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Episode 117 | Nonprofit Arts Leadership w/ Gayle Halperin, Bruce Wood Dance

Updated: Mar 1, 2023

Bruce Wood Dance Executive Director, Gayle Halperin joins Martheya to talk about all things Nonprofit Arts leadership, the History of the Bruce Wood Dance Company, becoming the Executive Director, her tips for leading the company and more.(34:38)


[0:12] Martheya says welcome back and welcomes Gayle Halperin the Executive Director of the Bruce Wood Dance Company


[1:31] Topic: The History of the Bruce Wood Dance Company

  • [1:31] Martheya asks: “Can you introduce yourself and describe the can you describe Bruce Wood Dance Company?”

  • [2:48] Martheya asks: “So much of what you do is grounded in the element of healing. Could you talk about why that’s important to the company?”

  • [4:27] Martheya asks: “How did you meet (Bruce Wood) and how did you become the Executive Director of the company?”

  • [6:12] Martheya asks: “Can you explain what a repertory company is?”

  • [8:53] Martheya asks: “Where were you at this time?”

  • [10:29] Martheya asks: “Leap forward to now, how did you become the Executive Director?”

[12:40] Topic: Prioritizing People

  • [12:40] Martheya asks: “How did you learn these skill sets: hiring dancers, booking space, financing the endeavors?”

  • [14:39] Martheya asks: “How did you find this group of individual (Board of Directors) and why do think they are still so plugged in?”

  • [15:16] Martheya asks: “Can you talk about the legacy of Bruce Wood?”

[17:32] Topic: Leadership Tips

  • [17:32] Martheya asks: “Can you talk about your role as Executive Director and what your responsibilities are?”

  • [18:43] Martheya asks: “Could you talk about 1 or 2 tips you have for managing people?”

  • [21:29] Martheya asks: “For an emerging artist who wants to create their own company, where would you recommend they start?”

  • [23:34] Martheya asks: “Can you talk about a time where a team you worked with was successful in achieving their goal and why?”

  • [26:34] Martheya asks: “What advice do you have for dancers leading their own company?”

  • [28:00] Martheya asks: “When is that point (to bring people in to help)?”

Questions from kNOwBOX dance Archive

  • [28:55] Martheya asks: “Do you think social media is influencing the dance world? If so, how does it influence your work?”

  • [29:35] Martheya asks: “How do you say NO to the BOX (think outside the box)?”

  • [31:26] Martheya asks: “Is there anything we haven’t talked about today that you want to share with our listeners?”

[30:35] Martheya asks:

1- If you had to recommend a resource to our audience what would it be?

  • Instagram “So many great things are on Instagram…see what is going on”

[31:01] Martheya asks:

2- What was the first dance you saw?

  • The Nutcracker

[31:15] Martheya asks:

3- Do you think social media has a positive influence on the dance world (yes or no)?

  • Yes

[31:22] Martheya asks:

4- What is your favorite social media platform?

  • Instagram

Recommended Resources:

Connect with Gayle Halperin & Bruce Wood Dance

Gayle Halperin’s career in dance has been extensive, spanning years as a performer, educator, advocate, and philanthropist. Since 2010 she has served as executive director of Bruce Wood Dance, the Dallas-based contemporary company has become nationally recognized for its artistic excellence and emotionally-engaging choreography. Gayle has a BA in dance from Connecticut College and MFA from Texas Woman’s University. She has taught dance at Yale University, Southern Connecticut State College, and Texas Woman’s University. She has served on the board of directors of TITAS, Dance Council of North Texas, Sammons Center for the Arts. The James & Gayle Halperin Foundation contributes to nonprofit dance and arts organizations to increase exposure and accessibility and ensure sustainability. Gayle is the recipient of the 2011 Texas Woman’s University Distinguished Alumni Award and 2021 Dallas Historical Society Award for Excellence in Arts Leadership.

Headshot by Brian Guilliaux

Slip Zone by Joy Bollinger

In My Your Head by Joy Bollinger

Sombreristas by Omar Roman De Jesus

RED by Bruce Wood

Elemental Brubeck by Lar Lubovitch

Forbidden Paths by Garrett Smith

Promise Me You'll Sing My Song by Adam McKinney

Forbidden Paths by Garrett Smith

The Rite of Spring by Bruce Wood

Blue by Joy Bollinger

Slip Zone by Joy Bollinger


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