Seattle International Dance Festival Artist Application

This year, the Seattle International Dance Festival will present six programs for which local artists are eligible to apply. This includes three Spotlight Series programs: Spotlight on Contemporary Ballet (SoCB,) Spotlight: The Artist Perspective (SAP,) and Spotlight On Seattle Now (SoSN); as well as festival favorites Art on the Fly (AoF) and Sanity Café (SCafe) and the new The James Ray Residency Project.

Key dates:

  • Submission Deadline for SOCB, SAP, SOSN, AOF & SCafe: February 15th, 2017 at 10pm UPDATE: SCAFE deadline EXTENDED TO May 10th! (please, scroll down for SCafe application)
  • Submission Deadline for The James Ray Residency Project: May 15th, 2017 at 10pm
  • Art On The Fly – June 3rd, 12-3pm 9th Ave and Denny Park, South Lake Union
  • SoCB – June 20th & 21st
  • SoSN – June 13th
  • SAP –  June 15th
  • SCafe – June 12th, The Rendezvous in Belltown
  • The James Ray Residency Project: start date June 2017

* Tech and dress times TBA.

International Artists, please email International Artist submission. – SUBMISSIONS FOR INTL. ARTISTS HAVE BEEN CLOSED! If you would like to be considered for presenting work at the 2018 festival, please submit an application at above link between August 1st and September 30th, 2017. Thank you!

Instructions for Submitting Applications (Please Read)

Please, read each event’s description below carefully as they have changed and each has different requirements. You are encouraged to apply for as many as you wish. Each is decided by different panels/individuals.

  1. Download forms for each program below
  2. Fill out ALL required information (we will not accept incomplete applications).
  3. You must fill out a separate application for each program you are applying to, using that program’s specific form.
  4. When you have filled out a form, save and name file/form including program and your dance company’s name. For example, SOCB2017YourDanceCompanyORName.doc; SAP2017YourDanceCompanyOrName.doc; SOSN2017YourDanceCompanyOrName;SCAFE2017YourDanceCompanyORName; AOF2017Your Dance CompanyORName.doc; etc.
  5. Include the (above) File Name in the Subject of your email
  6. Either attach or link to any required image files in email
  7. You must submit form via email to by February 15th @ 10pm (we will not accept late, incomplete, or wrongly named applications. Please, double-check before submitting.)

Please direct any questions regarding the application process to Constanze Villines at

For application and more information on the new James Ray Residency Project, please click HERE.

The Spotlight Series (SOSN, SAP, and SoCB) is a series of performance evenings, featuring Seattle-based artists/companies each evening (Tue / Thu, June 13 & June 15 and Tue / Wed, June 20 & June 21). Each program will be curated by regionally/nationally recognized dance figures with a connection to Seattle. More detail is included below.

  • Compensation: for Spotlight Series starts at $200 and will be provided for all Spotlight series programs. Up to 20 artists/groups will be chosen (3-6 per evening).
  • Production: all publicity, lighting, tech, box office and venue are provided by the festival.
  • Curators: Each curator is familiar with Seattle in different ways and therefore has varying perspectives on the dance scene. It will give applicants the opportunity to be seen by dance figures inside and outside the region and encourage the diaspora of Seattle-based work. The press covers most days of each festival event and the festival provides exposure and access to regionally important figures.


June 20th & June 21st

Spotlight on Contemporary Ballet is a multi-year platform to develop contemporary ballet in Seattle. This includes choreographers and companies, who see their work as being contemporary ballet or largely inspired by contemporary ballet. The platform encourages all artists to apply, who self-identify as working in the field. It is a platform to present new and developing work. The emphasis is on work in development (as the festival finds or identifies contemporary ballet work in Seattle, that can be developed.)

The curators will come into the rehearsal studio to give feedback approximately one month before the performance and are available to come into one or two additional rehearsals at any time in the process, at your request or speak by phone on matters you would like to discuss related to the work to be presented at the festival.



