Frequently Asked Questions for Dancers

What dance genres are eligible for the Queensboro Dance Festival?
QDF welcomes any and all dance forms– contemporary, folk, ballet, cultures from every corner of Queens, hip-hop, tap, comedic, traditional, jazz, breakdance, Latin, ballroom, and every hybrid in between! The main requirement to submit any dance proposal is that the choreographer or dance company must be based in Queens.
What qualifies as a dance work?

A dance work must be a live performance where dance technique/choreography is the core driving component (i.e. Not a film, a play, musical etc. These types of elements are welcome but should not be the main element of a dance work). A dance work can also be a live performance that is equally shared with a music component.

What if I am still working on my piece in time for the shows and don’t have all the information yet for the application?

We understand! However, we need to visualize and understand your work as much as possible. Fill out as much info as you can even if it’s a working title, or if your music is still being created, etc. Please make sure to submit a full, unedited VIDEO (3 minute minimum, continuous footage) of the actual proposed work, even if it’s rehearsal footage of a draft, and describe your dance piece in detail.  A medley performance (one on-going performance consisting of several different dances) no longer than the 12-minute total maximum can be considered in one application, but videos of each dance or a video of the proposed final medley is required, as well as descriptions of each included dance. If you choose to propose a medley instead of one dance piece, make sure a medley presentation and choreographed transitions between pieces make sense for your proposal. Your information also helps program a diverse and balanced show. If your work is selected, there will be an opportunity to send in final updates to program information before your performances.

How are dance proposals selected?

There is a different panel each year comprised of experienced individuals from various dance, cultural, and production industries, who also represent a range of ethnic diversity. The panel makes recommendations based on clarity of the dance proposal, strength of dance technique, alignment with the festival’s mission, and ensuring there is a diverse range of cultures and dance styles represented overall. Tip: describe your dance work as though you are explaining it to a complete stranger who has never seen your work or your dance genre before. Those reading your proposal should be able to envision your dance work and understand your concept clearly. Make sure your narrative and video work sample make sense together.

What is the QDF vibe?

Our growing community of Queens dance companies are people who want to engage and contribute to the neighborhoods they live and work in. We share a pride for being Queens artists, and share a keen interest in learning about one another’s work and heritages. We support each other, have fun, think outside the box, and are bold, generous performers on tour! We have a more meaningful impact together as a community, and our vibrancy is because of the dancers who are part of it.

QDF is a living, breathing festival. We adapt to public space, we embrace the many magical moments that spontaneously happen during live performance. There’s a positive, teamwork vibe onsite. Every show is a different line-up of our season’s participants, so you’ll meet different dance companies throughout your tour, in various neighborhoods with various audiences.

How does the tour work?
The tour performs mostly at various outdoor venues throughout Queens including parks, plazas, and streets, as well as Queens Public Libraries, theaters, and sometimes schools. Each tour stop will feature a different line-up of dance companies, so each participating dance company will have a slightly different performance schedule. QDF works with many Queens organizations at each venue site to coordinate as smooth a production as possible, but companies must be adaptable to the different performance terrains, and factors including weather, time, outdoor noise, pedestrians, and space. Some tour stops have special circumstances; these will be addressed in the application form.
What are the performance spaces and flooring like?

We are touring across a variety of public performance spaces, most of them being outdoors in designated performance spaces in parks, plazas, and open streets. QDF will set up ground-level dance flooring (smooth surface) at the outdoor venues, no marley, but suitable for barefoot, soft shoe, percussive and floorwork. Dimensions of flooring is 36 feet wide x 18 feet deep. We will be performing in natural daylight and with a sound system. Theater venues will have a stage and full production amenities. For tap and other percussive footwork, we have a limited number of additional 3ft x 2 ft tap boards that can be placed on top of the dance floor if preferred. You can also bring your own portable tap boards.

How does scheduling work?

