Next Steps for Boston Dance

A partnership between the Boston Foundation and the Aliad Fund

  Next Steps Dancing Feet

With a mission to strengthen the field of dance in Greater Boston, Next Steps for Boston Dance provides multi-layered support for Greater Boston’s choreographers. This new grant program aims to support Greater Boston choreographers creating original work in any dance genre or at any career level to move forward and take a “next step” in their careers by providing an artist with:

  • 250 hours of rehearsal space over 18 months; 
  • 6-10 consulting meetings with expert advisors in chosen areas of need and/or interest to the artist including artistic, organizational, technical, marketing and communication, or strategic/business planning; 
  • $5,000 in implementation funds to create or complete a project or take a “next step” in his or her work or career; and
  • A series of cohort meetings to connect choreographers, build relationships, and allow for co-learning.

Eligibility Requirements and Funding Restrictions

To be eligible to apply, applicants must meet each of the following criteria.  Applying artists must:

  • Be creating original work in any genre of dance; 
  • Have choreographed and presented work for an audience in a public setting within the last 24 months (the event could have been ticketed or free for a specific or general audience, but cannot have been work created or presented while the artist was an undergraduate or post-secondary student);
  • Have a primary residence within the Boston Foundation's catchment area defined here; and
  • NOT currently be enrolled in an undergraduate or post-secondary program in dance or a related field, as post-secondary students currently seeking and working toward dance and related fields are ineligible to apply.

We will accept joint applications from artistic collaborators. Should you be considering completing a joint application, please contact Ruth Birnberg at to discuss your application in advance of submitting.


  • Program Launch Date:  September 1, 2016
  • Application Deadline:  October 24, 2016, 5 PM EST
  • Decisions Anticipated: December 2016
  • Grant Period: If awarded, all grant funds must be spent between January 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018

For this pilot round/first year of Next Steps, we are pleased to announce that a minimum of three grants will be awarded.

Rehearsal Space Site Options

As a component of Next Steps, awardees will be able to select a rehearsal space venue within which to work over the 18 month grant period, paid for by the granting organizations. Next Steps welcomes the following studios/venues as site partners:

Arts at The Armory    
Boston Ballet
Brookline Ballet    
Deborah Mason School of Dance     
Jose Matéo Ballet Theatre    
Mass Motion Dance    
The Dance Complex  
Tony Williams Dance Center  
Urbanity Dance    

Note that if you currently work in a space not listed above, we will gladly speak with the directors of the space to work out a partnership.

Application Process

All applicants must complete the Next Steps application using Submittable software.

Please click on the button below to access and complete the application before 5 PM on October 24, 2016.


In fairness to all applicants, no deadline extensions will be granted.  As such, we strongly recommend you begin your application well before the due date to familiarize yourself with the required components and the software.

We strongly encourage applicants to register for and attend one of several scheduled Information Sessions to learn more about this grant program before applying.

All complete applications will be reviewed by a panel of grant reviewers made up of artists, arts administrators, and other experts in the philanthropic or dance fields. Consideration is given to ensuring the panel reflects the diverse field of dance in Greater Boston.

For planning, know that any grant funding provided directly to an individual artist (and not his or her fiscal agent or 501(c)3 nonprofit organization) is taxable income for any amount received over and above $650. Taxes will be approximately 10-15% of an awardee’s total grant amount within a given calendar year; please plan accordingly.  To explore becoming fiscally sponsored by the Boston Dance Alliance click here.


Please attend one of the upcoming Information Sessions (schedule can be found here). If your question is not answered in an Information Session, or if you are unable to attend, please email your question to Ruth Birnberg at