When I started working at Dance Entropy Inc it was operating out of a modest apartment one quick bike ride away from Green Space.
I remember the home cooked meals. And the two cats.
I also remember being terrified that someone had actually took a chance on me- and I had no idea what I was doing- and that I would disappoint with my glaring dearth of experience in not only the non-profit sector, but also in the world of dance.
I came on as an intern, struggling to learn the ways of the city; trying not to be terrified by the enormity of the choice that I made to live in New York. So even while merely sorting press kits spread all over the living-room floor I was quiet and awkward; a mess inside.
Yet fate had delivered me to this particular non-profit. Though way out of my comfort zone, I trusted that this would be a beneficial opportunity. Certainly, the least I could do was show up and try.
In my trying, I gained the experience that comes from being on a two-person team. My skill set suddenly included doing a bit of everything from marketing, design, website maintenance, accounting, sound and lighting, even dealing with customer service in India.
But my personal growth wasn’t the sole reason for staying on. I also believe in what Valerie was, and, through diligent work, is still doing in Queens.
Just like there is a need for jazz clubs, and painting classes, and clown schools there needs to be places to dance and for dance to be made. All the arts are so very vital to everyone’s wellbeing. Even if they don’t consciously acknowledge it. For this larger picture I showed up and tried. And continue to do so from three time zones away.
Art non-profits are fragile things; especially ones run by artists. They don’t always have the staying power that they deserve.
With that ever in mind, I felt if I were one more willing pair of hands ready to do the work for a quite literally home-grown non-profit, Dance Entropy Inc would somehow have a better chance at navigating through the occasionally wild changes that have come along.
Changes, wild or not, weren’t always bad things: In time, Valerie was able to secure an office and greenroom right next door to her studio. We finally got to have proper desks and computers instead of sharing a lap top at the kitchen table. Dancers could have a proper offstage space. More staff members were able to come on board to share the workload.
But the real growth of Dance Entropy Inc isn’t in the size of the staff or square footage of the space, but in its ever increasingly meaningful impact on the NYC performance community.
I feel encouraged when I see signs that its’ roots are going deeper. And there find the ability to thrive; to find greater and greater opportunity to reach out, connect and collaborate.