Art does not flourish in isolation. It grows in an atmosphere of candor and sharing. By attending festivals, RDA Member Companies gain a wider perspective about their current level and their potential for progress.
The festivals are essentially performing events each hosted by an individual company or region which draws upon the resources of the local community. Each Spring, the process begins when nationally recognized adjudicators tour the regions to select works by participating companies and arrange festival programs. Each company receives a written report about its own offerings as well as those of the other members. For those in isolated communities where there is no informed dance press, the adjudication reports are especially valuable.
The culmination of the season is the Festival where the dancers perform and take classes while the Directors and Board Members share ideas and network. Tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships are awarded to dancers in each region for study at prestigious Summer programs and the National Choreography Intensive. Major professional companies, colleges and universities also scout for their future talent.
A National Festival is held every five years, bringing together all member companies for five days of classes and performances. National Festivals serve to further the national identity of RDA and its member companies. They also help to bring an even greater perspective, inspiring the growth and development of dancers, choreographers, directors, companies and the national organization as a whole. The next National Festival will be held in Phoenix, AZ in May, 2017.
The 2016 Festival is being held in Erie, Pennsylvania.