The core mission of MOVE(NYC)'s Young Professionals Program is to identify exceptionally talented New York City teenagers and provide them with a world class dance education, tuition free. Our goal is to develop, cultivate, and educate the next generation of exceptional dance artists. In order to do this successfully, we feel it is an absolute necessity to eliminate any potential roadblocks deserving students may face on the path towards realizing their full potential. At MOVE(NYC), we believe strongly that one factor alone should determine access to quality training; TALENT.
Historically, elite training institutions that promise successful careers in dance have been largely inaccessible to underprivileged artists, artists of color, and in far too many cases the intersection of the two. Individuals from low socioeconomic backgrounds experience disproportionately high barriers of entry when attempting to pursue a career in dance. Specialized training is required, beginning in a dancers’ early adolescence, in order to build the requisite technical and artistic foundation that will support a young person’s budding professional dance career. However, costs for these programs quickly accumulate – for one summer intensive, tuition alone can range from $3,000 to $5,000 and that does not include the additional costs associated with travel, lodging, food, or training attire.
The expense of each training program compounded with the fact that pre-professional dancers are expected to continually attend these elite programs throughout their adolescence makes a career in dance nearly impossible to support for underprivileged families. This not only deprives talented, young dancers from pursuing and achieving successful professional dance careers, but it also perpetuates the lack of diversity – particularly with regard to women of color – in the dance field.
Chanel and Nigel decided that no talented young artist should undergo such extensive obstacles to gain access to training. Together, they would bridge the gaps and be the change they wanted to see. At this juncture in their respective careers, they believe it is necessary to sow the seeds of that success back into the communities that nurtured them. With diversity and equity at its core MOVE(NYC) aims to create a more inclusive and well-rounded artistic experience.
We believe MOVE(NYC) is a microcosm of the broader social movement towards access and equality for all. Every child who is willing and able should have the opportunity to realize their full potential. Our mission is not community outreach. It is to create a platform for motivated and highly talented youth to achieve their full potential. We aim to level a tilted playing field so that talent becomes the primary determining factor to success. In our society, race, gender, and socioeconomic status play an integral part in who is afforded the opportunity to excel. This is also true in the arts community, where a highly specialized education is an absolute necessity, as it is in academia. With dance as our vehicle, MOVE(NYC) is actively empowering future artistic leaders of our community, who will ultimately uplift our society.