In the application form, select any and all performance dates that you are *available* to perform from Group A, Group B and Group C options. If your work is selected, QDF will assign you a performance schedule of 5-6 shows based off of your submitted availability. You will not be scheduled for every date you choose, but we ask you be available for more than you will be ultimately scheduled to allow for an optimal range of programming. Your performance schedule will consist of show dates in Groups A, B, and/or C, and one evening during the Season Finale weekend at Queens Theatre (indoors). Each company is scheduled to have a range of locations to provide a diverse experience of Queens for the artists. If you select a limited amount of dates, it is not guaranteed that you will receive all the dates you exactly chose. If you do NOT select the minimum dates required to be available, your proposal may not be considered.

Can I submit more than one dance work?

No, just select your best work you’d like to present and send in a strong submission for that!

Will my work still be considered if it’s not a Queens or World Premiere?

Yes! Though we encourage premieres (especially if you have shown work in QDF previous seasons), previously performed works will definitely be considered. Please make sure to tell us where you’ve shown your work already in your application.

What type of work is best for outdoor performance?

There are some particular considerations when creating and performing a work in NYC public space. Nudity cannot be permitted, and any music tracks must be clean. In addition, it may be the very first time some audiences are seeing dance or your particular dance style. Be aware that there may be pedestrian/vehicular noise, children, wind, bicycles, balls, etc. around us. Often we are not on a raised stage, so the audience is at the same level as the performers, and sometimes all around us (not just on one side). When competing with these elements, consider how to keep your audience engaged through your costume, music, staging/blocking, and dance vocabulary, so it does not get lost in the rest of the public space activity. “Summer vibe” performance energy or content is popular with audiences, but this is not required especially if it does not fit the work you want to present. In outdoor space, it is best to be adaptable. You are welcome to adapt your dance piece for the indoor stage and lighting capabilities for our Season Finale at Queens Theatre. (This is also why tech slots are important.)

Can I change my dance piece during the tour?

While we understand there may be edits to your proposed piece during the tour (i.e. adapting your piece to indoor vs. outdoor venues), you cannot substitute a completely different piece in your tour schedule. This is to be fair to everyone’s initial proposals that were specifically selected to be programmed in the tour, and also to maintain the balance of every show. There will be a chance to update small program changes such as your cast or music edit, but we do ask you commit to your dance work that you originally proposed for the tour.

How are QDF events accessible for audiences and dancers with disabilities?

As our events take place in public space, all of our locations welcome audiences who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices and are ADA accessible. ASL and captioning will be provided at some of our performances and we hope to raise more funding to provide these services at all events.

For dancers who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices, portable ramps will be available when needed onto any raised stage we may be performing on (not all locations will have a raised stage). Tech time length needs will be accommodated. For more specific accessibility needs for dancers, please contact us at or (929) 282-0620.

How can dance schools or cultural community centers participate in QDF?

We like to support and help raise awareness of Queens-based dance education programs, particularly for lesser-known dance technique training. Dance schools in Queens that have any cultural or contemporary training programs with a professional-level company or performing faculty are welcome to submit a dance proposal. Pre-professional or competition students ages 18 and over are allowed to perform if at a professional level and/or be included with professional company members throughout the proposed dance piece. Community centers with an established cultural dance program or regular practice at a professional or presentational level are also welcome to submit a dance proposal. All dance proposals from schools or community centers have the same requirements as choreographers and other professional dance companies.

For Queens-based youth dance students ages 6-17 from a dance school or cultural center, you are not eligible to submit a proposal, but we offer a community partnership opportunity instead. Queens touth dance schools may be allowed to perform a pre-show demonstration as a way to bring awareness to the school or cultural center’s program for local enrollment. We consider these partnerships in select show locations only. Studios and cultural centers are responsible for all liability of their participants and must obtain and prove signed guardian consent to any participation dates offered. If you are a youth dance school interested in a community partnership with us, please email us at Please note not all inquiries will result in a partnership.

What is the QDF Class Xchange?

QDF Class X is a series of 2 back-to-back, 1-hour classes taught by QDF participants for QDF participants and Queens dancers. Teach a class, then take a class, or if you’re not teaching, just come take both classes! The intention is to promote dance style exchange and to try something new. Teachers are paid and classes are free to attend. Class dates and sign up info will be in the application.

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