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Executive Director, National Dance Institute
National Dane Institute


National Dance Institute (NDI) believes that the arts have a unique power to engage all children and motivate  them toward excellence. Founded in 1976 by the legendary ballet dancer Jacques d’Amboise and rooted in the belief that every child should have access to quality arts education, NDI has celebrated and empowered children to  achieve more than they ever dreamed possible for over 45 years. More than two million children have been impacted  through work with professional teaching artists who foster a love of arts, a curiosity about the world, and a desire to  achieve.  

NDI serves children of diverse backgrounds, abilities, and socioeconomic positions—transcending  systemic barriers and expanding opportunities for all. Currently, NDI works with more than 6,500 students  every week in partnership with 44 schools across the New York City region. The inclusive In-School Program ensures success for every child through a rigorous and well-defined structure that allows teaching artists to develop  close working relationships with classroom teachers. These programs culminate in celebratory presentations where  students perform for their peers, families, and communities.  

Students who have demonstrated hard work, enthusiasm, and talent are invited to deepen their dance and music  study by joining NDI’s advanced training programs—the SWAT Team (Scholarships for the Willing, Achieving,  and Talented), Celebration Team, or the Irene Diamond Summer Institute. The NDI DREAM Project (Dancers  Realize Excellence through Arts and Movement) is an inclusive dance program that provides children with and  without disabilities the opportunity to perform together. NDI uses social media, YouTube, and Zoom to allow children  everywhere to experience the joy and magic of NDI programs free of charge. 

The NDI Collaborative for Teaching & Learning disseminates NDI’s acclaimed teaching method through a  professional development program for teaching artists, dance educators, musicians, and organizations worldwide.  Every year, professional artists and educators from around the globe participate in trainings and emerge from this  transformative experience with an advanced set of teaching tools and a deepened understanding of the power of  the arts in education.  

NDI has seeded programs both nationally and internationally. Currently, there are 12 Associates of National Dance Institute (ANDI) thriving in the United States that utilize NDI’s pedagogy to serve more than 30,000 children  every year. Internationally, NDI has been working in Shanghai and Beirut to train teachers in NDI’s groundbreaking  methodology and to promote the social development of children, helping them gain confidence through the study  of dance, the arts, and international collaboration. These international programs serve more than 8,000 children  annually.  

The NDI Artist-in-Residence Program offers a one-year residency to a dance-artist of color, providing the  opportunity for them to develop their creative process and skills in dance while giving students the opportunity to  learn from these talented artists. The current artist-in-residence for 2020-2021 is Camille A. Brown and Dancers  whose work explores the African American experience.

In 2011, NDI opened the doors to its permanent home, the National Dance Institute Center for Learning & the  Arts (NDI Center), in Harlem. The 18,000-square-foot NDI Center is home to three dance studios, two art galleries,  green rooms, administrative offices, and the Howard Gilman Performance Space, which has seating for 175 people and has been used for NDI classes, rehearsals, performances, and events.  

During COVID-19 and a time of remote and in-person learning, access to the arts has never been more vital, both  in terms of physical health and social-emotional wellbeing. NDI has continued to provide arts education to public  schools in New York City and throughout the country through live, synchronous classes, recorded videos, and virtual  performances. The new NDI Dancemobile enables the Celebration Team to perform live outdoors, bringing joy to  dancers and new audience members alike. 

NDI is governed by a 33-member board of directors, led by Chair Helen Stambler Neuberger through September  30, 2021. Marc Solomon will become the Chair on October 1, 2021. The 57-member staff includes 18 full-time employees, two part-time employees, and more than 37 teaching artists and musicians. For the fiscal year ending  September 30, 2020, NDI reported a total revenue of $5.8 million, with $4.2 million from contributions and grants  and $1 million from program services. Total expenses were $5.5 million. 

Position Summary 

The Executive Director of NDI will serve as a hands-on, operational leader responsible for helping to set  organizational priorities and enabling NDI to achieve its short- and long-term financial, programmatic, and strategic  objectives. Reporting to the board of directors and working in partnership with the Artistic Director, the Executive  Director will manage all aspects of administration and ensure the implementation of the artistic vision that is at the  heart of NDI’s mission. They will also guide the next phase of growth and innovation for the organization. A proven  leader with business acumen, this individual will expand revenue and enhance partnerships with local, national,  and international partners. Advocating for arts education and committed to equity, the Executive Director will be an engaging speaker and collaborator, as well as a transparent decision maker. They will cultivate deep connections  with the board, staff members, and community partners. 

Roles and Responsibilities 

Organizational Excellence 

Grow and oversee the organization’s administrative functions and day-to-day operations while ensuring  commitment around key priorities. 

Evaluate organizational systems, roles, and responsibilities to improve effectiveness and expand staff capacity. Lead the finance, development, facilities, administration, and communication/marketing teams. Supervise the care, maintenance, and quality of the 18,000-square-foot NDI Center.

