National Water Dance by Dale Andree

CATCH THE WAVE! Click below to give.

Miami Beach, Fl
Miami Beach, Fl

About our project :

National Water Dance, conceived by a group of Florida choreographers and directed by me, Dale Andree, is a national collective of dancers creating a simultaneous performance across the United States at water sites and live streaming it on the internet. In 2014, 1500 dancers from 26 states performed. This year we have over 100 institutions in 31 states dancing simultaneously by lakes, bays, oceans, rivers, on bridges, next to streams and in fountains. Our goal is to bring awareness of pressing issues of water to our communities while at the same time energizing ourselves as artists to realize the power of dance as a vehicle for social change.

This event is preceded by months of communication through our website and by email creating a national community of dancers engaged in the environment.  (Your contribution will help support this) Each location is autonomous in their creative process but we all share certain movement themes that connect us kinetically. The event is simultaneously live streamed from each location, giving viewers the opportunity to come together online to take in the collective power of this unified ‘movement choir’. (Your contribution will help support this) A film will be created of the entire event from the compiled videos of the performances from across the country. (Your contribution will help support this) 

NWD has inspired collaborations among its participants with musicians, poets, visual artists, science and environmental departments, outreach programs and community groups. Building awareness and creating an engaged community is the essence of National Water Dance. Change happens when a community becomes activated, when we build a critical mass compelled to act. Change happens when we finally say, something has to be done. (Your contribution will help support this) 

Delaware Nature Society Program, Wilmington, DE
Delaware Nature Society Program, Wilmington, DE

Our Director and Team:

I’m Dale Andree. Throughout a lifetime of dancing, choreographing and teaching what I love the most is seeing how dance connects people and creates community. The power of that community is what I’ve harnessed in conceiving of and directing National Water Dance. My team of administrative assistants Kristin O’Neal in Georgia, Sharyn Richards and Katie Wiegman in Miami, help in finding participants and maintaining the ongoing communication. Lisa Palley in Miami and Toni Thomas in Los Angeles are the marketing geniuses that keep the focus on the event. Juan Vargas and JP Dodel, Miami, are the web gurus that facilitate the live streaming and Lynne Wimmer, Utah, is the video editor that makes the magical journey of NWD come to life from all of the submitted videos of the performances across the country. The heart and soul of National Water Dance are the dancers, musicians and the choreographers/directors involved at each location. Participation in NWD is an act of commitment and love and represents the enthusiasm and talent of thousands of organizers, dancers, teachers and artistic directors.

MDC Jubilation Dance Ensemble, Miami FL
MDC Jubilation Dance Ensemble, Miami FL

What is our budget? 

National Water Dance is maintained on an administrative level by a small national team. We are asking for your support for both the organizational and technological considerations we face in order to keep our initiative operational as a platform to connect a passionate community of artists. While each participating location operates with independent fundraising, support is needed to sustain NWD at the national level, specifically:

  • administrative: outreach in finding participants and maintaining communication with all participants
  • technological: maintaining the website organizing and facilitating the live streaming
  • video: compiling and editing the final video of all of the sites

By supporting National Water Dance you become a part of a growing community of citizens who believe that to save our world we have to be more connected to it. We create this connection actively through our art, dancing in our environment, for our environment. Your support represents a commitment to this shared belief that passion creates action, and we are passionate when we are personally engaged with our communities and the planet we share.

All of our performances are free and our video is available for viewing on our website. In lieu of small gifts National Water Dance will gratefully acknowledge your contribution by listing you:

  • as a supporter on our website
  •  in the credits of the national video

As with our participants, the smallest group is as important as the largest and we will recognize you with gratitude by listing your names alphabetically.

Chattanooga Dance Projects, Chattanooga TN
Chattanooga Dance Projects, Chattanooga TN

What is our inspiration?

The idea was inspired by Marylee Hardenbergh and her project “One River Mississippi”. It began as a performance across the state of Florida and through the support of Danny Lewis and Miami Dance Futures grew to the national project that it has become. This is our second presentation of National Water Dance. With over 1200 dancers, 80 institutions and 26 states participating, our inaugural event in 2014 was a huge success. Our participating artists included students from elementary age to college and university students as well as professional dancers. In April 2014, the entire simultaneous performance was live-streamed from many locations and shared with audiences across the country and the world. In the words of one middle school student, “It was an awesome experience seeing dancers from around the nation come together for a cause.” As we move forward to our 2nd performance we have expanded our participation to include 32 states with over a hundred institutions from small local companies to the entire LA Unified School District. As we look to the future our goal is to bring National Water Dance to the Washington Mall in Washington DC in 2018. It will be our “Dance on Washington”!

Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

Why does this MATTER: 

This project was born out of a lifetime of dancing, performing in every conceivable venue from opera houses to funky cafes to public spaces and teaching students who didn’t think they could ever dance to those training to be professionals. It’s the last group that inspired me to create National Water Dance, to encourage these young artists to ask questions about why they were dancing and where and what kind of opportunities were worth investing in; to broaden their perception of how they saw the possibilities in their dance career. In the few years that we have been working on this project and since the first performance in 2014, the range of participants has grown to include anyone and everyone who wants to move as well as those young aspiring artists and professional dancers. Seeing how dance can build a community and having the opportunity to share movement via the internet is an amazing sense of power and connection. It’s our world that we’re dancing about and for, and expressing that feeling through movement with thousands of other people across the country is both empowering and humbling and gives us a chance to believe in one another as Americans.

University of San Francisco, San Francisco CA
University of San Francisco, San Francisco CA

When artists become passionate about their work they inspire action.We believe that artists have to continually ask themselves what am I doing and why am I doing it and in asking those questions finding new ways to express themselves. National Water Dance creates a community of dancers who inspire and support one another in pursuing the answers. As Americans we are facing a changing relationship to clean water. NWD is giving dancers a place to express their response through movement, finding a common ground that seems to have almost completely disappeared through our cultural and political divisiveness. NWD is the foundation stone for building a community of artists who are engaged in fighting for the basic needs of our existence. As Celine Cousteau said “It’s about reconnecting our sense of self and soul with our waterways and oceans.”

Check out our 2014 event!


Risks and challenges

Coordinating a nation wide event is a challenge in making and keeping connections, accepting individual response time knowing the overload of everyone’s lives and simply trusting that participants will come thru. As director I have had to challenge myself to anticipate every detail involved and communicate it clearly. And at the same time I have to risk letting go of control and give autonomy to each participating organization. Money is always a challenge and so we “kickstart”, but what has been a revelation to me is the depth of commitment and desire that this concept has unearthed around the country. My challenges and risks are also most definitely my rewards


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