in traditional and experimental forms
  • Work to dismantle dance criticism's status as a gatekeeper by engaging performing artists and writers who have historically been sidelined

We pursue these goals by training together through peer-critique sessions, workshops with guest educators, and a two-tiered editing process. thINKingDANCE is a place where ideas thrive, where editors and writers engage one another in transformative dialogue, and where we imagine a more just dance media landscape.

We are seeking new writers and encourage the following people to apply:

  • Those interested in developing their writing skills and practicing constructive critique
  • Those with lived experience in the following dance forms: American vernacular dance, African diasporic dance, indigenous dance forms, percussive dance forms, folk dance, social dance, and street dance, among others
  • Those who value experimentation and risk taking in the practice of dance writing
  • Those with a particular interest in our mission statement

What do we expect of thINKingDANCE writers?

  • Writers are encouraged to attend at least 8 out of 12 monthly thINKingDANCE meetings, typically held once a month on Zoom, on a weekday from 7:00-8:30 pm EDT
  • Writers are invited to two workshops/retreats per year (typically on a weekend day)
  • Writers are encouraged to contribute 6-10 articles per year, featuring a variety of formats: reviews, interview, news, think pieces (our version of op-eds), multimedia, book and film reviews
  • Writers are invited to participate as editors after completing an editor training. tD leadership is open to any writer demonstrating an interest in sustaining our organization

How do thINKingDANCE writers benefit from being involved?

  • As of November 2020, every writer is compensated at $50/article
  • Writers engage in an encouraging and thoughtful editing process, with two editors providing support for every article
  • Writers publish their work on the tD website (read worldwide)
  • Writers gain membership in a community that values collective leadership, creativity, innovation, and leading change in the industry
  • Writers receive press access to tickets at a range of performances and film screenings in Philadelphia and beyond, and access to books when writing book reviews

Criteria for Selection:

  • Potential for committed engagement and willingness to grow with this Philadelphia-based organization
  • A writing sample that displays a distinctive voice and area of interest, curiosity, creative expression, and provocative ideas
  • Demonstrating particular interest in our mission statement

How to apply?

Please send by email:

  • A letter of interest indicating any relevant experience and motivation for participating. Please try to address the question: How do you move through the world, and how does that shape your vision of the future of dance writing? (One page maximum)
  • A short writing sample—we welcome dance-related writing, but other material is also acceptable (1000 words maximum)

Send with title “tD Writer Call” to the Editorial Board at editor@thinkingdance.net

Deadline for application materials: January 4th, 2021; applications will be accepted after deadline if there are still spots open on the writing roster. All applicants will be contacted by January 18th, 2021.

Artists and writers who have been historically sidelined in dance criticism are encouraged to apply. Currently, English language proficiency is required. However, in the future we hope to publish articles in languages other than English.



By Kalila Kingsford Smith
November 27, 2020

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