DIGITAL: Professional Development: Career in the Arts with Alexandra Wells and Gilbert T Small II

Nov. 20, 3:00 pm4:30 pm



What does it mean to build a career in the performing arts? Join us for this discussion-based workshop on surviving and thriving in a career as an artist. We will explore decision making, autonomy, and self-advocacy, and will consider a career in the arts as a vocation versus a job or hobby. We recognize and celebrate the diversity of career paths and expressions and welcome performing artists of all backgrounds.


Gilbert T Small II is a dancer, choreographer, dramaturg and rehearsal director. He started his formal training at the Baltimore School for the Arts and holds a BFA from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance. While at Purchase, he received the opportunity to study at Codarts in the Netherlands. Upon finishing his education, he was invited to join Ballet British Columbia. While with Ballet BC he worked with choreographers such as William Forsythe, Crystal Pite, Medhi Walerski, Johan Inger, Emily Molnar and Cayetano Soto. As a freelance artist Gilbert has worked with Serge Bennethan, Sidra Bell, Zoe Scolfield and Kyle Abraham.  Gilbert is currently based in Seattle.


Alexandra Wells is the Senior Director of Training and Company Advisor for Gibney, Founder and Artistic Director of Springboard Danse Montréal and the Creator of IMAGE TECH for Dancers™. From 2017 – 2020 served as the Director of Artist Training at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Under her direction, Hubbard Street Professional Program (HS Pro) responded to the needs of dancers entering the current job market. By curating relevant methodologies, techniques, and mentors, HS Pro connected emerging artists to leaders in the field who empowered them to become advocates within an evolving landscape.

Alexandra is a mentor to many emerging and established artists in the field. Additionally, she serves on the Artistic Advisory Council for MOVE|NYC|, and is the Artist Curator and an Honorary Board Member of The Legacy Project – celebrating the work of the iconic Canadian artist and choreographer Margie Gillis.

Alexandra was a full-time faculty member and rehearsal director at The Juilliard School for 18 years. She was also the Concept & Artistic Director of the Movement Invention Project from its inception through 2017. She was on faculty at SUNY Purchase College, served as the Interim Director of l’École Supérieure de Danse du Québec, and was the Rehearsal Director for Ballet Hispanico following a long international performance career. As Principal dancer of the Ballet National de Nancy, Ms. Wells toured the world and formed lasting partnerships with the late Rudolf Nureyev and Patrick Dupont.


Gibney’s Training Department, led by Senior Director of Training, Alexandra Wells, serves the current and holistic needs of adult dance artists, with consideration for the multiplicity of career expressions and entry points. Through the cultivation of an inclusive and positive space, our offerings make space for exploration, risk-taking, personal and artistic growth, connection, and fun. It is our priority to listen to and support our community and to empower the future leaders of the field. Learn more.

Gibney Professional Development supports dance professionals of all backgrounds building (and re-building) a unique and sustainable career through accessible learning, expanding skills, and fostering a diverse and inclusive community.


Classes will be streamed live via Zoom. You need a device connected to the internet, you don’t need camera capabilities. Students must pre-register for class and download the Zoom app to join.

Registration will close 20 minutes before the class time. 15 minutes before class, you will receive an email with the Zoom link. Please make sure your Zoom name matches the name you signed up for class with. The class will close 10 minutes after its scheduled start time so please join the class on time.

Please be advised that if there is more than one class taker on your zoom, all must be registered for the class before starting. If a class taker is not registered, Gibney staff will remove you from the class immediately. You will be allowed to re-enter the class once all participants have registered.

Gibney will provide Live Transcription via Otter Live Notes for this class. To access the live transcript in the Zoom meeting, click the red LIVE indicator and then select “View Stream on Live Notes” in the dropdown. The live transcript will open in a separate browser window.

All classes are in Eastern Standard Time.