Climate of Possibility


A group of dancers huddle in Gibney's Studio C, arms around each others waists. - Climate of Possibility

How can you move your dance career forward in this time of shut-downs, cancellations, and distance?

Expand your potential to build a thriving career in the performing arts by joining the Climate of Possibility cohort.

This new Career Development Cohort Program leverages all that Gibney has to offer through a unique combination of weekly mentorship, career development, guest artist discussions, and cohort learning. 

You will develop in-demand skills, connect with a community of exceptional dance artists, and define success on your own terms to forge a path in the field. Cohort members will meet 3 days a week, 3.5 hours a day, over the course of three months.

At Gibney, we consider each artist holistically, honoring one’s whole self and varied interests. We recognize and celebrate the diversity of career paths and expressions and welcome movement practitioners of all backgrounds. 

This virtual program is facilitated by Alexandra Wells, Jessie Kardos, and Gilbert T Small II of Gibney’s Training Department. Curated guest artists and workshop faculty represent a range of expertise, experiences, and career paths. The exciting list of guest artists and faculty will be announced in early January.

Capacity for this program is limited. Applications will be reviewed on a first come first served basis, and The application will stay open until capacity is reached OR until Monday, January 11.

The application is now closed.


The program includes sessions 3 days a week, 3.5 hours a day, plus additional optional movement classes. Each week, you will participate in:

  • Two 90-Minute Professional Development Workshops 
  • Two 20-Minute Cohort Workshop Debriefs
  • Two 90-Minute Guest Artist Conversations
  • One 60-Minute Cohort Discussion
  • One 30-Minute Paired Mentorship Session

The program also includes self-scheduled components, including up to 3 Weekly Online Drop-In Movement Classes, the development of personal materials including an artist statement and resume/CV, and peer collaboration and accountability check-ins.

Curriculum Component Details

This program utilizes cohort learning because we believe that coming together with a shared purpose creates a brighter and more impactful future. Each participant arrives with their own unique knowledge, skills, and experiences, and makes valuable contributions to the group through collaboration and sharing of resources and ideas. As a group, cohort members will debrief after each workshop and guest artist conversation and will consider how to apply skills and advice learned directly to their careers. Together we will create a climate of possibility, welcoming the valuable perspective and unique voice of each participant.

Gain tools to build and sustain your own thoughtful and unique career in dance. Workshops will cover an array of foundational skills for independent artists including writing compelling artist statements, financial literacy, marketing, entrepreneurship, and more.

With consideration for a multiplicity of career expressions and entry points, these conversations with artists and dance-workers of diverse backgrounds will aim to expand our understanding of what a career in dance can be. Participants will connect with esteemed artists who are critical thinkers, community builders, artist-entrepreneurs, and who have built their own sustainable careers in the dance field.

Opportunity to connect weekly with program facilitators and renowned directors and educators Alexandra Wells, Gibney Senior Director of Training and Company Advisor, Jessie Kardos, Senior Manager of Training, and Gilbert T Small II, Training Consultant, to receive personalized mentorship. Facilitators will listen and support each individual’s research, pathfinding, choice-making, and dreaming, and will work with every cohort member to consider their whole artist-self in everything they do.

Participants will be a part of a supportive network of peers throughout the program. In preparation for mentorship sessions, cohort members will meet in pairs to discuss questions and goals. Peers will serve as accountability partners and collaborators on assignments and progress toward set goals.

Through an antiracist lens and with insistence upon accessibility, Gibney Training programming is shaped with a diverse team of dance educators and techniques offered, curated by Gilbert T Small II and Alexandra Wells. Outside of the program schedule, cohort members have the option to take up to three weekly online drop-in classes of their choosing. View Class Schedule


Professional Development Faculty
  • Meditation and Intention Setting: What is here? Connecting to Receive Ritual with Bianca Paige Smith
  • Artists as Agents of Change with Amy Miller
  • Organizational Systems with Sarah A.O. Rosner
  • Writing Partner with Sydnie L. Mosley
  • Artist Statement Workshop with Trina Mannino
  • Resume/CV Workshop with Lakey Wolff
  • Financial Literacy & Well-Being for Artists with Amy Smith
  • Dance Is Work with David Gonsier
  • Making Your Case with Gina Gibney

  • Essentials for Entrepreneurship in the Arts with Nigel Campbell
  • Move to Move Beyond Model & Power of Partnerships with Yasemin Özümerzifon
  • Mental Health in Dance with Dr. Elizabeth Barchi MD of Harkness Center for Dance Injuries
  • Strategically Growing Your Professional Network with Karen Goldfeder
  • Partnerships with Brian Brooks
  • Development Demystified with Jenny Thompson + Donald Borror
  • Grant Writing with Jenna Pollack
  • Budgeting and Finance 101 for Projects with Andrea Nellis
  • A Guide to Producing Projects in the Non Profit Space with Barbara Frum
  • Creating, Refreshing & Managing your Online Presence with Fran Kirmser
  • Ask CI Anything (Social Media + Marketing) with Erik Gensler & Rachel Eisemann
  • Mindfulness with Rahiem White

  • Rena Butler
  • Alejandra Duque Cifuentes
  • Mark Travis Rivera
  • Catherine Kirk
  • Gina Gibney
  • Sidra Bell
  • Jason Rodriguez “Slim Xtravaganza”
  • Jenn Nugent
  • Maleek Washington
  • J. Bouey
  • Bobbi Jene Smith
  • Jesse Obremski

  • Troy Ogilvie
  • Shamel Pitts
  • Ali Rosa-Salas
  • Kendra Portier
  • Hope Boykin
  • Monica Bill Barnes
  •  Raja Feather Kelly
  • Gilbert T Small II
  • Jonathan Jojo Alsberry
  • Alanna Morris Van Tassel



3 months, 3 days a week, 3.5 hours a day
February 1 – April 30, 2021
Monday, Wednesday, & Friday
1:00 – 4:30 PM EST (10:00 AM – 1:30 PM PST)
No Sessions March 15 – 19, 2021

This program takes place online in real-time, via Zoom.

