State of NYC Dance 2023 Report

Gradient background with a collage of 7 images depicting dancers performing
Photos by Emmanuel Agbeble, APMWorld

Report Overview

State of NYC Dance 2023: Findings from the Dance Industry Census, is Dance/NYC’s most recent sector-wide study. It includes a first-of-its-kind effort to gather a critical mass of information on the economic realities of individuals and entities working in the sector, to better understand their relationships to one another, and to more accurately capture their stories. 

The Dance Industry Census engaged significant proportions of individual workers and entities through survey submissions: about 27% of the estimated 6,000 dance workers and 23% of the estimated 1,700 entities. In addition to survey input, nearly 250 dance workers provided input at seven in-person and two virtual roundtable events. The study was also supported by two advisory groups: The Dance Workforce Resilience 2022 Task Force and the 2023 DWR Advisory Group.

The report reveals that the NYC dance industry is contending with systemic inequity, changing audience participation, and ever-evolving revenue models. Despite a level of fragility, dance workers, organizations, groups, projects, and businesses continue to create and share work with audiences and participants via many means, benefiting from strong connections to education and health sectors. Passionate dance workers persist in a project-based, freelance world, caught between opposing societal forces, navigating pandemic challenges, and enduring financial insecurity.

View our State of NYC Dance research performance event on YouTube:

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Report Prepared by

Carrie Blake, Senior Consultant & Research Director, Webb Mgmt, and Alejandra Duque Cifuentes, ADC Consulting in collaboration with Dance/NYC staff.


Dance/NYC’s State of NYC Dance 2023: Findings from the Dance Industry Census was made possible with leadership funding from the Mellon Foundation, The New York Community Trust, the Doris Duke Foundation, and the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and is supported, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Gov. Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.

Dance/NYC’s Dance Industry Census Roundtable Discussion Series is supported, in part, by public funds from The New York City Department Of Cultural Affairs in partnership with The City Council and by Con Edison.

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Comments and Recommendations

The value of this research, as a tool to guide policy and fund development and to improve management practices, will be measured best by its application—the dialogue, creative problem solving, and action it generates to address inequities in dance and move the art form forward. Dance/NYC wants to know what you recommend and invites you to weigh in, using Instagram, Facebook, X (Twitter) or email.

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