Mission & History

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Dancers’ Group promotes the visibility and viability of dance. We are the primary dance service organization of the San Francisco Bay Area, home to one of the largest and most diverse dance communities in the US.

Rotunda_chitresh_dasWe serve San Francisco Bay Area artists, the dance community and audiences through programs and services that are as collaborative and innovative as the creative process itself. In response to the needs of its constituents, Dancers’ Group has evolved to fulfill a dual function as a service organization and as a presenter of performance opportunities that maximize the visibility of dance in the Bay Area.

As an artist-run, artist-centered organization, Dancers’ Group designs its programs and services to meet the varying needs of artists as they create and produce new work.

We strive to bring a variety of artists and organizations together to create engaging partnerships and civic collaborations, ensuring that we continue to identify and leverage resources for our members and our community.

We work to build the quality and accessibility of dance in the Bay Area through services including our fiscal sponsorship program, Bay Area Performing Arts Spaces, California Dance Network, professional training seminars, and our monthly publication In Dance.

Our admission-free presenting and co-presenting programs increase visibility for dance artists, engaging a diverse community in an effort to bring new audiences to dance.

feet coming out a windowIn 1982, Dancers’ Group was founded by a highly respected group of teachers, choreographers, community activists and students. Of this group, three primary founders emerged providing the vision and skills to create a new entity. The founders were Vernon Fuquay, executive director; Aaron Osborne, teacher, choreographer and artistic director; and Wayne Hazzard, dancer and school/facility manager. The facility that the organization occupied was known to many as Footwork Studio and to a later generation of artists, students and the general public, Dancers’ Group Studio Theater. In its first ten years, Dancers’ Group emerged as a highly respected school and presenting organization aiming to unify, strengthen, and amplify the contemporary dance community in San Francisco.

In 1992, the region’s current service organization, Dance Bay Area, dissolved and Dancers’ Group stepped forward to ensure that several of Dance Bay Area’s vital services would remain. These services to the dance community continue today and are: the Parachute Fund, fiscal sponsorship and In Dance.

Dancers’ Group was evicted from its home at 3221 22nd Street in the Mission at the height of the space-crisis that erupted from the dot-com boom in 1999. The loss of our physical space allowed Dancers’ Group to investigate its mission and services to the dance field. Since that time, Dancers’ Group has developed new services, re-granting programs and presenting opportunities for dance artists and audiences.

Today, Dancers’ Group is recognized as a national model in the field of dance. Through a network of partnerships that have given it access to supporting dance across the broad spectrum of styles, forms, cultures and practices in the Bay Area, Dancers’ Group has built programs and services designed to fulfill the wide-ranging needs of the region’s diverse dance community.

• Our membership program provides resources and information to 1,458 members (as of May 2018).
• We reach at least 35,000 audience members through free public programs: Bay Area Dance Week, ONSITE and Rotunda Dance Series.
• 120 artists receive fiscal sponsorship.
• We maintain 2 regranting programs.
• Our monthly publication, In Dance, reaches 66,000 readers each year.
• Recognition for our work in the field includes 5 Isadora Duncan Dance Awards

Thanks to You
mock_dressAs in any recounting of one’s history there are many important people to acknowledge. We have compiled an edited list highlighting artists and teachers that have shaped the organization and whose work make up our history: Aaron Osborn, Bayan Jamay, Elvia Marta, Rosa Montoya, Ed Mock, Lucas Hoving, Emily Keeler, Karen Steele, Jan Van Dyke, Joan Lazarus, Anne Bluethenthal, Joanna Haigood, Joe Goode, Cheryl Chaddick, Jon Weaver, Mercy Sidbury, Deborah Hay, Priscilla Regalado, Tim Miller, Anna Halprin, Robert Moses, Cathleen McCarthy, Sara Shelton Mann, Mary Armentrout, Kim Epifano, Mae Chesney, Evangel King, Stephen Pelton, Mary Reid, Mary Carbonara, Ken James, Cynthia Adams, Lea Wolf, Keith Hennessy, Maxine Moerman, Emma Lou Huckabay, Susan Whipp, Rachel Kaplan, Chris Black, Scott Wells, Ruth Zaporah, Jill Togawa, Kevin Clarke, Monique Jenkinson, Micaya, Jo Kreiter, Patrick Makuakane, Katie Faulkner, Erika Chong Shuch, Amara Tabor-Smith.


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44 Gough St, Suite 201
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 920-9181 phone
(415) 920-9173 fax