Dance Lab Application

Application deadline: Tuesday, May 30, 2023.


Dance Lab at Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) offers resources for dance-based artists to research, expand, and rebuild existing work through a timely lens without the pressure of having a final product. An artist’s creative process is never quite “one and done” nor does the arc of a project come to a complete end, even after the development phase of that project: there is often more to be researched as it continues to grow, evolve, and inform all that comes after.

Designed to amplify and support a project over the course of a six-month time period, Dance Lab at BCA offers three dance-based artists support for research, development, rehearsal, outreach, and mentorship. Resources will be tailored for each artist’s needs and point of their artistic arc.

Throughout their time on the BCA campus, each lead artist will be awarded four weeks of studio time and the opportunity to invite guests and colleagues for Open Rehearsals/Feedback Sessions on the work being developed. These sessions will be filmed for artists’ documentation and future use in grant applications.

Black Lives Matter. It is incumbent upon us to act accordingly and to identify those ways that we, as a leading cultural organization, can stop perpetuating pervasive and systemic white supremacist practices and lead through our actions. Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) is committed to doing the hard work of dismantling even the most subtle forms of white supremacy in our organization, in our practices, and in the work we do to help make Boston a place where ALL artists can live and thrive.



  • The residency must be used to research, expand, and rebuild existing work and rehearsal time must be dedicated to the proposed project.
  • Lead dance-based artists must be residents of the Boston metropolitan area (within route 495).
  • Once awarded a Dance Lab, artists must wait at least two full years before reapplying for the program.
  • Students enrolled in either undergraduate or graduate programs in any field at the time of application are not eligible.


The 2023–2024 season will include three residencies through the same call for applications. Artists may select up to four weeks or an equivalent of twenty eight days of rehearsal time between October 2023 through April 2024 and all residency events must occur within those dates.

Artists will partner with BCA staff to develop their preferred residency timeline for rehearsals and feedback sessions. Ideal residency structure may include one or two Open Rehearsals/Feedback Sessions at varying points of the residency timeline to spark conversation and sharing of perspectives around the project being explored.



Three Boston-area dance-based artists will be invited to participate in the 2023-2024 residency program. Each will be awarded:


  • Four weeks or an equivalent of 28 days of free rehearsal space at BCA for the development process. Rehearsals will be held on BCA campus from October 2023 through April 2024 and do not need to be held on consecutive weeks.
  • Series of small open rehearsals to invite guests, mentors, VIPs, and peers to come and share feedback for a feedback loop.
  • Video documentation of the work created during the residency and of feedback given during open rehearsals.
  • Artistic mentorship, administrative support, and industry advocacy by Andrea Blesso, Director of Dance & Interdisciplinary Arts at Boston Center for the Arts.
  • Resident artists may be invited to perform brief excerpts of or speak about their work at BCA organizational events.


Applications are due on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 by 9am.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by August 2023.

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 with disabilities, artists whose original work is based on culturally specific dance forms, and those working in non-proscenium formats are encouraged to apply.

>> Please apply through THIS ONLINE FORM. <<

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

  • Proposed concept of work to be developed during the residency.
    • What do you plan to research, rework, or further develop during the residency?
    • Where was this concept drafted or initially sparked?
  • Potential impact on the growth of the dance artist’s career and risk taken in the creative process.
    • How would this residency push you to take a creative risk, adapt your process, or propel your career?
    • Why must you work on this project at this point in your career?
  • Quality of work shown in the video sample and overall level of professionalism displayed.
    • Include a video sample link of your work (no longer than five minutes) that most closely supports the proposed concept.
      • Please do not submit highlight reels or promo videos.
    • How does your work sample(s) relate to what you will develop during the residency?

Andrea Blesso, Director of Dance & Interdisciplinary Arts, Boston Center for the Arts ( is available to answer questions and provide additional information about the residency.



Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) supports working artists to create, perform, and exhibit new works; develops new audiences; and connects the arts to community, and has for over five decades engaged the creative community for public good. While the organization’s physical residence is in the historic South End, BCA touches every part of Boston’s cultural ecosystem. A leading force in the city’s cultural community, BCA has supported thousands of individual artists, small organizations, and performing arts companies, who add depth and dimension to the Boston arts ethos. Through residencies and programming, BCA serves as an epicenter for an expanding cohort of artists working across all disciplines, and has catalyzed careers by providing fertile ground for experimentation and artistic risk-taking. To learn more about Boston Center for the Arts, visit


This special opportunity is made possible by the Liberty Mutual Foundation, Mass Cultural Council, and National Endowment for the Arts.