Inlet Dance Theatre is an company in Cleveland in which I feel does not get the credit it truly deserves. Having worked for Inlet as their lighting designer as both a Volunteer and as a contracted person, I have found that what they do transforms the people involved. Generally, dance is something in which the people involved are just a tool for the Choreographer. With Inlet, the choreography and the people transform together. I am in awe each time I see a group of new young people involved with Inlet. I see them grow as people as well as artists. The sense of discipline not only in their work ethic, but also in their personal ethic that is taught to them is something I wish that every young person could have the opportunity to learn. It is a joy to be able to help out the company and watch how it can take an individual and move them to a higher place through dance.
I've known Bill Wade, the Founder and Artistic Director of Inlet, for 11 years and had the privilege of serving on Inlet's inaugural Board for 4 years. Serving on Inlet's Board was an amazing and rewarding experience. This organization truly works hard to follow Bill's credo, "Using Dance to Further People." I have personally seen amazing transformations in the lives of the youth - often underprivileged - who have worked with Inlet! Each member of this organization, most of whom are volunteers, give selflessly to help the students, interns and Company members alike to grow, deepen and develop both their character as well as their dance skills. There are very few organizations that I would give an unqualified endorsement to but Inlet is certainly one that I would wholeheartedly promote. Bill Wade is one of the finest and most creative artists I've ever known. His vision for Inlet has taken much personal sacrifice, I know, but it has produced an Arts Organization that is making a truly positive impact on every life they touch. I am proud to know and to have been associated with Inlet Dance Theatre!
When I heard about Bill Wade and Inlet Dance Theatre, I was 16 years old with no idea that I would be in the Trainee program two years later. Working with Inlet everyday for a year, has up to this point been the most influential and most memorable moment in my life to this point. I remember the family like environment, the commitment to excellence, and last but not least Bill's way to see someone for what they can be and not what they are that day, or what they were yesterday. There ability to transcend themselves and fully invest in the community is one of the most beautiful things I've ever encountered. Every single person from Bill to the newest company member of Inlet Dance Theatre are some the most hardworking and genuine individuals I've ever met. I refer to Bill as one of my Dads, and all the people that I met and worked with as a Trainee at Inlet, family.