Saying Good-Bye to my job at Dance Exchange

Dear Friends,

My 21 years at Dance Exchange have been incredibly good. I can’t imagine a better job, a finer education, or a career path that could have brought more insight, growth, and love into my life. Many are the times I’ve said to myself “I can’t believe this is what I get to do as my job!” — whether watching a new dance unfold on stage, delighting in the great brains and big hearts of remarkable colleagues, or seeing individuals and communities make positive change because of the company’s work.

But this good thing must come to an end. Today I reach the final hour of my formal employment at Dance Exchange. After 17 years full-time and 4 years part-time, it’s time to bring a loving close to this long chapter.

I’ve gotten to know so many excellent people through this job: staff, artists, board, partners, funders — even a few dance critics. If I thanked everyone deserving of mention, this email would be a near-endless scroll. But I have to name five: Linda Reinisch, thank you for hiring me and for the guidance you gave during my first years here. Jane Hirshberg, we rocked it. Cassie Meador, you lead with vision and fortitude, shedding light and seeing all the colors. Liz Lerman, your humane brilliance is a constant inspiration. Charles Gravitz, — my life partner and ever-present support, who accepted the call to join the Dance Exchange board as Treasurer — you’re sensational.

What’s next for me? Expansion of a freelance practice that includes artmaking at the intersection of photography, performance and text; arts writing; and continued facilitation of Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process and other experiences in learning and dialogue. And I expect to be part of the occasional Dance Exchange engagement, so I’m not disappearing completely from the company’s work.
If I’ve been your liaison to Dance Exchange and you want to keep in touch with the company, I suggest Acting Managing Director Susan Goode as your first contact: If you’d like to keep in touch with me personally, I’d love to hear from you: email me at

What a gift it’s been. I will always think of Dance Exchange as something I’m a part of and something that is a part of me.

Thank you for your role in it all.

Warm regards,
John Borstel

About John Borstel

John’s role with the Dance Exchange encompasses functions in documentation, dissemination, and dialogue.