Who is Sydnie L. Mosley?
Officially, Sydnie L. Mosley is an artist-activist-educator who produces experiential dance works with her dance-theater collective SLMDances. Her dances respond to street harassment, respectability politics, the economics of NYC dance and more.
But frankly, Sydnie is a life long dancer, born and raised in Baltimore. Two things she is most proud of: Making a home in Harlem for 10+ years and her self-determined NYC dance career. Three things she has visions about: dancing, writing and cooking. You can find her
FULL BIO HERE.
How long has SLMDances been around?
Sydnie L. Mosley Dances came into being over the course of 2010 and has been shifting, improvising, and thriving ever since. You can find
OUR STORY HERE.
What / Who is the Leadership Team?
SLMDances is led by the Artistic Director (Sydnie Mosley), Strategic Visioning Partner (A. Nia Austin-Edwards), and Artistic Visioning Partner (Allegra Romita). The Visioning Partners consult on all major decisions and the direction of the collective. While the Strategic Visioning Partner oversees the business development of the collective, the Artistic Visioning Partner oversees the artistic development of the collective. You can find all
ARTIST BIOS HERE.
What does it mean to be a Creative Partner?
SLMDances prioritizes collaborative relationships. The role of Creative Partner is one of many partnerships that take place between the company and our community. This role engages the creative, educational, and administrative skills of an artist in deciphering what and how the collective develops and the performance works we collaboratively devise.
We invite artists to join our circle who practice a self-awareness that includes their emotional, physical, and spiritual care, and the management of their resources (including but not limited to health, time, skills, knowledge etc.). We understand that being a part of our circle is to be in relationship and how we manage our self impacts all partners. As an artistic collective embodying abundance, we function through sharing what resources we have to offer with one another in a reciprocal exchange. We invite negotiation and ask artists to only make commitments that feel good in their bodies and make them feel fully valued.
We stay transparent with one another: We are all healing from the bruises of unhealthy partnerships and recovering from oppressive systems, while learning to co-create and invest in liberated spaces. We do not have the answers, but we are committed to this work and this play, improvising our way into the future. What we know for sure is that we intend to keep dancing with compassion, patience and sage.
Read more about why we stopped calling our artists "dancers" and started calling them
CREATIVE PARTNERS HERE.
What is a Creative Partner in Development?
Creative Partners in Development embody our core value of Learning. Artists are engaged for the yearlong season and commit to a conscious mutual investment that supports the thriving of themselves and the collective. Creative Partners in Development need guidance and development in two to three of SLMDances’ core areas of work: artistic collaboration, administration, and teaching/facilitation. They are expected to learn and participate in collective repertory building, understudy roles, participate in Professional Development, and complete work each month to gain more insight into the collective process and support the strategic development of SLMDances. The parameters of the work will be decided and agreed upon between the Visioning Partners and the Creative Partners in Development.
This role is SLMDances' interpretation of apprenticeship.
What does it mean to be a "Harlem-based" collective?
One of the collective values is Community. The collective situates itself amongst the Harlem arts community by creating and presenting dance uptown; partnering with other Harlem artists and businesses; and focusing community-based initiatives within Harlem. Nevertheless, SLMDances travels for projects around the city, across the country and internationally as relevant to the mission and interests of the work.
Collective members do not need to live in Harlem, but they must be willing to travel to, spend significant time in, and love the community.
Do artists get paid for performances?
Yes! Payment is issued for performances on a sliding scale rate of $65 - $125 per performance. Pay rate depends on whether the engagement is underwritten by SLMDances or by an outside presenter.
Do artists receive rehearsal compensation?
Yes! Currently, Creative Partners are paid $9.50 per hour for rehearsal + $75 monthly cost of living stipend for the months we are in rehearsal (Feb - June, Sept - Nov).
Non-monetary compensation includes receiving free collective class, currently yoga. The collective also offers all of its collaborators a structured Professional Development module created to assist its dancers to achieve their personal goals, dance and non-dance related. Dancers also have access to all photos and videos taken during performances.
We greatly value our dancers and are happy to discuss and offer any other forms of compensation that dancers might find valuable. In the meantime, the Leadership Team continues to build SLMDances' financial resources so that we can increase rehearsal pay to a thriving wage.
Does SLMDances offer Company Class? When + Where is it?
Yes! Collective class is primarily taught by our Rehearsal Director team: Brittany Grier, Jessica Lee, and Joan Bradford. Artistic Director Sydnie Mosley, Artistic Visioning Partner Allegra Romita, and invited outside guests or dancers within the collective who are interested in developing their teaching practice may also lead class.
Each rehearsal begins with collective class. It is open class, but is a required part of the rehearsal practice for collective members.
Currently, SLMDances' primary collective movement practice is yoga which we practice together virtually on Tuesdays and Thursdays during our Spring and Fall rehearsal seasons.
What does it mean to rehearse in a pandemic? What are your COVID-19 precautions? What are you rehearsing for?
SLMDances errs on the side of extreme caution during the coronavirus pandemic. We take the health and safety of all our collaborators seriously. Since March 2020, all of our rehearsals have been virtual via Google Meets and Zoom video conferencing platforms. We are paying close attention to New York city and state advisories for public gatherings, as well as advice from the CDC and health professionals to determine when it might be truly safe for us to gather again for in person rehearsals and eventually, in person performances. If all goes according to plan, we hope to do a quarantined bubble-residency in Spring 2022 as our next in person gathering as a collective.
Despite no planned live or live-streamed performances, SLMDances understands rehearsal as a ritual and we continue to hold the space and time of rehearsal in our calendars as sacred. Activities that take place during our rehearsal time include: Professional Development workshops (i.e. financial management, an introduction to herbal medicine, trauma-informed facilitation practices), dramaturgical work, Creative Partner meetings to discuss collective business, creative practice time which has included movement, crafts, the
development of a podcast, and more.
We are tentatively planning for a live performance season in Spring 2023, and in preparation are inviting new artists into our collective now to learn our collective practices as well as learn the choreography for performance.
Are there opportunities to teach?
Yes! Our primary source of earned income are our
Education Programs. Collective members will have the have the opportunity to teach collective class and they will have the opportunity to co-facilitate our education residencies and workshops.
What is a collective "field trip"?
SLMDances makes building community with all collaborators an integral part of how the collective functions. Field trips to performances, dinner, and group events are scheduled to engage each other in a more social environment and to build a rapport amongst the company, its leadership, and its collaborators.
Additionally, SLMDances consistently engages in discussions, lectures, and conferences centered around issues relevant to the arts, African diaspora, feminism, race, culture and cultural organizing. Attending these lectures and events contribute to our collaborative research and creative processes.
Currently, field trips consist of attendance to virtual events.