Boston Dancemakers Residency


The Boston Dancemakers Residency supports Boston-area dance artists who are striving to develop, adapt or reinvent their creative process. Produced through a partnership between Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) and Boston Dance Alliance (BDA), the residency serves as a laboratory for ideas that are in the exploratory phase and need dedicated time and space to be fully realized. 

Designed to promote artistic growth and the development of original ensemble work, dancemakers will be offered support for research, development, rehearsal, financial and production phases of their project. Resources include a regional three-day retreat, six weeks of intensive studio time, discounted rehearsal space, dancemaker and collaborator stipends, and rehearsal pay for up to six dancers.

The residency must be used to develop new work and the majority of rehearsal time should be dedicated to the proposed project. BCA and BDA encourage dancemakers to take risks, invest time and focus in working with their dancers, build the skills to develop and advance original ensemble work, and dive deeply into their creative process 


  • Lead artists must be residents of the Boston metropolitan area (within route 495).
  • Ensemble/company must include a minimum of three local dancers. 
  • Choreographer must have created original work for a minimum of four years and have presented the equivalent of one full evening (60 minutes) of their work within the past two years. Dance made for camera are accepted.
  • Students enrolled in either undergraduate or graduate programs in any field are not eligible.
  • Once awarded a Boston Dancemakers Residency, artists must wait at least three full years before reapplying for the program.
  • Applicants must be current BDA members at the time of application and throughout the residency period.


Two Boston-area dancemakers will be invited to participate in the residency program through an annual call for proposals. Each will be awarded:


  • A three-day, two-night rehearsal retreat at a regional retreat center within 200 miles of Boston.
  • $100 per day of retreat for up to seven people: at least three dancers plus collaborators such as a designer, dramaturg or musician and choreographer. Lodging, food and reimbursement for mileage to the retreat center.

*If public health circumstances in Massachusetts do not allow for retreat gatherings during the residency period, funds may be reallocated at the discretion of Boston Dance Alliance and the funder.


Six weeks of free, exclusive rehearsal and performance space at BCA for an intensive rehearsal and development process. Rehearsals for the intensive will be held in Martin Hall in the Calderwood Pavilion on the BCA South End Campus. The studio is 33ft x 46ft with hardwood sprung floor, windows and mirrors.

  • Additional discounted rehearsal space in Artist Studio Building at BCA for $10/hour, as available, at any point within the residency year. Grantees are also eligible for discounted rehearsal space at Lyric Stage Studio, subject to availability.
  • A stipend of $2000 to be used at the dancemaker’s discretion. 
  • Payment for up to six dancers for an extended rehearsal period. Rehearsal hours are paid at minimum wage, $13.50/hour for up to 72 hours. 
  • Two hours of business and career consulting with Debra Cash, Executive Director of Boston Dance Alliance.
  • Two hours of consulting with staff from New England Foundation for the Arts. 
  • Administrative, production and marketing facilitation by Andrea Blesso, Director of Dance at Boston Center for the Arts.
  • Twelve hours of artistic mentorship from Andrea Blesso, Director of Dance at Boston Center for the Arts.
  • Peer feedback sessions with fellow resident dancemakers.


  • A fully produced performance or work-in-progress showing at Boston Center for the Arts during the final week of studio time. *If public health circumstances in Massachusetts do not allow for performance gatherings during the residency period, public event may be adapted in communication with artists, BCA, and BDA.
  • Lighting and production assistance from a technical director.
  • Access to lighting and sound equipment for showcase performance including risers, pipe and drape, lighting instruments and sound system.
  • Photographic and video documentation of the performance. 
  • Printed promotional materials produced by BCA such as postcards, showcase programs, posters, press outreach.
  • Promotion in BCA and BDA program listings and website. 
  • Resident dance artists may be invited to perform brief excerpts of their work at the BCA Ball, BDA Gala or other organizational events.


Two Boston-area dancemakers will be invited to participate in the residency program through an annual call for proposals. This program is open to a range of dance genres and movement-based artists. We welcome applications from choreographers based in the Greater Boston area (within route 495). Artists of color, artists whose original work is based on culturally specific dance forms, and those working in non-proscenium formats are encouraged to apply. Dancemakers stipend for the intensive does not include transportation or housing. 

Applications will be evaluated by guest panelists on the following criteria:  

  • The quality of work shown in the video sample and overall level of professionalism displayed
  • Proposed concept of work to be developed during the residency
  • Potential impact on the development of the artist’s career and risk taken in the creative process

Andrea Blesso, Director of Dance, Boston Center for the Arts ( and Debra Cash, Executive Director, Boston Dance Alliance ( are available to answer questions and provide additional information about the residency.


Boston Center for the Arts is the nexus of the arts in Boston, fostering the development of contemporary visual and performing arts and convening artists and audiences to create, explore and celebrate all creative disciplines. An integral part of the cultural fabric of the city of Boston, Boston Center for the Arts utilizes its historic campus in the vibrant South End to present world-class exhibitions and performances, provide affordable work space, engage cultural consumers throughout the region, and nurture artists with the resources to take risks and develop new art works.


Boston Dance Alliance builds capacity for dance by identifying and creating shared resources, information and productive partnerships to help dance flourish across the Boston metropolitan area and New England region. BDA is an independent service organization representing dancers, choreographers, teachers, presenters, allied arts and cultural professionals, arts journalists and scholars, wellness and health providers and dance enthusiasts brought together across dance genres and geographies. BDA strives to increase cultural equity and access to dance for diverse communities, build dance audiences and promote quality and sustainability.

This special opportunity is made possible in part by the Aliad Fund at The Boston Foundation.