Info for dancers
The QDF 2023 call for Queens-based choreographers and dance groups opens here in March!
QDF proudly presents Queens-based dance groups of diverse cultures and techniques.
Our mission is to strengthen the dance community in Queens and
inspire a greater appreciation for Queens dance.
What is the Queensboro Dance Festival?
The Queensboro Dance Festival is a summer tour of performances and classes by Queens-based dances of diverse cultures & styles. We bring programming to Queens indoor and outdoor public venues including theaters, parks, plazas, and open streets all across the borough. We also feature QDF Dancebacks (audience dance lessons), choreographer talkbacks, and QDF Class Xchanges (professional classes for the dance community). See FAQs below
The tour runs June through September as predominantly outdoor, on-site performances at various Queens locations for in-person audiences. Performances will also be live-streamed on our social media. All outdoor programming is free to the public. Performance and venue protocols will be in compliance with any current city or state COVID guidelines.
QDF aims to uplift Queens dancers & companies' career endeavors in Queens by connecting them to local resources and expanding new audience reach. We encourage a Queens dance community that has an interest in connecting with local audiences through their dancework, and is proud of the neighborhoods our dancers live and work in. QDF Choreographer testimonials
Queensboro Dance Festival participants receive:
A paid tour participation fee per company
Paid teaching opportunities and free dance classes led by fellow QDF participants (QDF Class Xchange)
Company travel stipend
Complimentary photo & video footage
Access to free & discounted rehearsal spaces throughout Queens
Free professional development workshops
A direct network of Queens arts & culture career resources
Expanded audience reach and visibility
Additional opportunities to book other affiliated paid gigs
An amazing experience of your home borough and community of Queens dancers!
Applying to QDF: Participant Eligibility Overview
Aligned with our mission, choreographer or company must be based in Queens NYC (mailing address). *Dance schools with professional companies welcome. Pre-professional students may perform if included on stage with their professional company members. Please note performance slot priority is given to professional-level groups.
Professional-level dance forms of all cultures and techniques welcome
Disabled dance artists and integrated dance companies welcome
BIPOC-led group or BIPOC majority dance cast, and/or Queens-based dance cast strongly encouraged
Unedited video footage of your entire proposed work is required with your application
Flexible availability during application process: In your application, select all possible dates you/your company are available to perform. If your application is accepted, you will be assigned a schedule of approximately 4-6 performances from the available dates you selected.
Dances must be between 3-12 minutes maximum
As we live in the world's borough, we encourage World and Queens premieres!
Collaborations with Queens musicians encouraged
Free to apply, free to participate
Tour Commitment: 4-6 bookings total throughout the entire season, attendance in at least 2 QDF Class Xchanges and/or Professional Development workshops, and active engagement with your Queens dance community on tour.
Technology Requirements & Support:
Participants must have access to internet and to at least 1 device (cell phone, laptop, or tablet)
Participants strongly recommended to have a Gmail e-mail address
Participants strongly encouraged to have their own Instagram and Facebook account (free)
Participants must have a Paypal account (free)
Participants' performance contracts may include some self-production of sessions on IG/Facebook Live from their own space, as well as creating and submitting video and photo content for social media posting.
QDF can help with internet support, device support, space, or offer social media training as needed
New: Suggested choreographic prompts
We want to uplift your untold stories and heritage through your dance works, but as a nod to the Queens' arts & culture, public spaces, and celebrations we will be a part of, here are some suggested prompts we welcome you to incorporate into your work. These are suggested but NOT required:
Lewis Latimer (in partnership with the Lewis Latimer House in Flushing)
Happenings or history of your Queens neighborhood, or summertime in Queens
See Updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below for more info
What dance genres are eligible for the Queensboro Dance Festival?
QDF welcomes any and all dance forms– contemporary, folk, ballet, cultures from every corner of Queens, hip-hop, tap, comedic, traditional, jazz, breakdance, Latin, ballroom, and every hybrid in between! The main requirement to submit any dance proposal is that the choreographer or dance company must be based in Queens.
What is the QDF Community vibe?
Our growing community of Queens dance companies are people who want to engage and contribute to the neighborhoods they live and work in. We share a pride for being Queens artists, and share a keen interest in learning about one another's work and heritages. We support each other, have fun, think outside the box, and are pretty bold performers on tour! We have a more meaningful impact together as a community, and our vibrancy is because of the dancers who are in it.
We like to say QDF is a living, breathing festival. Every show is a different line-up of our season's participants, so you'll interact with various dance companies throughout your tour, in various neighborhoods with various audiences. We come together at each show site to celebrate each other's works and share with our audience. So many magical moments with audiences and dancers happen during shows that we could never plan, and it's why we do what we do. With performance in outdoor public spaces, flexibility and adaptability is the best attitude while being on tour!
What is the QDF Class Xchange?
