Mission & Vision


The mission of Dance Exchange is to ignite inquiry, inspire change, and connect people of all ages more deeply to the questions at the heart of our lives through dancemaking and creative practices. Dance Exchange collaborates across generations, disciplines, and communities to channel the power of performance as a means for dialogue, a source of critical reflection, and a creative engine for thought and action.


Dance Exchange is a Takoma Park, MD-based non-profit arts organization committed to dancemaking and creative practices that engage individuals and communities of all ages to cultivate a deeper understanding of themselves and their world, and to open up the questions at the heart of their lives. Founded in 1976 by Liz Lerman and under the artistic direction of Cassie Meador since 2011, Dance Exchange creates dances by asking four questions: Who gets to dance? Where is the dance happening? What is it about?  Why does it matter? 

Dance Exchange exists to:

  • Evolve the creative practices that grow from our dancemaking and continue to discover their value across diverse communities and disciplines.
  • Develop new practitioners who contribute to the evolution of these creative practices.
  • Advance the field of dance by championing artists and audiences to think beyond the stage and towards the many ways that dancemaking can have an impact on our world.


Throughout Dance Exchange’s forty-year history, we have remained committed to breaking boundaries between stage and audience, theater and community, movement and language, tradition and the unexplored. Founded in 1976 by Liz Lerman and under the artistic direction of Cassie Meador since 2011, Dance Exchange is a non-profit dance organization based in Takoma Park, Maryland. We are known for innovative performance projects and creative practices that engage communities and partners across wide ranging disciplines. Through these collaborations, we advance how individuals and communities come together through process and performance to reflect and create change in the world.

Over our forty-year history we have:

  • Created more than 250 groundbreaking dance works that explore content as far ranging as nuclear physics, immigration, ecology, prayer and action, aging, and the advancement of racial equity.
  • Expanded where dance is happening through thousands of performances that have taken place in forests and hospitals, on stages, in shipyards and senior centers, and along a 500-mile walk.
  • Engaged and collaborated with partners as diverse as scientists, city planners, foresters, human rights lawyers, arts presenters, and fellow dancemakers and artists.
  • Developed an ever-evolving body of creative practices that we share and advance through our institutes, customized trainings, publications, online toolbox, and programming in our studios.

As we build on this legacy, we hold an equal commitment to dancemaking and to furthering the practices that evolve through our dancemaking. We continue to collaborate across generations, disciplines, and communities to ignite inquiry and inspire change. This work matters because it offers our moving bodies essential ways to connect more deeply to the people and places in our lives and the questions of our time.

Dance Exchange is a 501 (c)(3) organization. If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation, click here.