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February 28, 2010

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February 28, 2010

When I met Dominic Walsh three years ago, although familiar with his work as a classical dancer for the Houston Ballet, I had limited knowledge of his subsequent endeavors as a choreographer, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater founder, and artistic director. Since I do not live in Houston, I never had the opportunity to see the Dominic Walsh Dance Theater (DWDT) perform until February 2008. I have been a fan and supporter since and have been involved with (DWDT) in various ways as a donor, patron and volunteer. This has afforded me the opportunity to not only see the finished product when the company performs but to observe and participate in some of the behind the scenes activities. Dominic Walsh and the Dominic Walsh Dance Theater are consistent in their efforts to push past the difficulties of operating a nonprofit when contributions to the arts are low and all of us involved in the arts are struggling to find ways to make the arts accessible to everyone in our communities. The commitment shown by this organization to doing this is extraordinary and includes an annual free performance, affordable ticket prices and open classes daily in their studios. Most recently I traveled to Houston to attend the performances of Romeo and Juliet. The production was brilliant and demonstrated again what a few dedicated individuals with a clear vision can achieve, and it reminded me of the obligation we all have to preserve and protect the arts. The DWDT organization is reaching out to the community not only through its performances but also by holding events that allow people to meet the dancers, watch the company rehearse and observe Dominic coaching and teaching. These activities are critical to making the arts accessible and necessary but add to an already overloaded schedule. In the dance world, there are those individuals and dance companies that push the boundaries and transcend what has been previously defined by those that came before them while always remembering and honoring the history of the art. These people are the ones that we so desperately need to encourage, protect, support in order that they may have the resources to fulfill their vision as these are the people who are instrumental in preserving the beauty of dance and establishing the relevancy of arts in our world today, and in the future. As many communities suffer from a lack of high quality, relevant art, and dance, it is critical for those of us fortunate enough to have access to organizations such as The Dominic Walsh Dance Theater to protect and support them in any way possible.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

probably add a component that in some way could offer training to young dancers. The training and instruction offered here is amazing and even short sessions throughout the year might be beneficial.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the quality of the productions and the consistent efforts to insure that the productions and all activities support the mission and vision.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

simply amazing.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Increase the number of dancers, increase the number of weeks the dancers are under contract, expand the marketing and hire additional support staff (i.e. company manager, production manager, marketing director).

Ways to make it better...

I could see more performances!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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