Application Deadline:
Capacity for this program is limited. Applications will be reviewed on a first come first served basis. Apply early and submit your tuition deposit to secure your spot!

The application will stay open until capacity is reached OR until Monday, January 11th, 2021 at 11:59 pm EST



Full price tuition: $1,250 USD
This includes 12 weeks of 22+ career development workshops, 23+ artist conversations, and 12 mentoring sessions, as well as three weekly online drop-in movement classes.

Application Deposit
$50 tuition deposit
This deposit holds your place in the program on a first come first serve basis.

Due upon applying, and no later than Monday, January 11th, 2021.

Tuition deposits are non-refundable unless the applicant does not meet eligibility requirements or applies after capacity has been reached. If capacity is reached, new applicants will join a waitlist and will not be required to submit a tuition deposit until a spot opens.

Payment Schedule
Applicants will be notified of acceptance and scholarship awards by Wednesday, January 13th, 2021. Remaining tuition payments, up to $1,200 due by Friday, January 22nd. Payment plans available upon request.

Refund Policy
Tuition deposits of $50 are non-refundable unless you do not meet eligibility requirements, or apply after program capacity has been reached.

No refunds are given once the program has started, regardless of program completion or withdrawal. Dismissal from the program will not constitute a reason for any refund.

Causes for Dismissal
Participants may be asked to leave the program if they are consistently unable to attend sessions. Each participant is expected to follow Gibney’s Code of Conduct by showing respect toward facilitators, faculty, guests, and peers. At any point, if Gibney staff feels you have demonstrated behavior deemed unacceptable or offensive, it may be cause for dismissal from the program.


A limited number of scholarships are available based on financial need. These scholarships are made possible with generous support from Andrew A. Davis, a trustee of the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund.

Apply for a scholarship here.

Please submit your program application and scholarship application on the same day, if possible. Scholarship applications will be reviewed separately from program applications after capacity is met, or after January 11, 2021.

We cannot guarantee any scholarship amount requested but will work with participants to meet their needs as much as possible. Scholarships do not apply to the $50 tuition deposit.


Application Deadline:
Capacity for this program is limited. Applications will be reviewed on a first come first served basis. Apply early and submit your tuition deposit to secure your spot!
The application is now closed.

Notification Date:
Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

Confirmation of Participation and Payment Due:
Friday, January 22nd, 2021

Final Program Schedule and Zoom links will be provided the week of January 25th, 2021.


Applicants must be 18 years of age or older by February 1st, 2021.

Gibney does not have a maximum age cap for this program. 

Participants will need access to stable Wi-Fi or internet connection, a computer or tablet device with a working camera, and access to Zoom. 

Participants are expected to attend all sessions to the best of their ability. As program success relies directly on participation from cohort members, we ask that you reconsider applying if you know you will need to miss more than one week of the program. 

English Proficiency is not required, though an understanding of English is encouraged to take full advantage of all curriculum as all sessions will be conducted in English. Gibney will provide Live Transcription via Otter Live Notes in English for this program.

Ideal candidates are interested in cohort learning and want support to develop their career in dance and the performing arts through community and skill-building. We recognize and celebrate a diversity of career paths and expressions, and we welcome movement practitioners of all backgrounds. 

This program is closed to a limited number of participants in order to provide individualized support. 


Professional Development Workshops will cover fundamental skills including: 

  • Setting Achievable Goals
  • Marketing and Branding
  • Networking and Building Community
  • Fundraising and Development
  • …and more 

Facilitators and faculty will provide career support resources and advice to supplement these workshops. 

Facilitators will offer several assignments throughout the program based on the Professional Development curriculum. Feedback from facilitators, peers, and select faculty will be available on materials. Developed materials will include:

  • Artist Statements
  • Resumes/CVs
  • Personal Budgets 

Participants will join a cohort of artists with shared interests and challenges, and will complete this program with a new network of community and support. 

Artists who successfully complete Climate of Possibility will receive a Certificate of Completion from Gibney.


Professional Development at Gibney, led by Jessie Kardos, 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.

Gibney’s Training Department, led by 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, the Training Department 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.

Gibney’s mission is to tap into the vast potential of movement, creativity, and performance to effect social change and personal transformation. Through expansive programming, we push boundaries, address pressing issues, lift voices, and mobilize the power of movement to transform lives and, in turn, change the world we live in.


Inclusion and equal treatment of all members of the community are core values of Gibney and central to its mission. Gibney is committed to diversity in every aspect of its programming and services. Diversity in this context refers to aesthetics, groups, communities, and individuals identified by race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, religion, age, or disability status. Gibney is committed to honoring, nurturing, and advancing dance through the lens of diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity in all aspects of its programming, services, and organization. Inclusion means a commitment to making all members of the community feel welcome and comfortable at Gibney.


If you are interested in joining the Climate of Possibility and you have additional questions, please contact Jessie Kardos at We are always happy to help!

A woman with short dark hair sits at a computer working, with others in conversation around her. - Climate of Possibility

Photos by Scott Shaw.