Dance Project, a nonprofit organization based in Greensboro, NC, has announced the selection of Lauren Trollinger Joyner and Anne Morris as the new Co-Directors of the organization, effective July 1, 2015. Dance Project Founder and Executive/Artistic Director Jan Van Dyke announced her intentions to step down from her position earlier this year, in light of her declining health following a 2 ½ year battle with cancer.
Joyner and Morris are currently School Director and Program Director, respectively, for the organization, with Morris’ focus primarily on coordinating the annual NC Dance Festival. The two will maintain their focus in their respective areas, while expanding the scope of their leadership to guide the organization as a whole.
Praising Van Dyke’s vision and service to the artistic community, Board President Meagan Jolliffe said, “Jan is iconic. She is inspirational. Dance Project was born from her incredible creative insight with a primary mission to cultivate modern dance state-wide. Both Anne and Lauren believe in this mission and are dedicated to carry it forward together.”
Morris has worked for Dance Project as Program Director for four years, where her responsibilities have included program management, marketing and publicity, grant writing, and artistic programming. She holds an MFA in Dance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a BA in English from Smith College. Previously, she has worked as Director of Development and Public Relations for Brazz Dance Theater (2005-2008), as Director of the Dance Program at the Homestead YMCA (2006-2007), and teaching artist and trainer for Arts For Learning, Miami (2006-2008). Joyner joined the staff of Dance Project as a teacher in the School at City Arts in 2013, and became School Director in June 2014. She holds a BFA in Dance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her previous experience includes creating and managing Blank Slate Dance Company of Durham (2008-10), and managing a pre-professional competition company of 200 dancers and parents in Raleigh. She also brings experience in sales, event management, and staff training through her work in the cosmetics industry.
“We want to honor Jan’s legacy as a strong community leader by working to support the dance field through our commitment to artistic excellence and by sharing dance as widely as possible,” said Morris. Joyner added, “Jan has been an incredible mentor. We are honored to have the opportunity to lead this organization, and are committed to working with all the artists, students, employees, audiences, and partners that have been part of the Dance Project family over the years.”
Jan Van Dyke founded Dance Project in Washington, DC in 1974 and it has been in operation under her leadership in North Carolina since 1989. “Since the early days of Dance Project in North Carolina, we have worked to build a strong dance community in the state. I have faith that both Lauren and Anne believe in the Dance Project and will work to continue its growth and mission. Their level of experience gives me confidence in the future for all of us,” Van Dyke said.
Dance Project’s mission is to cultivate the field of modern dance in North Carolina, nurturing a community of artists, audiences, and students by providing opportunities for training, performances, collaboration, and employment. Dance Project will continue to operate the School at City Arts, making quality dance instruction accessible and fun for children and adults, and coordinate the NC Dance Festival, an annual showcase of the state’s strongest modern and contemporary choreographers. This fall marks the 25th Anniversary of the NC Dance Festival. The Van Dyke Dance Group will remain in operation as a repertory company, under the umbrella of Dance Project; ultimately, long-time company dancers will facilitate the maintenance, licensing, and archiving of the repertory.