Co-Founder: Jennifer Tell

Co-Founder: Jennifer Tell

Co-Founder: Clair Anderson

Co-Founder: Clair Anderson

Our Mission

The INnovate event was INspired by our realization that we are all IN the dance community together, and we have the desire to further that vision. From our experiences at dance events and competitions, we find that feeling unified provides a richer experience for our dancers, teachers, and parents. The INnovate event will bring dancers together in an INclusive and INspired environment. 

Being a selected evaluator for the first season of INNOVATE was a special experience. I was honored when Jennifer and Clair asked me to partake. Growing up in a classically trained ballet school and with a family of professional modern dancers, I was very unfamiliar with the field of the competition dance. Competing for a score was an experience I never had. However, my junior and senior year of high school I attended Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. It was there that I befriended dancers with different training backgrounds, including competition dance. As a professional dance teacher I have gained an appreciation for a variety of dance training experiences as I have taught in competition studios and professional dance schools. That being said, regardless of your training background, one cannot deny the pressures that dance withholds. We have to look a certain way, be able to balance a variety of commitments, and continually practice our craft. That said, what I found so refreshing about Jennifer and Clair’s vision for INNOVATE was their passion in creating an opportunity for young dancers to show their work and receive positive, encouraging feedback from successful dance “elders” if you will. It is important for a dancer to feel supported as much as they feel challenged. In the professional world, we do not compete for points but we compete for opportunities to perform, choreograph, teach, etc. What prevents burn-out is a dancer recognizing their value and feeling supported. Further, INNOVATE created an event that brings together the community of dance that often creates more divide within itself.
— Sophia Pimsler, INnovate Dance Event evaluator