Oversee the health, safety, and wellbeing of all NDI staff, children, and artists at the NDI Center and all program  sites, with a deep level of care, compassion, and authority. 

Mentor, guide, and support the staff with a culture of collaboration and accountability to organizational goals.  Maintain a strong and cohesive staff with an atmosphere of camaraderie, trust, transparency, and shared vision  throughout the organization. 

Exemplify NDI’s work towards becoming an anti-racist, multicultural institution. 

Embrace other opportunities to achieve organizational excellence as needed. 

Strategic and Collaborative Leadership 

Embody NDI’s mission and guide strategic direction, working collaboratively with the board, Artistic Director,  and staff to facilitate the success of the organization and the individuals within it. 

Identify, develop, and evaluate new mission-appropriate opportunities. 

Develop an open and effective partnership with the Artistic Director and board of directors. Serve as a key advocate for NDI, participating in the cultivation of a broad range of supporters, patrons, and  artists. 

Advance NDI’s position as a model of excellence in the arts and education fields. 

Embrace other strategic and collaborative leadership responsibilities as needed. 

Revenue Expansion, Communication, and Community Engagement 

Lead efforts and strategies to bring contributed and earned income revenue streams to altogether new heights. Nurture existing relationships and build new ones to expand interest and investment in NDI. Guide efforts to further diversify and achieve sustainability in foundation and individual funding. 

Foster collaborative and productive partnerships with NDI’s key stakeholders and staff to support the  organization’s mission and increase its public visibility. 

Effectively grow contributed support and develop authentic relationships with individuals, foundations,  government agencies, and corporations. 

Develop and implement a strategy to build robust reserve funds that ensure the organization’s sustainability. Engage with NDI’s alumni and the broader cultural and educational community as a positive, active, and visible  spokesperson for NDI in a variety of contexts. 

Build NDI’s brand awareness and outreach initiatives

Represent NDI through active participation in local and national programs and convenings focused on the arts,  creative youth development, and relevant social and community issues. 

Embrace other revenue expansion, communication, and community engagement responsibilities as needed

Governance and Financial Stewardship 

Inspire and build the board and its committees, in collaboration with the Board Chair, with a commitment to sustain a shared and deep understanding of NDI’s priorities and processes.  

Empower and support the board in its policymaking, fundraising, governance, and community ambassadorship  roles for NDI and its programs. 

Identify, cultivate, and assist in the recruitment of board, committee, and council members whose diversity,  skills, experience, connections, and capacity meet the organization’s current and future aspirations. Present reports to the finance committee regularly, maintaining and enhancing appropriate internal controls for  all financial matters. 

Provide regular communication and strategic updates to the board to enable all members to exercise their full  governance and service potential. 

Embrace other governance and financial stewardship responsibilities as needed.

Traits and Characteristics 

The Executive Director will be a dynamic leader who builds authentic relationships and values frequent engagement  with a range of stakeholders. Ready to help NDI meet its strategic goals, this individual will be versatile and resourceful in addressing challenges and embracing opportunities. The Executive Director will be a natural  collaborator who values creativity in an altruistic and harmonious environment. They will be a diplomatic leader who  is able to negotiate sensitive issues in a transparent way.  

Other key competencies include: 

Leadership and Teamwork The capacity to prioritize strategic initiatives while motivating and creating a  sense of direction embedded in the active participation of a variety of staff, board, and community members to achieve collective goals. 

Diplomacy and Interpersonal Skills – The dexterity to address difficult and sensitive issues, demonstrate respect, treat others fairly regardless of personal biases or beliefs, and foster positive and productive  relationships internally and externally. 

Time and Priority Management – The flexibility to prioritize key goals and ensure that operational tasks align to deliver desired outcomes within allotted time frames. 

Professional and Personal Accountability – The ability to assess the risks of various options; anticipate the  human, financial, and technological resources needed to achieve extraordinary results; and be held  accountable for decisions and actions. 


A bachelor’s degree (or equivalent experience) and five to 10 years of direct experience with increasing  responsibility in a senior management role, including supervision, are required. A genuine, demonstrated  commitment to and interest in fundraising are essential. The ideal candidate will have business-oriented experience  and a track record of strategic and operational success in highly collaborative and creative environments. Previous  experience in the performing arts is helpful and a dedication to the arts, education, and children is essential.  Experience working directly with boards of directors and exposure to production and event-intensive operations are a plus. Exceptional writing abilities and verbal presentation skills are expected. 

Compensation and Benefits 

NDI provides a competitive salary, commensurate with experience. Benefits include paid vacation, sick leave,  personal days, and holidays; health, long-term disability, and life insurances; flexible spending accounts; a health  reimbursement account; and an employer-sponsored 403(b) retirement plan.  

Applications and Inquiries 

To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments, please visit For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, including anticipated  salary range, please contact

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NYC AiE Roundtable