June 13th

Spotlight on Seattle Now: Three icons of the dance world with a connection to Seattle will curate an evening of dance that reflects their vision/version of the Seattle dance scene today. The hope is to encourage intellectual diversity/differentiation and dialogue about the many aesthetics/aspects that comprise dance in Seattle at this time, foster connections with other dance colleagues, and encourage the diaspora of Seattle-based artists work regionally and beyond.

The curators will come in to rehearsal approximately one month prior to performance for a short feedback session. Upon your request, the curators may also be available to attend additional rehearsals or speak by phone for further feedback.


Spotlight: The Artist Perspective will focus on artists who use themes to create their work. This could be anything from sociopolitical to historical, to contemporary – any subject of interest that has a specific intent of communicating/reaching out to audiences.




SanityCafé is a cabaret-style event with a twist. Each artist will be given a week of free rehearsal space to create a piece based around a theme chosen by the opening night festival audience. The works will be presented in a showcase style performance at a venue (e.g. a bar, restaurant, etc.) TBD. This event is open to emerging and established artists who are interested in being challenged to create a piece in a short time frame around a theme provided on the spot.

Artists can tug at the theme as much as possible and use creative abandon in interpretation of, not only the theme but the works’ structure as well as the evenings’ presentation format. Learning the theme at the last moment and the creative license given to the artists will provide an air of excitement around the unpredictable outcome. The intent is to create an inviting, accessible and riveting fun-filled environment for audiences, showcasing creativity and imagination. Artists should take the challenge with the spirit the event is designed. Innovation and surprises are encouraged.

The only requirement is a short creation period and the provided theme. The proposed work does not have a time limit, but should be between 5-20 minutes (or if the format is altered, the whole show no longer than an hour).


South Lake Union

Art on the Fly, during this popular site-specific event dedicated to dance outdoors, we will feature outdoor stages, in-street performance opportunities, and more.

Artists are encouraged to bring the urban features of the landscape to life, using any of the architectural aspects, pond, bridge and walkways or other self-designated sites available on within the site. Spontaneous roving events are also possible. Performances inside businesses may be arranged with festival assistance or on the artist’s own. For some interesting ideas, read this WSJ Article.

Concept: The intent is to create several types of performance events with several venue areas/types to choose from.

  • “Fleeting” performances: Roving or processional in nature, created for and seen by audiences while in passing. The “fleeting/roving” performances will be situated around the sidewalks, wooden docks and plazas or anywhere a normal pedestrian may move.
  • Longer performances: Created/performed for attendees on foot (passersby or those who are on location to watch longer performances). The longer performances will be centered in the plazas (but could be along sidewalks).
  •  Stage performances: Created/performed for audiences situated at one of the stages or plazas.

We welcome proposals that integrate all concepts into their premise. We hope that the longer performances would occur a minimum of 3 times during a 2-3 hour period or if fleeting, would go on a good portion of the day. Shorter and fewer times is also possible, but will be compensated accordingly.

The longer performances can be anywhere from 30 minutes up to the maximum event duration 6 hours (but as indicated should be performed repeatedly if shorter). The “fleeting” performances will last the amount of time it takes the streetcar to stop, pick up passengers and whiz by (but could also be continuous). We encourage you to be creative in the concept of your performance proposal (for instance, a performance could take place in one plaza and then draw audience to another location). The allotted 2-3 hour period could be spread between 2 locations.


  • Professional Groups/Artists: This will range from $50-$400 depending on various factors, such as group size, duration and number of performances. Approximately 14-20 projects will be awarded. Please indicate in your project description what plans you have if you do not receive the full funding request.
  • Community/Children’s Groups: This event is a great opportunity for community and children’s groups to gain experience and exposure in the context of professional artists from around the world. There is no monetary compensation for community/children’s groups.

NOTE: Seattle artists are able to apply for any of the Seattle International Dance Festival’s six programs. Applying to 2017’s programs of SOCB, SAP, SOSN, AOF or SCafe does not exclude them from applying for the 2017 James Ray Residency Project and vice versa.

SOCB, SAP, SOSN, and The James Ray Residency Program are open to established and emerging artists, based in Seattle.

Scafe and Art on the Fly are open to all artist, local, national & international.