Common Ground Dance Company is Hiring

Artistic Director – Common Ground Dance Company


The Artistic Director is responsible for the artistic management of the company and for developing and implementing its artistic output based on the mission statement of Common Ground Dance Company. The Artistic Director reports to the Common Ground Dance Company Board of Directors and to the Managing Director. The Artistic Director collaborates with the Managing Director and the Rehearsal Director to develop and implement performances, classes, and workshop programs in line with the company’s artistic rationale, expressing the vision, mission, and goals of the company.  

The Artistic Director has the following duties:

  • Teaches, develops, implements, and evaluates programs for the performance season.
  • Supervises and evaluates artistic personnel including choreographers, dancers, costume designers, and stage managers, and others.
  • With the managing director, develops annual program budget.
  • Acts as a spokesperson for the organization’s artistic purpose via speaking engagements, public and social appearances, and, as requested, at fundraising events and solicitations.
  • Fosters the development of good relations with other cultural organizations by participating in meetings and joint activities where appropriate.
  • Reports to the Board of Directors on a regular basis to give an update on artistic activity.
  • Other duties as assigned.

All applicants must submit application materials to: The application should include:

  • A letter of application outlining your qualifications.
  • A current resume.
  • A short statement (one page) describing your teaching philosophy and choreography interests.
  • A 5-10 minute video sample of repertory.  Provide web link or mail DVD to:

Common Ground Dance Company

C/O Melinda Blomquist

AHUM 319

7201 Rossville Blvd.

Baltimore MD 21237

Applications are due by May 30, 2014. The expected start date is July 1, 2014. 

Questions about the position or program may be directed to:

For more information about the Company visit our website at


9/11: Being Heroes and Being Hope

I am struck by the continued heftiness of this horrible thing that happened 12 years ago today.  It does not seem like it should have been 12 years, with each year never really diminishing the blow.  I am so different, and yet I am not.  I am married now — we celebrated our 11th anniversary this summer.  I now have three beautiful children — they are 8, almost 6, and 4.  I have the same worries, and I have new ones, since life has, well, happened.  

I hope my children never have to witness anything even remotely like that day, though my now 8-year-old son had an unfortunate glimpse just months ago of the Boston Marathon bombing on the news.  He, in his then seven-ness, was, needless to say, frightened. I didn’t realize he was standing right behind me, as I watched the news, my mind replaying scenes from a little more than a decade ago when I was fresh from college and working my first job as a reporter for a community newspaper.  I had to report on 9/11, at the community level albeit (but isn’t that where our hearts break the most for these tragic events, in the company of our neighbors, our families and friends?).  

So my child glimpsed a bombing.  Just a moment earlier he was in the kitchen doing his homework.  How did this child, who moves like a snail otherwise when asked to do just about anything, find lightning speed to get into the living room like a stealth ninja?

His birthday is September 9, 2005.  He was due September 16, and I remember being worried that he might arrive on the 11th and yet wanting that just the same.  There is that idea of bringing joy to a day of unimaginable grief … but there’s also the idea of not wanting to be crying on a sweet little boy’s birthday each year about something that will take a long time for him to truly understand.

Yes, I do a little crying each year on this day.

And, yes, I’m a bit relieved and glad he made his entrance on the ninth.

Last year, his teacher addressed 9/11 in a lesson in school.  She covered the topic beautifully, and my only indication that she did cover it with such care and grace is that my son came home asking about it, not terrified, but rather in a state of reverence for the day.  A seven-year-old somehow understanding and respecting the gravity of this one day.  Then, months later, he’s standing behind me seeing something horrific on the news, with no reverence, no faith in our freedom and those who would protect us, only fear, worry that something might happen here in Maryland.  I’ve never turned off the television so fast in my life.  Mommy became the lightning-fast stealth ninja.

I will not turn on the news today, at least not while my children are awake; I will not let them see the inevitable broadcast of my anguished memories.

Today is a day for sadness.  This is a day to grieve for all those lost a dozen years ago; to ache for all those still trying to fill the empty spaces, the still open wounds, in their hearts; and to lament for our children who must live in a world after 9/11, a world full of uncertainties I could not have imagined before 9/11.

But it is also a day for hope, to wait on and to be grateful for those who have been and would be our heroes; to anticipate and to savor what is still beautiful, especially those things (mostly immaterial) that can never be made unbeautiful; to be the hero: the one who finds the extraordinary in the ordinary, the rhythm in the chaos, the buoyant child in the thrashing waves of our restless souls.

I intend to keep my children buoyant, joyful, innocent for as long as possible.  The world needs that.

As a child, I knew I had one great possession: my body. It was little and quick. I lived within it. I looked out of it with my eyes, my irises, and that was also my name, Iris — like the flower, like the rainbow, and like my eyes. I’d wake up in the morning, excited, ready to go out and look at the world. Breakfast would only slow me down. I wanted to leap into the empty lots outside our windows just as soon as I could and see what had happened overnight. I’d say to my mother, ‘I love life!’ As an adult, I met people who talked passionately about their new Rolls-Royce. But that isn’t a real possession. All we actually have is our body and its muscles that allow us to be under our own power, to glide in the water, to roll down a hill, and to jump into someone’s arms.
Allegra Kent, from Once a Dancer …