Our Story

 

Sydnie L. Mosley Dances (SLMDances) emerged over the course of 2010, performing throughout New York City on a project-to-project basis. The group was initially conceived of as a vehicle to showcase the work of emerging choreographer, Sydnie L. Mosley.

Sydnie began developing her community engaged, evening length dance, The Window Sex Project, a dance-activist work that responds to gender-based street harassment through community workshops and performance. 

SLMDances organized a series of workshops in Harlem that created space for women to share their stories, exchange practical strategies, create movement based on their experiences, and fellowship with others in their neighborhood.

The development and execution of this long-term project and the subsequent ongoing street-harassment activism shifted the course for the company. 

 

As a result, SLMDances' core values became clear:

 

Dreaming, Activism, Authenticity, Individuality, Community, Learning.

Organizational infrastructure developed to facilitate the ongoing activist work and the development of new choreographic works.

 

In September 2013, Sydnie engaged a new core group of dancers in a company structure that worked together on a consistent basis over a longer period of time.

This period also fostered the start of SLMDances Education programs including tours to Cornell University and Penn State, and in school residencies at schools such as Greenwich Academy.

The May 2014-April 2015 season was the first time SLMDances held an audition, and requested dance artists to commit to the work of the company for one year.

 

In exchange for dancers' commitment to a rehearsal process, Sydnie developed a Professional Development curriculum designed to help dancers achieve personal + professional goals.

This exchange marked a clear investment in leadership development in all of our artistic collaborators.

We also premiered CAKE making clear our commitment to the stories of Black women and girls.

During SLMDances' 5th Anniversary Season we produced our second evening length work, BodyBusiness, to address the economic circumstances of dancers in NYC. We developed this work as Artists in Residence for The Performance Project at University Settlement.

 

We also received our first grants through CUNY Dance Initiative Residency (2016-18) and Field Leadership Fund (2015-17). The FLF Fellowship also awarded the company the services of a paid part-time arts administrator for a year.

These collaborations helped us clarify our values in building mutually beneficial partnerships with institutions.

We toured to Baltimore, another geographic home for the company.

 

After Baltimore, SLMDances entered a performance hiatus, de-prioritizing performance and producing new work as its main activities.

 

During this season, the company focused on strategic planning and building a fiscally sound infrastructure. SLMDances asked dancers for a yearlong commitment to participate in the planning process.

Sydnie began to facilitate artistic residencies at colleges and universities around the country, expanding our education programming. Some institutions visited include: Tisch School of the Arts (NYU), Washington University in St. Louis, and Oberlin College.

SLMDances implemented a new structure including a 3 person leadership team called Visioning Partners

 

The company received the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Creative Engagement Grant in order to conduct a series of The Window Sex Project: Community Workshops.

SLMDances was awarded the Manhattan Community Artist Residency through Lincoln Center Education to develop our newest work PURPLE.

The Visioning Partners co-develop the language of Creative Partner to describe the role of SLMDances artists: dancer – teacher – organizer – badasses who embody our core values.

 

This year is marked by a return to the stage, building capacity through financial resources, and investing in a new cohort of collaborators.

Sydnie L. Mosley Dances (SLMDances) is a New York City-based dance-theater collective that works in communities to organize for gender and racial justice through experiential dance performance.

Learn more about our partners and how you can support SLMDances

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