QDF Class X is a series of back-to-back classes taught by QDF participants for QDF participants and Queens dancers. Teach a class, then take a class, or come take both classes! Teachers are paid and classes are free to attend. Class dates and sign up info will be in the application. Your proposal must be selected as a QDF participant to teach.
Can I submit more than one dance work?
Yes! However, you must submit a separate application for each dance work proposal. If more than one of your works is accepted, they will have different tour schedules and not be in the same shows. A compilation performance (one on-going performance consisting of several different dances) no longer than the 12-minute total maximum can be considered in one application, but videos of each dance or a video of the proposed final compilation is required, as well as descriptions of each included dance.
How does the QDF tour work?
The tour performs at different indoor and outdoor venues throughout Queens theaters, parks, libraries, plazas, and streets. Each tour stop will feature a different line-up of dance companies, so each participating dance company will have a slightly different performance schedule. QDF works with many Queens organizations at each venue site to coordinate as smooth a production as possible, but companies must be adaptable to the different performance terrains, and factors including weather, time, public environments (sound, pedestrians), and space. Some tour stops have special circumstances; these will be addressed in the application form.
What are the performance spaces like?
We are touring across a variety of public performance spaces, most of them being outdoors. QDF will set up ground-level dance flooring at the outdoor venues, no marley, but suitable for barefoot, soft shoe, percussive and floorwork. Dimensions of flooring is 36 feet wide x 18 feet deep. We will be performing in natural daylight and with a sound system. Theater venues will have a stage and full production amenities.
How does scheduling work?
In the application form, select any and all performance dates that you are *available* to perform from both Group A and Group B options. Based off of your given availability, QDF will assign you a performance schedule of 4-6 shows. You will not be scheduled for every date you choose, but we ask you be available for more than you will be ultimately scheduled to allow for an optimal range of programming. If you select a limited amount of dates, it is not guaranteed that you will receive all the dates you exactly chose. Your performance schedule will consist of shows from both Group A and Group B, and will include at least one performance in a theater venue (if you chose a theater as part of your available dates).
What if I am still working on my piece in time for the shows and don’t have all the information yet for the application?
We understand! However, we need to visualize and understand your work as much as possible. Fill out as much info as you can even if it’s a working title, or if your music is still being created, etc. Please make sure to submit a full VIDEO of the actual proposed work, even if it’s rehearsal footage of a draft, and describe your dance piece in detail. Your information also helps program a diverse and balanced show. If your work is selected, there will be an opportunity to send in final updates to program information before your performances.
Can I change my dance piece during the tour?
While we understand there may be edits to your proposed piece during the tour (i.e. adapting your piece to indoor vs. outdoor venues), you cannot substitute a completely different piece in your tour schedule. This is to be fair to everyone's initial proposals that were specifically selected to be programmed in the tour, and also to maintain the balance of every show. There will be a chance to update small program changes with our production crew such as your cast or music edit, but we do ask you commit to your dance work that you originally proposed for the tour. As mentioned in an earlier FAQ, you can propose more than one dance work for the tour, but it must be during the application period. Each work you submit must be a separate application, and it is not guaranteed that more than one of your dance works will be accepted.
Will my work still be considered if it’s not a Queens or World Premiere?
Yes! Though we encourage premieres (especially if you have shown work in QDF previous seasons), previously performed works will definitely be considered. Please make sure to tell us where you’ve shown your work already in your application.
How can dance schools or cultural community centers participate?
We do our best to help be a platform for local dance education programs, particularly for lesser-known dance trainings, but has a slightly different arrangement with the tour. Dance schools that have any cultural or contemporary training programs with a professional-level company or performing faculty are welcome to submit a dance proposal. Pre-professional or competition students are allowed to perform if at a professional level and/or be included with professional company members throughout the proposed dance piece. Community centers with an established cultural dance program or regular practice at a professional or presentational level are also welcome to submit their proposal and video sample of the dancework to be presented. Schools and cultural centers are responsible for all liability of their participants under the age of 18 and must obtain and prove signed guardian consent to any participation dates offered. The most common way we present youth schools/cultural centers is as a guest school for 1-2 dates as a community partnership, with the opportunity to engage audiences with informational materials for program registration, etc. QDF offers a lower honorarium paid to the school or cultural center, not individuals.
How are participants selected?
Festival participants are selected based on strength of dance proposal, alignment with the festival's mission, schedule availability, and ensuring there is a diverse range of cultures and dance styles represented. Proposals are scored by a rotating panel of industry leaders, programming partners, and partner organizations in coordination with QDF leadership. Tip: describe your dance work as though you are explaining it to a complete stranger who has never seen your work or your dance genre before. Those reading your proposal should be able to envision your dance work and understand your concept clearly.
What qualifies as a dance work?
A dance work must be a live performance where dance is the core driving component (i.e. not a film, a play, etc. These types of elements are welcome but should not be the main element of a dance work). A dance work can also be a live performance that is equally shared with a music component.